President Barack Obama pauses while speaking at the LBJ Presidential Library, Thursday, April 10, 2014, in Austin, Texas, during the Civil Rights Summit to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

[The Washington Post]

President Obama made history in 2008 as the first African American president in U.S. history.

But according to data in a fascinating new Pew Research Center study, a majority of Americans describe the president as “mixed race,” while just more than a quarter (27 percent) call him “black.”

Image courtesy of Pew

While whites and Hispanics are far more likely to describe Obama as “mixed race,” a strong majority of African Americans see him as black. And black voters voted in historically large numbers for Obama. He won 93 percent of the African American vote in 2012 and 95 percent among that group in 2008. (John Kerry won 88 percent of the black vote in 2004; Al Gore won 90 percent in 2000.)

Obama, for his part, struggled for much of his life in how to define himself racially with a Kansas-born white mother and a Kenyan father. David Maraniss documents that process in fascinating detail in his biography of the country’s 44th presidentOf Obama’s racial identity, Maraniss wrote:


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