SANDERS: The other black presidents

The question that is being asked in this election cycle about Barack Obama is not only ironic but probably oxymoronic: "Are American
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

The question that is being asked in this election cycle about Barack Obama is not only ironic but probably oxymoronic: "Are Americans Ready for a Black President?" "Is Obama Black Enough?" Obama: America's First Black President?"

Ever since the nation was first exposed to Mr. Obama as a possible presidential candidate his ethnicity, color and his faith have been of major concern. Unfortunately and ironically even many blacks originally thought that he was not black enough. If we had time we probably would need to explain exactly what is meant by the phrase, "black enough," as well as the one-drop-of-blood theory. But for our purposes here all that you need to know is that we are not just talking about Barack's color, because actually he is bi-racial -- both black and white. And to add even more intrigue to this truly American story his black ancestry is actually pure African as opposed to African-American. His father was from Kenya -- which might make him more black than most African-Americans.

If Barack became president we are being told by at least one historian he would not be the first black president and we are not talking about Bill Clinton being the first black president either. It appears, according to research, at least five other American presidents had been but never acknowledged their black ancestry.

The first was Thomas Jefferson. While we know about his peccadilloes with his black female slaves; we are now made aware t he was son of a Virginia man who was described as a mulatto -- a half-white man who married his mother who was a half breed Indian. Historian Leroy Vaughn reports in his book, Black People and Their Place in World History, that Jefferson spent his life trying to destroy all documentation about who he really was. This alone might answer his great affinity and love for the black slave Sallie Heming.

It is reported in the Virginia Magazine of History that Andrew Jackson, president from 1829 to 1837, was the child of an Irish woman and a light-skinned black man. The story even purports Jackson's oldest brother was, early on, mistaken for a slave and sold into slavery.

It had always been rumored the iconic Abraham Lincoln was the illegitimate son of an African man. His features were very Negroid with his dark pigmentation and coarse hair. It is said his real mother was from an Ethiopian tribe. For most of his public career he was nicknamed "Abraham Africanus the First" by his political opponents.

In more modern times it is reported and documented that Warren G. Harding from Marion, Ohio, had black ancestors on both sides of his family. Harding, it appears, never denied his ancestry. He even attended the old central Ohio's Iberia College, a school founded to educate fugitive slaves just before the Civil War.

Calvin Coolidge, who was president from 1923 to 1929, was proud of his heritage, which included mixed black and Native American ancestry. His mother's maiden name was "Moor", which in old Europe was given to all blacks or people with black heritage. It was general knowledge Coolidge was part black.

So, my fellow Americans, if by chance Obama became the president; he is not the first black man to serve, but like the other black men that have served, he is a mixture of black and white culture, ethnicity, color; all which makes him a true American. But he would be the first to publicly, unashamedly and unequivocally self- identify as a black man; and that for me makes him more than black enough!