Skip to comments.NYT Mag features new book..Obama interview about his mother:'She was a very strong person..
Posted on 04/20/2011 8:16:05 AM PDT by STARWISE
NYT Mag features new book with Obama interview about his mother: 'She was a very strong person in her own way'
FIRST LOOK New York Times Magazine cover story, WHY SHE WENT: When Barry Obama was 6 years old [in 1967], his mother moved him to Indonesia.
It was a decision that would define his life and hers, by Janny Scott, a reporter for The New York Times who went on leave in 2008 to write A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obamas Mother, from which this article, "The Young Mother Abroad," is adapted:
The photograph showed the son, but my eye gravitated toward the mother. That first glimpse was surprising the stout, pale-skinned woman in sturdy sandals, standing squarely a half-step ahead of the lithe, darker-skinned figure to her left.
His elastic-band body bespoke discipline, even asceticism. Her form was well padded, territory ceded long ago to the pleasures of appetite and the forces of anatomical destiny.
He had the studied casualness of a catalog model, in khakis, at home in the viewfinder. She met the camera head-on, dressed in hand-loomed textile dyed indigo, a silver earring half-hidden in the cascading curtain of her dark hair. She carried her chin a few degrees higher than most. His right hand rested on her shoulder, lightly.
The photograph, taken on a Manhattan rooftop in August 1987 and e-mailed to me 20 years later, was a revelation and a puzzle.
The man was Barack Obama at 26, the community organizer from Chicago on a visit to New York. The woman was Stanley Ann Dunham, his mother.
It was impossible not to question the stereotype to which she had been expediently reduced: the white woman from Kansas. The earthy figure in the photograph did not fit any of those [oversimplifications], as I learned over the course of two and a half years of research, travel and nearly 200 interviews.
When we spoke last July, Obama recalled serial displacements.
I think that was harder on a 10-year-old boy than hed care to admit at the time, Obama said, sitting in a chair in the Oval Office and speaking about his mother with a mix of affection and critical distance. When we were separated again during high school, at that point I was old enough to say, This is my choice, my? decision.
But being a parent now and looking back at that, I could see you know what? that would be hard on a kid. He spoke about his mother with fondness, humor and a degree of candor that I had not expected.
There was also in his tone at times a hint of gentle forbearance. Perhaps it was the tone of someone whose patience had been tested, by a person he loved, to the point where he had stepped back to a safer distance. Or perhaps it was the knowingness of a grown child seeing his parent as irredeemably human. She was a very strong person in her own way, Obama said, when I asked about Anns limitations as a mother. Resilient, able to bounce back from setbacks, persistent the fact that she ended up finishing her dissertation.
But despite all those strengths, she was not a well-organized person. And that disorganization, you know, spilled over.
Had it not been for my grandparents, I think, providing some sort of safety net financially, being able to take me and my sister on at certain spots, I think my mother would have had to make some different decisions. And I think that sometimes she took for granted that, Well, itll all work out, and itll be fine.
But the fact is, it might not always have been fine, had it not been for my grandmother. . . . Had she not been there to provide that floor, I think our young lives could have been much more chaotic than they were.
But he did not, he said, hold his mothers choices against her. Part of being an adult is seeing your parents as people who have their own strengths, weaknesses, quirks, longings.
He did not believe, he said, that parents served their children well by being unhappy. If his mother had cramped her spirit, it would not have given him a happier childhood. As it was, she gave him the single most important gift a parent can give a sense of unconditional love that was big enough that, with all the surface disturbances of our lives, it sustained me, entirely.
Article .. See the cover: Barack Obama [in pirate hat and patch] with his mother in Hawaii. Photograph from friends and family of Stanley Ann Dunham.
The story of Obozo’s mother....Or how to give birth and raise an America destroying statist SOB.
LOL!!! Tell us how you really feel...
Once a pirate, always a pirate.
And how could Obmama Sr. and her be legally married if he had and other wife in Kenya?
Obama’s official story has him in Indonesia. But..
A classmate from Hawaii dug up this picture.
His mother looks 15 in that picture
she looks like she is 15
“Dreams of My (Communist, America-Hating) Mother”?
even at 4, little Pirate Barry had already started to fulfil his dreams of looting and plundering the wealth of others.
Yep .. always contradictions, puzzles, mazes ..
“His elastic-band body bespoke discipline, even asceticism. Her form was well padded, territory ceded long ago to the pleasures of appetite and the forces of anatomical destiny.
Looks like a young Eric Holder. ;)
Nothing biased about this book.
Obama has a sister? Who is she? Where is she? Why is she never discussed in the press?
Has she started her own company like “Billy Beer?”