(p. 195) I had to ask myself whether the bonds of community could be restored without collectively exorcising that ghostly figure that haunted black dreams. Could Ruby love herself without hating blue eyes? (p.194) Perhaps with more self-esteem fewer blacks would be poor, I thought to myself, but I had no doubt. That poverty did nothing for our self-esteem. Better to concentrate on the things we might all agree on. Given that black man some tangible skills and a job. Teach that black child reading and arithmetic in a safe, well-funded school. With the basics taken care of, each of us could search for our own sense of self-worth.
(P312) In Hawaii, when we were still kids, my friends and I had laughed at tourists like these, with their sunburns and their pale, skinny legs, basking in the glow of our obvious superiority. Here in Africa, though, the tourists didn’t seem so funny.
I felt them as an encroachment, somehow; I found their innocence vaguely insulting. It occurred to me that in their utter lack of self-consciousness, they were expressing a freedom that neither Auma (Obama’s sister) nor I could ever experience, a bedrock confidence in their own parochialism, a confidence reserved for those born into imperial cultures…..
从未去过非洲也不是来自发达资本主义国家的我，当然无从判断和争辩他的观察是否准确，只是这句”a bedrock confidence in their own parochialism, a confidence reserved for those born into imperial cultures”我会好好收着的，作为以后观察的一点参考。
奥巴马和Ruth、Mark的那次见面，按书中描写，并不愉快。Ruth只是重复强调：奥巴马父亲是多么疯疯癫癫；而Mark，一位斯坦福的物理博士，是多么聪明而有成就。几天后，奥巴马单独约Mark出来吃饭。 他终于直截了当地告诉奥巴马，他不想去思考“who I am”之类的问题，他也不介意变得麻木，因为生活本身，已经够烦人了。
(p344) Mark: “Well, you’re right. At a certain point, I made a decision not to think about who my real father was. He was dead to me even when he was still alive. I knew that he was a drunk and showed no concern for his wife or children. That was enough.”