Who Is Barack Obama?Who Is Barack Obama?
Photo credit: www.senatedem.state.il.us
Barack Obama will be the keynote speaker at the 2004 Democratic Convention. For those of my readers who are not familiar with Mr. Obama, I thought I would provide you with some factual reference and links.
Mr. Obama is forty-two years old. He is an Illinois state senator. Last March, he won the Illinois primary as the Democratic nominee for the United States Senate. Many voters had been drawn initially by Obama’s early opposition to the invasion of Iraq.
William Finnegan has written a definitive piece on Obama at the New Yorker. He has written that Obama "was a black child, by American lights, but his mother and his grandparents—the only family he knew—were “white folks,” and his confusion was acute."
Born in 1961 to a white American woman and a black Kenyan student, Obama was reared in Hawaii by his mother and her parents, his father having left for further study and a return home to Africa.
Mr. Obama wrote his memoir titled "Dreams from My Father" in 1995.
He went to Columbia University. After college, Mr. Obama became a community organizer in Chicago.Obama left organizing to attend Harvard Law School, and in 1990 he became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. After graduating, he practiced civil-rights law in Chicago, representing victims of housing and employment discrimination and working on voting-rights legislation for a small public-interest firm. He also began teaching at the University of Chicago Law School, although he declined to pursue a tenure-track post, hoping to save time for politics. And when he got the chance to run for the state senate in his district, he jumped at the opportunity.
As Illinois state senator, Obama led a campaign for death-penalty reforms that resulted in unprecedented legislation, requiring the police to videotape all interrogations in cases involving capital crimes.
Mr. Obama's wife, Michelle, now works at the University of Chicago Hospital, as executive director of community affairs.
On a light note- According to Jay Rosen at Press Think, Mr. Obama, who is an unusually confident politician, has suggested he might need blogging tips!