Obama's Family

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"Obama has spent almost $2 million to hide his bona fides from the American People"

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, is Barack Obama's grandfather.  It was Hussein for whom Obama was given his middle name.  Hussein, was "fiercely devoted to Islam."  He was one of the first Muslim converts in his village.  He had at least 3 wives: Helima, who had no children; Akuma who gave birth to Sarah Obama, Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. and Auma Obama; and Sarah, known as "Mama Sarah."  Hussein served two years in a British prison, jailed as a Mau Mau spy.




Barack Hussein Obama Sr., "Senior," quickly adapted to the rhythms of student life.  One of his frequent hangouts was the snack bar in an old Army-barracks-style building near his business classes.  It was there that he met the Abercrombie brothers, first Neil and then Hal, who had escaped the darkness of Buffalo to attend graduate school in Honolulu, and their friends Peter Gilpin, Chet Gorman and Pake Zane.

They were intellectuals, experimenters, outsiders, somewhere between beatniks and hippies, and they loved to talk and drink coffee and beer. They were immediately taken by the one and only African student in their midst.  "He was very black, probably the blackest person I've ever met," recalled Zane, a Chinese-Hawaiian, who now runs an antiques shop a few miles from the university.

  Senior's Women


It was Kezia who remained Senior's one true love and to whom he always returned.  Strangely, Kezia and Anna became great friends, writing to each other often.




Seattle in the 1950s had no Space Needle, no Microsoft, no Starbucks.  Mercer Island, now a pricey home to corporate luminaries such as Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, was then "a rural, idyllic place," said Elaine Johnson, who remembered summers with "sleepovers along the water in sleeping bags.  It was so safe."  The island was quiet, politically conservative and all white.  As a suburb, Mercer Island was still in its infancy.  The 1950 census counted about 5,000 people, almost all white.  Sanctioned deer hunts had stopped just a few years before the Dunhams arrived.

But consistent with the 1950s, there were undercurrents of turmoil.  In 1955, the chairman of the Mercer Island school board, John Stenhouse, testified before the House Un-American Activities Subcommittee that he had been a member of the Communist Party.

  Stanley Ann


Stanley Ann Dunham impressed her high-school classmates with a wickedly sharp wit.  She was an "intellectual rebel" with a fledgling beatnik sensibility that would eventually take her around the globe.

Dunham gravitated toward an intellectual clique.  According to former classmate Chip Wall, she caught foreign films at Seattle's only art-house theater, the Ridgemont, and trekked to University District coffee shops like the Encore to talk about jazz, the value of learning from other cultures and the very dull Eisenhower-ness of our parents.  She was not a standard-issue girl.  You don't start out life as a girl with a name like Stanley without some sense you are not ordinary.



Obama, himself, hints that his father and motherís wedding may not have been properly documented.  "How and when the marriage occurred remains a bit murky, a bill of particulars that I have never quite had the courage to explore.  There's no record of a real wedding, a cake, a ring, a giving away of the bride. No families were in attendance; it's not even clear that people back in Kansas were informed," Obama writes in his memoir.



Sometimes I would overhear him and my mother arguing in their bedroom, usually about her refusal to attend his company dinner parties, where American businessmen from Texas and Louisiana would slap Lolo's back and boast about the palms they had greased to obtain the new offshore drilling rights, while their wives complained to my mother about the quality of Indonesian help.  He would ask her how it would look for him to go alone, and remind her that these were her own people, and my mother's voice would rise to almost a shout."

"They (Americans) are not my people!"



Maya Kassandra Soetoro-Ng was born August 15, 1970 in Jakarta, Indonesia and is the maternal half-sister of Barack Obama.
 While living in Indonesia, she was home schooled by her mother and then attended Jakarta International School from 1981 to 1984. Like her older half-brother, Soetoro-Ng attended the private Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawaii, graduating in 1988.  She is an alumna of Barnard College in Manhattan, New York. She received an M.A. degree in secondary language studies and an M.A. degree in English from New York University and a Ph.D degree in international comparative education from the University of Hawaii.



"My experiences at Princeton have made me far more aware of my 'blackness' than ever before," the future Mrs. Obama wrote in her thesis introduction.  "I have found that at Princeton, no matter how liberal and open-minded some of my white professors and classmates try to be toward me, I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I really donít belong.  Regardless of the circumstances under which I interact with whites at Princeton, it often seems as if, to them, I will always be black first and a student second."

"[My experience] will likely lead to my further integration and/or assimilation into a White cultural and social structure that will only allow me to remain on the periphery of society; never becoming a full participant."

"It is possible that Black individuals either chose to or felt pressured to come together . . . because of the belief that Blacks must join in solidarity to combat a White oppressor."



Obama and Michelle Robinson of Chicago, Illinois were  married (October 18, 1992).  The ceremony was performed by Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Illinois.  Michelle Robinson was born into a working-class family from the South Side of Chicago in 1964.  She graduated from Whitney Young High School in 1981 and majored in sociology at Princeton University, graduating cum laude in 1985.  She obtained her Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School in 1988.

  White House Living


Before Barack Obama moved into the White House, outgoing President George W. Bush gave his successor a heads-up: Presidents pay their own personal grocery bills, he warned Obama, and the first family's pantry stays fully stocked at all times. You'll be surprised by that first grocery bill, Bush told Obama.  The White House pantries and refrigerators are now packed with Obama's favorite snacks -- herbal iced tea, trail mix, Dentyne peppermint gum, salsa and guacamole -- as he and the first family settle into a routine of living large.

  Marian Robinson


Obama's transition team confirmed that his 71-year-old mother-in-law would be moving into the grand residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.  Obama has said he would be delighted to have his wife Michelle's mother, Marian Robinson, join the first family in Washington.

  Obamas Of Kenya


The Obamas are members of the Luo, Kenya's third-largest ethnic group, which is part of a larger family of ethnic groups, collectively also known as Luo.  This group belongs to the Eastern Sudanic branch of the Nilo-Saharan phylum.  The Obama family is largely concentrated in the western province of Nyanza.


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