- Times: In an interview, Bob Dylan talked about what “intrigued” him about Obama after reading “Dreams From My Father”:
- Bonus Bob link: A Kenyan reader writes to Andrew Sullivan to correct Dylan:
He’s got an interesting background. He’s like a fictional character, but he’s real. First off, his mother was a Kansas girl. Never lived in Kansas though, but with deep roots. You know, like Kansas bloody Kansas. John Brown the insurrectionist. Jesse James and Quantrill. Bushwhackers, Guerillas. Wizard of Oz Kansas. I think Barack has Jefferson Davis back there in his ancestry someplace. And then his father. An African intellectual. Bantu, Masai, Griot type heritage - cattle raiders, lion killers. I mean it’s just so incongruous that these two people would meet and fall in love. You kind of get past that though. And then you’re into his story. Like an odyssey except in reverse.
No one wants to be the one to correct Bob Dylan but Barack Obama’s father was not a Bantu, he was a Nilote, one of the three major ancestral groups of people from which most of Kenyas population is derived from. Barack Obama Sr was of the Luo tribe and any suggestion that Obama is a Bantu would be met with howls of laughter in Kenya.