According to aides and relatives, First Lady Michelle Obama grew up with a vague sense of her ancestry. The New York Times recently traced Obama’s lineage back to her great-great-great-grandmother, who was a slave in South Carolina. I’ve read about, and seen, this story about Michelle Obama’s family tree from a number of news outlets, and most lead by stating that Obama has white ancestry. I suspect this history is a common one among African American families. As Aminah at Michelle Obama Watch points out, the “circumstances” under which former slave Melvinia became pregnant by a white man are glossed over.
I understand that this information is somewhat public information, but the story still makes me uncomfortable. It seems intrusive, especially whilst the Obamas still occupy the White House. Like Latoya, I find it unnerving. Did the Times think they were doing Obama some sort of favor? I wonder how Obama feels about it – like she’s on an episode of This Is Your Life?