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Father’s Day can be a time for family reunions and joy – or it can also be a day of sorrow depending on your relationship with your father.

We imagine for President Barack Obama the day is bittersweet as he reflects upon his own fatherhood and the missing father figure from his life.

These wounds could reopen with the discovery of a Harlem-based archivist. A historian stumbled upon gold at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture when he came across letters Obama’s father wrote more than 50 years ago, The New York Times reports.

The words come from Barack Obama Sr., who was a 22-year-old clerk, begging for financial aid to study in America.

“It has been my long cherished ambition to further my studies in America,” he wrote in 1958.

His goals brought him to the U.S. where he would eventually father the first Black president in the nation’s history.

In 2013, Barack Jr. was reportedly invited to see the letters, but the president has yet to respond. A White House official said the president was just made aware of the letters recently and may be interested in their contents after his presidency.

The letters written from 1958 to 1964 may provide insight into his father’s upbringing and his life from the dirt roads in Kenya to Harvard.

Given how open Barack has been about his father’s absence, it’s probably best that he wait to read the letters until he is somewhat out of the public eye. The pain that can come from rehashing those stories is unpredictable.

“The papers are rich; they tell a fascinating, traditional, self-made man’s story,” said Khalil Gibran Muhammad, the director of the Schomburg Center. “There’s a reason to bear witness to the personal legacy that is here.”

We will be interested to hear what’s inside.

SOURCE: The New York Times | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty


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Barack Obama Waiting To Read Father’s Letters Until After Presidency  was originally published on