Speaker Will Focus on Obama's African Heritage

February 18, 2009

February 18, 2009 — Alphine W. Jefferson, professor of history and black studies at Randolph-Macon College, will talk about President Obama's African heritage in a talk, "From Africa to America: Looking at the Obama Family in Historical Context," to be given Monday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Harrison Institute/Small Special Collections Library Auditorium. A question-and-answer session will follow.

"As the first black president, Obama's African heritage is an essential factor in both his appeal and his success. However, unlike President and Mrs. Obama, many black men and women are 'contested partners' in a struggle for survival in what they see as a hostile land," Jefferson said.

He will link narratives from Africa and Europe with politics, history and religion, adding examples from film, hip-hop and other music, and popular culture in contemporary society.

A reception with light refreshments will follow the event, which is sponsored by the U.Va. Library.