In historical writing and analysis, PRESENTISM is the introduction of today's ideas and perspectives into depictions or interpretations of the past. I believe presentism is a form of cultural bias, and it creates a distorted understanding of the subject matter. Reading modern notions of morality into the past is committing the error of presentism. I'm well aware that historical accounts are written by people and can be slanted, so I try my hardest to present articles that are fact based and well researched, without interjecting any of my personal opinions.
Because this article is about a modern day POLITICAN, I've added this statement:
I present my articles without regard to race, color, political party, religion, national origin, citizenship status, gender, age, disability, or military status. What I DO present are FACTS, not alternative facts, about the subjects childhood, background, education, employment history, honors, noteworthy awards and more. What you'll never find here are rumors, outright lies, unfounded claims, character assassination, hateful statement or insults.
Barack Hussein Obama II was born in 1961 in Hawaii, where his black father and white mother had met. His mother, Ann Dunham, moved there with her parents from Kansas following World War II. His father, Barack Obama, Sr., grew up in rural Kenya and earned a scholarship that enabled him to study at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where Ann was also a student. They married in 1961 and had one child.
|Official Presidential Photograph|
Obama spent several years working in New York and relocated to Chicago in 1985. There, he began working with the Developing Communities Project, a church-based organization, as a community organizer, committed to destitute areas affected by high unemployment and crime. His achievements were significant, but as a result of the experience, he came to understand that effecting real change would require action at the level of the political and legal systems. Obama visited Kenya in 1988, where he met many of his deceased father’s relatives for the first time. He was accepted at Harvard Law School that year, graduating in 1991 after serving as the first black president of the prestigious Harvard Law Review. This resulted in a contract for him to write a book about race relations, which became the memoir "Dreams from My Father."
Returning to Chicago shortly thereafter, Obama began teaching constitutional law at the University of Chicago, while practicing as a civil and neighborhood rights attorney and serving on numerous social action boards of directors. In 1992, he married Michelle Robinson, whom he’d met in 1989 as a summer associate at the Chicago law firm where she worked. Living in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, they had two daughters, Malia born in 1999 and Natasha (nicknamed Sasha) born in 2001. And let's not forget their beautiful Portuguese Water Dogs, Sunny (left) and Bo.
Obama had run unsuccessfully in the Illinois Democratic primary for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000. Nevertheless, in 2003, he began campaigning for a seat in the U.S. Senate. At the 2004 Democratic National Convention, he was exposed to a national audience for the first time when he delivered the keynote address. The response was immediate, with political insiders citing his presidential potential, and ordinary Americans resonating with his message of unity and promise as expressed by the speech’s title, “The Audacity of Hope.” Propelled by this electrifying debut, he won the primary and general election for the Senate in 2004 by the largest margin in Illinois history and became only the third African American so honored since Reconstruction.
Acknowledged by his Senate peers as an exceptionally promising freshman, Obama continued to work with leaders from both parties in a spirit of bipartisan cooperation to create important legislation. He served on the Foreign Relations, Environment and Public Works, and Veterans Affairs Committees, and worked on arms proliferation, climate change, and ethics reform among other notable achievements. In 2006, he published a second book titled "The Audacity of Hope," which climbed to the top of the best-seller lists.
|Wearing a kippah (or yarmulke) is a sign of respect for the Jewish audience President Obama was addressing.|
Over the course of the campaign, Obama steadily established and widened a leading margin in polls, which accelerated with the deterioration of the U.S. economy in the fall of 2008. Toward the end of the contest, he campaigned actively in Republican strongholds, seeking a broad mandate from the electorate to enact his theme of “The change we need.”
On November 4, 2008, history was made. Obama became the 44th President-Elect of the United States with a landslide victory, the first Black elected to the highest office in America. One hundred and forty-six years after the Emancipation Proclamation, African Americans’ march toward freedom, civil rights, equity, and full participation culminated in the leadership of this nation. A dream too long deferred had been realized. A new chapter in American history had begun.
In October 2009, Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples." Obama responded to the honor with surprise and humility, saying that the award was a "call to action" to engage other nations around the world to promote peace.
The second inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States marked the commencement of the second term of Barack Obama as President and Joe Biden as Vice President. A private swearing-in ceremony took place on Sunday, January 20, 2013, in the Blue Room of the White House. A public inauguration ceremony took place on Monday, January 21, 2013, at the United States Capitol building.
The inauguration theme was "Faith in America's Future", a phrase that draws upon the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation and the completion of the Capitol dome in 1863. The theme also stressed the "perseverance and unity" of the United States and echoed the "Forward" theme used in the closing months of Obama's reelection campaign. The inaugural events held in Washington, D.C. from January 19 to 21, 2013 included concerts, a national day of community service on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the swearing-in ceremony, luncheon and parade, inaugural balls, and the interfaith inaugural prayer service. The presidential oath was administered to Obama during his swearing-in ceremony on January 20 and 21, 2013 by Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts.
In his second inauguration address, Obama proclaimed that "while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth." He called for laws to combat climate change, enactment of immigration reform and gun control. Obama stated that more progress was needed on human rights and civil rights (including racial minority rights, women's rights, and LGBT rights). He vowed to promote democracy abroad and stated that the United States must "be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice" around the world. Additionally, the president vowed to keep existing alliances strong, emphasized the economic recovery and the end of wars, and stated that "no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation." Approximately one million people attended the inauguration, and millions more watched from around the world.
Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.