Obama’s Grandparents, On His Mother’s Side

Stanley and Madelyn Dunham.

Other bloggers have picked it up but I want to join in the chorus and say that Ta-Nehisi Coates’s post about Obama’s maternal grandparents is very thoughtful and beautifully written. Coates himself is one of the best bloggers around, partially because of his intellectual curioisity. He doesn’t stop at his own ideas but is constantly trying to push himself to see the world anew.

An excerpt:

Likewise, I was looking at this picture of Obama’s grandparents and thinking how much he looks like his grandfather. And suddenly, for whatever reason, I was struck by the fact that they had made the decision to love their daughter, no matter what, and love their grandson, no matter what. I’d bet money that they never even thought of themselves as courageous, that they didn’t give much thought to the broader struggles in the the world at the time. They were just doing what right, honorable people do. But the fact is that, in the 60s, you could be disowned for falling in love with a black woman or black man. There is a reason why we have a long history of publicly biracial black people, but not so much of publicly biracial white people.


2 thoughts on “Obama’s Grandparents, On His Mother’s Side

  1. Thanks for posting this. It helps to see these people, soon to be gone, when they were young and vibrant and so hopeful and happy. Imagine if they had known their grandson would be president!

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