A reader writes:
I am a Kenyan man living in Raleigh NC and I happened upon an entry on your blog today. You might find this a bit esoteric but I felt compelled to clarify it:
“And then his father. An African intellectual. Bantu, Masai, Griot type heritage - cattle raiders, lion killers”…..
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.
The Maasai tribe has Bantu origins and there is no one in Kenya that is a Griot.
Griots are from West and Central Africa. Luos primarily fish for a living and fish is a major part of their diet and the stereotype about them is that due to this high consumption of fish, they are very intelligent. Any health manual today correctly links high Omega-3 consumption with a boost in brain power. Luos do not raise cattle or kill lions, the Maasai do that.
Lastly, a peripheral aside, I am a gay man currently struggling with self acceptance. I love your blog and urge you to keep up the good work. I look forward to the day when I will be out and live as who I am. I am not there but will get there soon. Pray for me.