Has there ever been a black president in American history?

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charmello's profile pic

charmello | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

Some historians argue that a few of our Presidents have had African ancestors, or at the very least had family members who had them. (I list one such website below...credibility unknown!) A poke at history turns up convincing evidence that the ratio of white males to white females is very skewed - take from that what you will. Thomas Jefferson, for example was said to have been of African-European decent and that he father several biracial children.

 I think it might be important to consider that nearly every President has been biracial - as are most Americans. When we stop thinking in black and white, we may just learn to connect to our truly magnificent "melting pot" society.

robertwilliam's profile pic

robertwilliam | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted on

No - Barack Obama is to be the first, though technically he is mixed race, rather than black.

amy-lepore's profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Not in the office of President of the United States.  There have been several black individuals who have held the office of president of other organizations--police chief, companies, universities, etc.

Barack Obama is the first black man to be elected President of the United States.

Sources:
nsmith19's profile pic

nsmith19 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

YES...5 NON-WHITE PRESIDENTS TO BE EXACT Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Warren Harding Thomas Jefferson and Calvin Coolidge. All five of presidents never acknowledged their black ancestry. Jefferson was described as the "son of a half-breed Indian squaw and a Virginia mulatto father,"Jefferson also was said to have destroyed all documentation attached to his mother, even going to extremes to seize letters written by his mother to other people. President Andrew Jackson was in office between 1829 and 1837. Jackson was the son of an Irish woman who married a black man. The magazine also stated that Jackson's oldest brother had been sold as a slave. Lincoln was said to have been the illegitimate son of an African man. Lincoln had very dark skin and coarse hair and his mother allegedly came from an Ethiopian tribe. His heritage fueled so much controversy that Lincoln was nicknamed "Abraham Africanus the First" by his opponents. President Warren Harding apparently never denied his ancestry. Harding had black ancestors between both sets of parents. Harding attended Iberia College, a school founded to educate fugitive slaves. Coolidge supposedly was proud of his heritage. He claimed his mother was dark because of mixed Indian ancestry. Coolidge's mother's maiden name was "Moor" and in Europe the namewas given to all blacks just as was used in America. It later was concluded that Coolidge was part black.

ray429's profile pic

ray429 | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Technically, Barak Obama is the first president who is African American (bi-racial, not full black).  Although you can always argue that other presidents have had mixed ancestry. 

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