Barack Obama in his book “Dreams From My Father” talks with passion about his Aunt Zeituni, but in reality he doesn’t care about her, or his “Uncle Omar”.
Both live in the Boston projects like his poor brother, at left, in Africa.
Another Obama mystery comes to the surface. I have a feeling when they all do there’s going to be a flood.
Barack Obama has lived one version of the American dream that has taken him to the steps of the White House. But a few miles from where the Democratic presidential candidate studied at Harvard, his Kenyan aunt and uncle, immigrants living in modest circumstances in Boston, have a contrasting American story.
Zeituni Onyango, the aunt so affectionately described in Obama’s best-selling memoir “Dreams fFrom My Father,” lives in a disabled-access flat on a rundown public housing estate in South Boston.
A second relative believed to be the long-lost “Uncle Omar” described in the book was beaten by armed robbers with a “sawed-off rifle” while working in a corner shop in the Dorchester area of the city. He was later evicted from his one-bedroom apartment for failing to pay $2,324.20 in bills, according to the Boston Housing Court.
The press has repeatedly rehearsed Obama’s extraordinary odyssey, but the other side of the family’s American experience has only been revealed in parts. Just across town from where Obama made history as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, some of his closest blood relatives have confronted the harshness of immigrant life in America.
In his book Obama writes that “Uncle Omar” had gone missing after moving to Boston in the 1960s a quarter-century before Obama first visited his family in Kenya. Aunt Zeituni is now also living in Boston, and recently made a $260 campaign contribution to her nephew’s presidential bid from a work address in the city.
Speaking outside her home in Flaherty Way, South Boston, on Tuesday, Onyango, 56, confirmed she was the “Auntie Zeituni” in Obama’s memoir. She declined to answer most other questions about her relationship with the presidential contender until after the November 4 election.
“I can’t talk about it, I just pray for him, that’s all,” she said, adding: “After the 4th, I can talk to anyone.”