By Duchess Magazine

“When times get tough, we don’t give up. We get up.” – Barack Obama

From community organiser, civil-rights lawyer, and teacher to scaling untold heights in the political arena, rewriting the history books as the first black (African American) President of the United States of America, with uncommon bravery, undaunted ambition, admirable confidence – a true visionary unafraid to blaze the trail through uncharted territories, we stan!

Before breaking glass ceilings to pull off the seemingly impossible taking the seat as the first-ever African American President – the 44th – Barack Hussein Obama II was born on August 4, 1961, in Hawaii to parents, who met as students at the University of Hawaii – Ann Dunham, a white American from Kansas, and Barack Obama Sr., a black Kenyan studying in the United States. At age 2 his father left and after the divorce, Barack’s mum later remarried. he grew up with his mum and stepdad in Indonesia from 6 till age 10, later returning to Hawaii to live with her maternal parents. Barack attended Hawaii’s prestigious Punahou School from fifth grade through graduation from high school, while there he was an average student and did some basketball.

Obama departed Hawaii for college, enrolling first at Occidental College in Los Angeles for his freshman and sophomore years, and then at Columbia University in New York City. He graduated from Columbia with a political science major in 1983 and later delved into work as a community organizer in Chicago’s marginalized black South Side -this would serve as an eye-opener, his first step to immersion into the African American community.

In 1988, Obama enrolled at Harvard Law School, excelling and graduating magna cum laude, he would later go ahead to win election as president of the prestigious Harvard Law Review, thus, he became the first African American president, the feat, well deservedly crashing national headlines.

In 1989, during a summer internship at Chicago’s Sidley and Austin law firm after his first year at Harvard, Obama, then 28, met Michelle Robinson, 25, who was assigned to be his mentor. This was the beginning of an unending relationship – an unbreakable bond, becoming one of the world’s most inspiring couples.

After directing Illinois Project Vote, a voter registration drive aimed at increasing black turnout in the 1992 election, Obama heeded call as an attorney with the civil rights law firm of Miner, Barnhill, and Galland and as a lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School. The year 1996 would prove instrumental, he launched his first campaign for political office after his district’s state senator, Alice Palmer, decided to run for Congress. With Palmer’s support, Obama announced his candidacy to replace her in the Illinois legislature. After the election to the Illinois State Senate in 1996, years later in 2008, Barack Hussein Obama II would eventually pull off the unbelievable, becoming the first ever black president of the United States Of America. He was inaugurated into office January 20, 2009, winning a second term in 2012 – January 20, 2017.

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