The marriage between Obama's parents was a short-lived one, however.

In the early 1960s, interracial relationships were still quite rare in many parts of America, and even technically illegal in some states.

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The Durhams were accepting of Barack Sr., but his family in Kenya had a harder time with the idea of his marryinga white American woman. The two Baracks met again only once, when Obama was ten, though they did write occasionally. eventually returned to Kenya and died in a car accident there in the early 1980s.

When Obama was two years old they divorced, and his father left Hawaii to enter Harvard University to earn a Ph. Obama's mother remarried a man from Indonesia who worked in the oil industry, and when Obama was six they moved there.

And often, this results in self-destructive behavior." Obama graduated from Punahou and went on to Occidental College in Los Angeles, where he decided to get serious about his studies.

Midway through, he transferred to the prestigious Columbia University in New York City.

The family lived near the capital of Jakarta, where his half-sister Maya was born.

At the age of ten, Obama returned to Hawaii and lived with his maternal grandparents; later his mother and sister returned as well.

Obama won that 1996 election and went on to an impressive career in the Senate chambers in Springfield, the state capital. He was only the third elected since the end of the Reconstruction, the period immediately following the end of the American Civil War (1861–65; a war between the Union [the North], who were opposed to slavery, and the Confederacy [the South], who were in favor of slavery). Senate were not directly elected by voters in most states, however. He won election to local office as a Republican, and in 1875 lawmakers sent him to the U. But Jack Ryan was, like one of Obama's earlier primary opponents, derailed by allegations about his personal life.

He championed a bill that gave tax breaks to low-income families, worked to expand a state health-insurance program for uninsured children, and wrote a bill that required law enforcement officials in every community to begin keeping track of their traffic stops and noting the race of the driver. Rush was a former Barack Obama became the fifth African American senator in U. During the Reconstruction Era, federal troops occupied the defeated Southern states and, along with transplanted government officials, one of their duties was to make sure that newly freed slaves were allowed to vote fairly and freely in elections. Instead they were elected by legislators in the state assemblies, or appointed by the governor. Chicago news outlets publicized Ryan's divorce documents from 1999, which revealed one or two incidents that seemed distinctly at odds with a Republican "family values" platform.

"I was affected by the problems that I think a lot of young African American teens have," he reflected in an interview with Kenneth Meeks for Black Enterprise.