Born on the 4th of August 1961, in Hawaii, Barrack Hussein Obama II became the 44th president of the United States of America in 2008. Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham who was a white America hailing from Kansas, married Barrack Obama Sr. a black Kenyan that came to the land of opportunities to pursue his academic ambitions. His father left them when Obama was only two, and after completing his studies Barack Obama Sr. left for his home country where he met an unfortunate end in a car accident 19 years later.
Obama’s mother, before dying in 1995, was a self-proclaimed unreconstructed liberal and was an avid supporter of the civil rights movements initiated in the 1950s as well as the 60s. Ann used to teach her son who later went on writing, “To be black was to be the beneficiary of a great inheritance, a special destiny, glorious burdens that only we were strong enough to bear.” Although Hawaii back then had a degree of cultural vibrancy and diversity – the black population in the state was pretty meager.
With no role models left to guide Obama Jr, he was struggling to establish his identity as a black man in America. Upon leaving maturity – Barack left Hawaii to pursue his academic ambitions, and enrolled in Occidental College in LA, where is spent his years as a freshman and then a sophomore. After graduating high school Obama then enrolled in Columbia University in NY. He began to harbor an affinity for political and international affairs – and in 1983, graduated college with a major in political science.
Obama’s Time in Chicago
After graduating college, he continued living in New York for another year – working for Business International Group as a researcher. The company was a renowned consulting firm. Obama was then offered to work as a community organizer in the Windy City, Chicago. His was assigned to mainly focus on Chicago’s underprivileged black community at South Side. This was by far Obama’s first real and true immersion in the facets of African American communities, which he had a deep desire to understand and felt a strong belonging to.
As a campaign organizer his core task was to launch the Developing Communities Project, which was mainly a church-funded project. He also successfully persuaded Altgeld Garden residents to compel the city hall of Chicago to provide the African-American communities with proper housing facilities. Although he was successful – he did face numerous complications because of the city’s bureaucracy. To expand his academic accomplishments he enrolled in Harvard Law School, emerging as an excellent student and earned various distinctions – and was also elected president of the Harvard Law Review.
Marriage with Michelle Robinson
While interning at Sidley and Austin, a prestigious law firm in Chicago after a successful first year at Harvard, Barrack met his future wife – Michelle Robinson. After seeing each other for 4 years, they decided to tie the knot in 1992. The couple decided to settle down in the city’s Hyde Park neighborhood, a middle-class community that was racially integrated. They had their first kid, a baby girl, named Malia Ann in 1988 and Natasha (who is also called Sasha) in 2001.
Obama orchestrated his first political campaign for office in 1996 – which is after Alice Palmer, his district’s senator, launched her own campaign to run for Congress. With the help and guidance from Senator Palmer, Obama was able to announce his candidacy for the Illinois legislature to replace Palmer. After Palmer’s campaign hit rock bottom, she launched a campaign for reelection. However, Obama did not back down or out of the race and instead challenged Palmer’s validity as well as voter petition and was elected as Illinois’ Senator after her name was struck off the ballot.
First Black President of the United States of America
Back in 2004, Obama was elected for the US Senate from Illinois by a landslide, and in the February of 2007, announced his run for the presidential candidacy. After prevailing as a victor – fending off a formidable foe in the race – former first lady Hilary Clinton who was the New York Senator at the time – who was also running for the Democratic nomination, Obama was able to defeat her handily. He then went on defeating Senator John McCain of the city of Arizona. McCain was running as the Republican Nominee in the Presidential general election.
And on January 20, 2009, Barack Hussein Obama II became the first African American to become president and the most powerful man in the US.
Challenges as President
After he took oath and joined the presidential office, he faced a plethora of overburdening complications. It is also important to understand the fact that Obama took over office from George. W Bush, when the economy was in shambles – and where the Bush Administration articulated the infamous bail-out plan to help declining companies and financial institutions. And when you talk about foreign affairs, the US still had a large army presence in both Iraq and Afghanistan – then there was also to tackle the war that broke out between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, which displayed numerous political complications and growing instability in the Middle East.
Obama’s Chicago history has significantly enabled him to attract numerous divergent groups, from middle-class workers, white businessmen to middle-class professionals, underprivileged African-American folks, mainstream reporters, teachers, professors and numerous other groups.