Obama’s Single Mama

by mssinglemama on February 12, 2008


I finally found it. A story about Barack Obama’s single mother, Ann Dunham, who was only 19 years old when she had Barack and 21 when her husband left her. I had seen this photograph, one that nearly brought me to tears, if only because of her face…so proud, so strong, so happy, despite the fact that she was a single mother.

In the preface to a new edition of “Dreams From My Father,” Obama’s story of finally reconnecting with his father and his relatives in Kenya, Obama writes of his mother, “what is best in me I owe to her.” Ann Dunham died of cancer in 1995, she was only 52 years old.

Isn’t that amazing? That she did it. She raised this fascinating, inspiring man all on her own. And not only is he a happy, healthy well-balanced individual…he’s running for president. Just makes this single mama beam with pride and fill up with hope. So here’s a quick recap of her story.

Born in Kansas, she later moved to Seattle and then attended the University of Hawaii in Honolulu where she met Obama’s father described by her friends as “a charismatic older student who radiated a self-confidence bordering on ‘arrogance.'” (sounds just like my ex-husband). Ann Dunham was quiet and unassuming but had an adventurous spirit. She did re-marry after he left for Harvard and then back to Kenya, but the dates aren’t clear in the article I found…so I’m not sure how many years she was single before marrying again. But the article does say she left her second husband when Barack was about 11 years old. Once again all of this is unclear in this article and I can’t find specific dates anywhere.

And here is a video from Barack’s speech in Richmond (after cleaning up on Saturday in Washington, Louisiana and Nebraska). The volume is low at the beginning but hang on because he mentions being raised by a single mother who gave him three things, “love, education and hope.” Awesome.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

joyjones March 13, 2008 at 8:33 pm

I read that she sent him to live with his grandparents when he was 11 or 12, so maybe you shouldn’t glorify
her so much.


mssinglemama March 15, 2008 at 3:34 am

Read the article. She didn’t “send” him and it wasn’t an easy decision. She was a working single mother with the passion to make this world a better place. Please just read the article I referenced. She was far from the traditional mother but I think she obviously did a pretty damn good job – regardless of your political beliefs.

She would also wake up at the crack of dawn to give him reading lessons before school even started.


osolomama June 13, 2008 at 11:24 am

I read it, and really enjoyed it. It wasn’t her being single that stuck with me, though that must have set her apart the early ’60s. She was definitely ahead of her time!


sharon October 14, 2008 at 8:45 am

I don’t understand why the grandparents don’t get some credit. Didn’t they help her while she was going to graduate school? Didn’t they raise him for many years? Were they really so racist they do not get any kind of mention that is good? Was it not difficult to be the VP of a bank and raise a grandson?


eilismaura September 16, 2012 at 12:53 am

hang on – he writes about rejecting his mother’s race
and she was married to his step father in years prior to sending Barry to live with her parents

he originally spoke of his mother being married to his biological father
and his mother gave him positive view of his absentee father

he did give credit to grandparents
less to his mother (though she came in handy when he was first promoting the health care plan)


Pilar February 4, 2015 at 9:00 am

Hi Daryl thanks! While I had it on the page, I hit the Prnt Scr key on the koeybard and then opened it in Paint Shop Pro to save it. They are around 840 480, but I sized it down a bit so it fit better. I also did some horitonzal ones and I like those better, but with the lighter colors, it didn’t read very well at 500 px wide which the widest an image can be on my blog, so I went with the vertical ones for here. It is embarrasing how many of them I made, so we won’t go into that


sac longchamp September 20, 2014 at 10:43 am

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Alejandro January 28, 2015 at 2:24 am

Que tu tenhas tido um dia mialvrahos junto com sua familia.Seu blog e9 decvino, amei tudo que vi suas flores,a decorae7e3o, e suas porcelanas, Gostaria que tu pudesse me autorizar mostrar suas fotos, aqui para meu povo ver, claro sempre postarei os devidos cre9ditos,se tu permitir me avise por favor, estarei aguardando seu consentimento ok.Bjos Carinhosos


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