So, I'm listening to all the stuff about the inauguration and am very excited about Tuesday. But it's interesting to me that Obama is consistently referred to as African-American and with reference to the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. I find it interesting because in a very significant way (at least I think it's significant) Obama is not part of the African-American legacy in the United States. He does not have ancestors who were slaves, who were threatened by death when they went to vote, who were educated in segregated schools. Even though (I think) everyone knows that his mom was white (Kansas-white) and his dad was Kenyan, he's talked about he's an average African-American kid who grew up in South Central LA (not Hawaii, probably our most diverse state) and made good.
How would things be different if both of his parents were alive? What would those images have done to our understanding of Obama as "Black"?