Penn State

Emilie P. Smith - professor of human development and family studies, director, Center for Family Research in Diverse Communities, Penn State University Park

Book Title: Dreams of My Father

Author: Barack Obama

Book Description:

Dreams of My Father tells the story of Barack Obama’s early life and development and his quest for identity as a multiracial child in the United States and the world. This story examines the role of his mother as a single parent and supported by his grandparents who worked and served the country, along with the role of his father’s extended family. He tells of how his family, both on his mother’s and father’s side, taught him important messages of pride and respect for others, and of the important role of grass-roots community-organizing in helping him to find his place in serving others. He offers a frank and honest depiction of his journey to develop his own thoughts on critical national and international policy issues facing the United States. As a professor who teaches classes on the role of race and ethnicity in human development and family studies, I think this book exemplifies the important role of family and community in the journey to greatness.

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