Former United States President Barack Obama wrote a long and heartfelt note on Instagram, sharing a never-before-seen image of his father, Barack Obama Sr., and mentioning how his father’s absence influenced his childhood and life.
“I didn’t really know my father, he left my mother and me when I was two years old, and he only traveled from Kenya to visit us once, when he was ten years old,” the post began, adding that it was the first and last time. who saw it.
“After that, I heard of him only through occasional letters, written on thin blue airmail paper that was pre-printed to fold and address without an envelope.”
However, the short time he spent with his father “had a profound impact” on his life. “My father gave me my first basketball and introduced me to jazz. But for the most part, the visit left me with more questions than it answered, and I knew I would have to figure out how to be a man on my own, ”the former president wrote in the caption.
In a 2008 campaign speech in Philadelphia, Obama had said, “I am the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas,” explaining his biracial and unconventional childhood. Back then, her presidential campaign was hotly debated in the United States and around the world, as she was the first black person to enter the Oval Office.
In his recent post, he addressed the topic of masculinity, approaching it from his own personal experience, and what it means to ‘be a man’.
“In our last conversation about [podcast] Forsaken: Born in the United States, Bruce [Springsteen] and I explore the theme of masculinity and the influence our parents, both faulty role models, had on our lives. We also talked about the message that American culture sends to boys about what it means to be a man, a message that too often emphasizes physical toughness over sensitivity; the need to master the ability to love and care for others, ”he wrote.
Formerly, Obama, who is himself dedicated to his daughters – he had written about his mother Ann Dunham, who had met his father at the University of Hawaii. “My mother, Ann Dunham, was strong, smart and marched at her own pace. For her, the world offered endless opportunities for moral instruction. My sister Maya and I received early lessons about fighting for civil rights, the impact of poverty on people around the world, and the importance of respecting other cultures and considering other points of view. “
“My mother believed that power did not come from putting people down, but rather from lifting them up.”