With only weeks remaining until the end of Barack Obama’s presidency, his eight-year term has attracted admiration from many and backlash from many others.

For the white Americans (most), the Obama’s were everything America shouldn’t be or aspire to be in the future. While some black Americans appreciated his leadership and the fact that he represented the black community, others felt he was not black enough.

In an article that sought to look into whether Obama was black enough, some people said “his mixed-race heritage, and his exotic upbringing overseas,” among other things did not fit “the traditional black leader mold.”

That Obama’s father was from Kenya in East Africa was also an issue for debate. Debra J. Dickerson noted in a 2007 column for Salon magazine that: “Obama isn’t black. Black, in our political and social reality, means those descended from West African slaves.”

The US President, Obama, wasn’t in fact considered the first black president; Toni Morrison took that honor from him when she described Bill Clinton as “the first black president.” In a 1998 New Yorker essay, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist wrote: “After all, Clinton displays almost every trope of blackness: single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald’s-and-junk-food-loving boy from Arkansas.”


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