Barack Obama, 35, reads from Dreams from My Father at Cambridge Public Library
The passage that I'm going to read right now takes place right after a party, and what's happened is that typically, when I went to parties in high school, oftentimes there were three or four black people in a room of 300. So finally a black friend of mine and myself decided to invite some white friends to a black party, at an army base, out in Schofield Barracks, one of the major army bases in Hawai'i.
And we immediately sense that they're a little uncomfortable, being in this minority situation. You know, they're sort of trying to tap their foot to the beat... you know, they're being extraordinarily friendly... and after a while, they decide, after about half an hour they say "well, Barack, let's get going", you know, "we're feeling kind of tired", we're feeling this or that. And suddenly, this sense that what I've had to put up with every day of my life, is something that they find so objectionable that they can't even put up with it for a day, and these are good friends of mine, and folks who have stood by me for many years... something is triggered in my head and I suddenly start seeing, as I say in this passage, a new map of the world.