Barack Hussein Obama II (i/bəˈrɑːkhuːˈseɪnoʊˈbɑːmə/; born August 4, 1961) is the 44th and currentPresident of the United States, the firstAfrican American to hold the office. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney in Chicago and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. He served three terms representing the 13th District in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004, running unsuccessfully for the United States House of Representatives in 2000.
African Americans (also referred to as Black Americans or less commonly Afro-Americans, and formerly as American Negroes) are citizens or residents of the United States who have total or partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa. The term is not usually used for black residents of other countries in the Americas.
African Americans make up the single largest racial minority in the United States. Most African Americans are of West and Central African descent and are descendants of enslaved blacks within the boundaries of the present United States. However, some immigrants from African, Caribbean, Central American and South American nations, and their descendants, may be identified or self-identify with the term.
African-American history starts in the 16th century with black Africans forcibly taken to Spanish and English colonies in America as slaves. After the United States came into being, black people continued to be enslaved and treated as inferiors. These circumstances were changed by Reconstruction, development of the black community, participation in the great military conflicts of the United States, racial segregation, and the Civil Rights Movement. In 2008, Barack Obama was the first African American to be elected president of the United States. The geographical-origin-based term "African American" is commonly used interchangeably with "black American", although skin-color-based terms are sometimes considered disparaging.