After Barack’s grandparents had returned from world war II, they headed to California. And then, they move again, first back to Kansas, then through a series of small Texas towns, then finally to Seattle. Even though his mother was offered an early admission into the University of Chicago, his grandfather forbade her to go, deciding that she was still too young to be living on her own. After that, they had to move to Hawaii because of his grandfather’s new business. Barack’s grandfather had the character that was searching for that new start, always running away from the familiar. Due to his character, his family had to move a lot for the rest of their lives. There was an episode in which Barack’s mother first introduced a friend named Barack to her parents. Her parents were generous with their daughter’s boyfriend and liked him.
His grandfather would insist that his family left Texas in part because of their discomfort with such racism that his daughter experienced in her childhood. After Texas that black people became a part of the narrative that worked its way through his grandfather’s dreams. The condition of the black race, their pain, their wounds, would in his mind become merged with his own. Racism was part of that past, his instincts told him, part of convention and respectability and status, the smirks and whispers and gossip that had kept him on the outside looking in. -P.21, August 4, 2021.