Obama will not be the first African American to become the President of the United States of America. It is said that there have been six before him. In most of the six cases before him the point of racial convergence in the pedigree was so remote that physical signs were lost and it was difficult to perceive without systematic investigation or that one of the parents was so light skinned that it was easy for him to blend effectively with Caucasians. All of them chose to hide this African connection as they observed that it would work against them. In the case of Obama however, the African connection is as glaring as daylight and the people just chose to have him as the 44th man in the White House despite this. Thus he did not have any need to hide his African background. It probably would have made him unpopular and perhaps work against him.
Many would find it difficult to believe but the first man with an African connection to find his way into the White House was actually Thomas Jefferson who even owned slaves. It is said that his maternal grandparents were where of mixed African and Cherokee Indian blood. His political rivals who knew about it used it in an attempt to stain his political profile in 1796 prior to the presidential elections that eventually sent him into the White House.
The others included, surprisingly, Abraham Lincoln who was the 16th American President, Andrew Jackson who ruled between 1829 and 1837, Warren Harding (1921-1923) who was directly succeeded by another, Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929). The penultimate, Dwight Eisenhower came in 1953 and reigned until 1961.
In 1863 Lincoln was the American Leader who singed the Emancipation Declaration that freed African American slaves. It was seen by some who had suspected his African ancestry as an act of concern for his own people. His skin was said to be quite dark and his hair had a texture resembling that of Negroes. In a village in Ohio where Harding grew there were many who swore that his family was African-American. Harding also attended Iberia College in Ohio, which is an institution that was founded to provide education for Africa Americans. Furthermore Harding, it is said, never denied being African American.
Obama was supported and voted to become the 44th American President despite his immediate African lineage. It worked largely because he turned out to be extremely popular in the US. Seeing that has this popularity transcended the border of the US to all nooks and crannies of the globe, he might well turn out to be one of Americas most accepted leaders globally. The meek are truly headed towards inheriting the earth.