[ti:Barack Obama: African-American] [by:www.51voa.com] [00:00.00]新年快乐!更多听力请访问51VOA.COM [00:05.80]VOA Learning English presents America's Presidents. [00:11.52]Today we are talking about Barack Obama. [00:16.84]He first took office in 2009 and was re-elected in 2012. [00:24.60]Because his presidency is so recent, [00:28.60]this program will not try to offer a historical perspective. [00:34.60]But one part of his legacy is already clear. [00:39.00]Obama is the United States' first African-American president. [00:45.68]His father was a black man from Kenya; [00:49.04]his mother was a white American from the Midwestern state of Kansas. [00:55.24]For many Americans, Obama's presidency was an important symbol [01:01.08]in a country that permitted black people to be enslaved. [01:05.56]And, even after the U.S. Constitution officially banned slavery in 1865, [01:12.72]African-Americans have been extremely under-represented in the U.S. government. [01:19.00]By 2009, only five African-Americans [01:23.61]had ever served in the U.S. Senate – and Obama was one of them. [01:29.56]Even many people who did not vote for Obama [01:33.16]said his election to the country's highest office [01:37.20]made them proud or hopeful. [01:40.07]A public opinion survey immediately after Election Day [01:45.08]found that two-thirds of Americans [01:48.24]believed that the country's racial conflicts could be resolved. [01:53.80]Early life [02:06.56]Obama's parents met as students at the University of Hawaii. [02:11.84]His father had won a scholarship to study economics. [02:16.16]His mother went on to earn a degree in math there, [02:19.88]as well as a graduate degree. [02:22.60]The two married and had a son, [02:25.16]whom they named after his father: [02:27.52]Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. [02:31.04]But the couple soon separated. [02:34.20]The older Barack Obama returned to Kenya, [02:37.88]where he later died in a car accident. [02:41.76]Barack's mother went on to marry another man. [02:45.68]He was from Indonesia. [02:47.88]The family moved to Jakarta, [02:50.48]and the couple had a daughter named Maya. [02:54.32]When Barack was 10, his mother sent him back to Hawaii [02:58.42]to live with her parents. [03:00.44]She wanted him to get a good education. [03:04.04]Barack finished high school in Hawaii, [03:06.76]then went on to Occidental College in Los Angeles. [03:10.96]After two years, he transferred to Columbia University in New York. [03:17.08]There, he completed a degree in political science. [03:22.00]But Obama said the best education he received [03:26.52]was in one of his first jobs. [03:29.60]He worked as a community organizer in Chicago. [03:33.68]He helped people who lived in public housing [03:36.76]put pressure on the city government to improve their conditions. [03:42.28]Obama later said the work showed him [03:45.24]how important it was to understand the legal process. [03:50.44]So he entered Harvard Law School. [03:54.00]Over the next years, Obama worked as a lawyer, [03:57.48]wrote a book about his experience as a person of mixed race, [04:01.56]and married Michelle Robinson, [04:03.84]a woman he worked with at a law firm. [04:07.12]She and Barack Obama settled in Chicago [04:10.32]and had two daughters, Malia and Sasha. [04:14.88]When he was in his mid-30s, Obama began his political career. [04:20.08]He was elected three times to the Illinois state senate. [04:25.32]After 10 years there, he won a seat in the U.S. Senate in a landslide victory. [04:32.28]That same year, Obama attended the Democratic National Convention [04:37.72]– the meeting where the party officially nominates a presidential candidate. [04:42.64]Obama was not one of the candidates. [04:45.12]But the Democrats asked him to make an important speech. [04:49.76]In it, Obama famously talked about how his life story was an American story. [04:57.24]He said he was confident the U.S. could overcome its divisions and achieve unity. [05:04.48]"There's not a liberal America and a conservative America," he said. [05:09.92]"...There's not a black America and white America [05:13.32]and Latino America and Asian America. [05:16.84]There's a United States of America." [05:20.56]Only four years later, Obama would be elected its 44th president. [05:26.12]I'm Kelly Jean Kelly. [05:36.12]更多听力请访问51VOA.COM