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Called "Barry" by his family and friends, he was sent to a prestigious private academy in Honolulu, the Punahou School, where he was one of just a handful of black students.Obama recalled feeling conflicted about his mixed heritage in his teen years.His stirring speech, in which he urged a united, not a divided, American union, prompted political commentators to predict he might become the first African American elected to the White House. He was born in 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii, where his parents had met at the University of Hawaii's Manoa campus.His father, Barack Sr., was from Kenya and entered the University of Hawaii as its first-ever student from an African country.He was a member of Kenya's Luo ethnic group, many of whom played a key role in that country's struggle for independence in the 1950s.Obama's mother, Ann Durham, was originally from Kansas, where some of her ancestors had been anti-slavery activists in the 1800s.
When Obama was two years old they divorced, and his father left Hawaii to enter Harvard University to earn a Ph. Obama's mother remarried a man from Indonesia who worked in the oil industry, and when Obama was six they moved there.Illinois voters sent a Democratic newcomer, Barack Obama, to one of the state's two seats in the U. Firstly, he became the Senate's only African American lawmaker when he was sworn into office in January 2005, and just the third black U. Even before his Election Day victory, Obama emerged as the new star of the Democratic Party after delivering the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in Boston, Massachusetts that summer. Obama's landslide victory in Illinois was significant on several fronts. Moreover, Obama's political supporters came from a diverse range of racial and economic backgrounds, which is still relatively rare in American electoral politics—traditionally, black candidates have not done very well in voting precincts where predominantly non-minority voters go to the polls.Outside the house, he was considered African American, but the only family he knew was his white one at home.
The marriage between Obama's parents was a short-lived one, however.In the early 1960s, interracial relationships were still quite rare in many parts of America, and even technically illegal in some states.