Americanah: Politics

When I read the chapter dealing with Barack Obama in Americanah, I could not help but get a little emotional. When I was 9, I did not feel much emotion that a black man was elected President. I knew I was happy and that it was something that would be written bold in history, but I did not feel personally affected by it. I did not feel the same as Dike when he said, “I can’t believe it. My president is black like me” (447). Similarly to Ifemelu, I found Hillary Clinton more interesting than Obama when she was still in the running. I knew immediately how I related to Clinton and how a women being President would not only be written bold in world history, but also in my own history. It was only after, when I was older and knew more about myself and about history that I realized why and how Obama being the President was such a big deal. Then, only a year ago I realized why it was even a bigger deal than I had thought. I had the privilege to only remember a President that believed in similar ideals as me and made huge strides to help those I too felt needed to be be helped. Ifemelu, after reading Dreams from my Father, described Obama as “an inquiring and intelligent man, a kind man, a man so utterly, helplessly, winningly humane” (438). In my opinion, none of these words can describe Trump, and it was almost as Adichie predicted the future and carefully chose the words that can be applied to Obama but not our current President. It made me realize the jump in quality from one President to the next and how important each President is in Americans’, no matter their age, eyes.

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