WASHINGTON (AP) — He may be the world's foremost mixed-race leader, but when it came to the official government head count, President Barack Obama gave only one answer to the question about his ethnic background: African-American.
The White House confirmed on Friday that Obama did not check multiple boxes on his U.S. Census form, or choose the option that allows him to elaborate on his racial heritage. He ticked the box that says "Black, African Am., or Negro."
Obama filled out the form on Monday, supplying information for himself, first lady Michelle Obama and their daughters Malia and Sasha, as well as for Mrs. Obama's mother, Marian Robinson, who lives with the family in the White House.
For Obama, whose mother Ann Dunham, a white woman from Kansas, married his father, the Kenyan native Barack Obama Sr., the question of his racial identity has been a lifelong struggle. His first memoir, "Dreams From My Father," is an account of a difficult journey of discovery.
Obama the community activist and then politician always self-identified as African-American, and he now wears the mantle of America's first black president with pride. On a visit to Ghana last year, he took his wife and daughters to see Gold Coast Castle, the one-time slave trading depot from which thousands of Africans were sent in shackles to a life of toil in the New World. Mrs. Obama is descended from a South Carolina slave.
The president's multiracial heritage has been a subject for oceans of commentary in America and around the world. But it's also been a cause for teasing, and even satire.
"The first black president!" exclaimed comedian Wanda Sykes at a dinner last year of the White House Correspondents' Association. "I'm proud to be able to say that. That's unless you screw up. And then it's going to be, 'What's up with the half-white guy?'"
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.
Evacuation orders were lifted Monday for people affected by the Gate Fire - which is now 95 percent contained.
The group behind the proposed SoccerCity development collected enough valid petition signatures to require the San Diego City Council to either consider approving the Mission Hills project or placing it before voters, the city clerk reported Monday.
Winter weather helped bring California out of a drought, but it also created the perfect environment for a wildlife to thrive. News 8's Brandon Lewis reports on some of the species taking over the mountains in San Diego.
It was the discovery of a lifetime for two local men who stumbled across a 1920's Model T left behind in a barn.
All beaches remain close in San Clemente Monday after more than two dozen sharks were spotted swimming close to shore. It's just the latest of several sightings in recent weeks. News 8's Heather Hope reports from John Wayne Airport in Orange County.
A local non-profit is working to improve ovarian cancer survival rates by guiding patients into a new frontier.
Voters may have the opportunity to decide on the future of San Diego's hotel tax. The city council Monday discussed whether Mayor Faulconer's proposed measure should appear on the ballot in a special election in November.
The Gate Fire, which has burned about 2,056 acres northwest of Dulzura, was 95 percent contained Monday. Cal Fire also reported that all evacuation orders and warnings were lifted in the fire area.
A Columbian artist born with no arms or legs is proving she is stronger than life's biggest challenges.
A brush fire blackened about 10 acres Monday in an open-space preserve near Cowles Mountain, spreading toward some homes but causing no reported structural damage or injuries.