Reading Response Obama- Maryfer

The night of toot’s and Stanley’s argument, Obama drove to one of his grandfather’s friends house and there, told him about the argument his grandparents had had. They sat at Frank’s porch and drank whisky while Frank told Obama that his grandfather was his neighbor when they lived back in Kansas and he saw him grow up for part of his life but Stanley was too young to remember. Frank tells Obama that Stanley doesn’t feel quite comfortable talking about his white side to Obama, and that he couldn’t blame him for being how he is. He goes on and explains why Stanley will never truly know Frank because he never had to go through his struggles. Stanley didn’t know Frank like Frank knew Stanley. Frank expressed how Stanley could comfortably visit him and have a drink with him and relax but not him. He had to watch over himself at all times. Even in Stanley’s house. He explains that maybe the Indians on the reservations or some Hawaiians might know him more because people like them understand his struggles. He concludes the pep talk by telling him that his grandma isn’t wrong for being frightened because she understands that black people have a reason to hate and be angry, and that he should start getting used to things like this because that’s just how things are. Before Obama got in the car, he experienced a moment where for the first time ever he felt alone. 


“The earth shook under my feet, ready to crack open at any moment. I stopped, trying to steady myself, and knew for the first time that I was utterly alone.” 

This quote is significant because for the first time ever Obama feels utterly alone, regardless of the people who are present in his life. He feels this way because after the talk he had with Frank, he seemed to have understood that as a black man, he truly couldn’t relax and did always have to keep his guard up. For example, when he had to think twice to shake a white student’s hand from the team, because he wasn’t sure if the handshake would be genuine or he was being made fun of so he talked it out with ray. That’s the kind of looking out that Frank was speaking about. Since Obama is staying with his grandparents who happen to be white, he seems to be trying to learn how to coexist or not in a world full of white people. He feels alone because he doesn’t always agree with Ray’s way of things when it comes to white folks, and his grandparents will never understand what it feels like to be black. He is alone. 


In this Scene, Obama learns that although his grandfather is white, his grandpa disagrees with the way white people behave and treat every non white person. He learns that Gramps feels uncomfortable talking about the injustice done to black people because he hadn’t spoken to him about the things that Frank told him about. Things like having to step off the sidewalk for whites, in Kansas. Obama learns that he’s living in a white man’s world full of black people who have every right to be angry. He learns that his grandmother fears black people, but most importantly why she does

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