An Obama's Journey: My Odyssey of Self-Discovery across Three Cultures

An Obama's Journey: My Odyssey of Self-Discovery across Three Cultures

Mark Obama Ndesandjo

Language: English

Pages: 392

ISBN: 1493007513

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In this revealing and beautifully written memoir, Mark Obama Ndesandjo, recounts his complex relationship with his older half-brother, President Barack Obama, including their first meeting in Kenya over twenty years ago. The book also offers the author's inspiring personal story about identity and multiculturalism. Rare family photos add to the book's personal nature as does the intense recounting of domestic violence in the home of Barack Obama Sr.’s  and his third wife, Ruth Baker, Mark’s Jewish-American mother. 

The book also attempts to set the records straight on several points of the president’s best-selling memoir Dreams from My Father. In its connection to President Obama, Mark's story takes on an even greater significance because it becomes all the more directly, a story of American identity and a window into the complex figure of the father they share, Barack Obama Sr., their roots in Kenya, their multicultural identities, and their relationships with America. 

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would not have had otherwise. In time she would encourage me to pursue my writing, even though we knew that it would hurt people in our family by reawakening memories that had long been forgotten or suppressed. In love and gratitude I wrote “To My Snow Flower” for her. The morning after the dream, I bought a ticket to America to see Barack. I knew he would be in Austin, Texas, in a week to debate Hilary Clinton. Once there I would find a way to get in touch. I purchased a plane ticket using

appointments. At moments throughout the day, I thought of Barack Obama Sr.’s other surviving children: Barack Jr., Auma, George, and Malik. All of them had struggled to make sense of a life filled with a dizzying range of choices, complicated by nature and nurture. My brother Barack now occupied a rarefied sphere, ever-more remote from our lives. I had never met George, but I knew he, too, had been struggling with the sudden and shallow glare of the world’s attention. When Said told me Auma was

years later I learned that my brother preferred Barack. He didn’t correct me, and I probably repeated this a number of times during our conversation. I looked more closely at this tall brown apparition that had suddenly appeared in my life. Why so serious? I thought. Had he been dispatched on an unwelcome but necessary mission? His was the face of a person with secret plans and goals. It was discreet, earnest, but very wary of me and my immediate family, particularly my mother, perhaps on

NEVER sleep in our bed!” Dana was dumbfounded. There were arguments and tears every day. Ayumi even wrote to my mother, who sent me a short e-mail. It was with shock that I read the last line: “What sort of person have you become, Mark?” It was as though my sense of right and wrong, good and evil, was in abeyance. I wanted to have my way, and to hell with the consequences. In desperation, I took Dana on an expensive road trip around Maine and Massachusetts. It was a failure. She flinched when

rest teaching, practicing piano, and writing. But she would have no doubt just continued on about how “you people” are just interested in an easy life. How I was soft, and thus I could not work there. I stood and walked out of her office. I didn’t look back. I had already been in China six months and had started thinking about setting up a marketing consulting business. I had seen the terrible English featured on storefronts and in advertisements all over Shenzhen. From my business background

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