Why Does Obama Call himself Black?

Why Does Obama Call himself Black? 

Many Americans have often asked the question, why does Barack Obama call himself black when he has white mother? He is biracial; his father was a black man from Kenya, Africa. Obama acknowledges his biracial heritage, and many Americans would have no problem with Obama calling himself biracial only. The reason Obama calls himself black is because of his experiences in America.

 He has encountered racism because of his visible black ancestry. Obama has experienced the same type of racial discrimination that many black Americans go through in America. Barack Obama said that he couldn’t get a cab in New York because he was black. This means that when the cab driver saw that Obama’s physical body was mixed with black — they labeled him black and did not stop their cab to pick him up.

Now Barack Obama grew up in two cultures, Indonesian culture and white American culture. When he was a little boy he lived in Indonesian with his mother and stepfather, and when he came to live in the United States of America he lived in a white community with his white grandparents. So culturally he is not an African American. The racial discrimination that Obama suffered was not based upon his culture – it was based upon his physical appearance.

Barack Obama’s mother also called him black as a kid. His mother viewed him as looking more black than white so she told him her was black. 

This proves that when you are mixed with black in America that sometimes your experiences — and not just your culture play a role in how you self identify. His biracial ancestry did not prevent him from suffering racial discrimination. So it is his experiences that help convince him that he should call himself black. He is still biracial and mixed race but his experiences in America have been that predominantly of a black man.


  1. I would say AMERICA is whose saying Obama is black… so hell roll with it

    http://rapmonster.com

  2. Chance

    I see your into music Lil Dee.

  3. Arthur Ward

    Do we Black folks have a racial blind spot in this country? There is not one Black person in this country that is not bi or tri-racial. As an educated speculation, I would say that at least one-third of the second generation (our grandparents) of African-Americans born on American soil were the exact same racial make-up as Obama. The one-drop rule prevails in this country – he is one of us in every respect!

    It is only generationally that we can call some Black folks “early mixes” (maybe 87% of us) and some folks “late mixes” (Obama and the other 13%). Most of this mixing was done by force (via slave traders, owners and Jim Crow privilege) and some was consensual (resulting in: Obama, Tiger Woods and Halle Berry for example).

    Then you have the other phenomenon of sexual intermixing over time within the group designated as “Black.” Resulting in white, various African tribal, Native American and Asian racial elements manifesting in different degrees in different families. So with all that folding-in and re-mixing of all these elements, we have become in some senses “a new people.” You have individual African-Americans walking around with anywhere from 10% to 90% African genetic make-ups without their parents ever getting with a white person.

    You could take a random sample of 50 Black people whose families have not been with any whites for 5 generations back, and look at the various features, hair textures, eye colors, skin tones and undertones, etc. It is the fact of this racial mixing and re-mixing that makes the main distinction between Africans and African-Americans no matter how or when the mixing occured. When you check that – what do people mean when they say “he’s not Black enough?”

    Obama is also Black culturally. He proudly married a Black woman (NOT WHITE!) – didn’t he? Went to a Black church. Did his community organizing in the Black community. He chose to be fully one of us instead of coming out of a white-folk pleasing “bi-racial” bag. What about his children – are they Black enough? We need to crack open some history books. And if his racial make-up is a point of criticism with some Black folks, those same people should come with suggestions as to how he should fix it.

    We love to give white folks stuff to laugh about.

  4. Arthur Ward

    One more thing. Have you ever noticed that the “bi-racial” individuals (especially the accomplished ones) that try to distance themselves from their African ancestry, Black folks will turn around and try to rope them back into the group. While the ones that are perceived as “bi-racial,” their treatment is just the opposite – when those individuals attempt to claim, embrace, affirm and amplify their African-American-ness, we criticize, fractionalize and try to push them out of the group. And some white folks treat us all as “niggers” whether we claim bi, tri, African-American or African – it makes no difference to them (taxi anyone?).

    Has Obama’s accomplishments AND “bi-racialness” made a difference in the minds of a certain number of whites? I think not. But in the minds of some other whites – maybe – we will see on November 4th. So we as a people don’t need to be wasting our time and debasing the genetic nature of our community by making an issue of such quibbles. It is what it is.

    Strange how the ones that don’t want the love get the love. And the ones that give the love can’t get any. We are some weird folks.

  5. Chance

    This is why I say that a person should go with how they feel on the inside regarding how they view themselves. Society has set up racial and ethnic classifications but sometimes they leave out other people. The way these people grow up and the experiences they go through does not make them feel comfortable being a part of one monoracial group.
    A person can claim black sometimes, and claim to be biracial or multigenerational mix (MGM) in other situations. You can participate in the causes of black, white, Latino, etc that you are mixed with and still not claim to be black, white, Latino, etc as your primary identify all the time. You just claim a monoracial identity in certain situations.
    Whites in general go by physical appearance if you look white — then you are in general OK with them. The biracial who are accomplished like Tiger Woods, Halle Berry, and Lenny Kravitz are claimed by blacks as members of the black American endogamous group because all three of these celebrities show visible signs of black ancestry.
    Wentworth Miller, Vin Diesel, and Mariah Carey are all biracial but all three look white so blacks leave them alone and don’t force them to self identify as African Americans. Whites accept all three of these biracials but they do not accept Tiger, Lenny, and Halle as members of the white race because their skin complexion of their phenotypes look more black. The racial discrimination that Obama goes through is the result also of his phenotype looking more black in the eyes of whites and blacks.

    I do agree also that genes from all the ethnic groups your family is mixed with keep showing up from time to time in the family line. In life a person has to find his or her won way and roll with it regardless of what others are saying.

  6. Because he looks black and he knows it. No one is trying to deny that he has another race mixed in but outwardly, he is “black” man. Brown skin;kinky hair. How would you describe him to the police; certainly not as a white man or mixed cause they wouldn’t find him that way.




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