In a surprising announcement by Ancestry.com, Barack Obama’s mother–who is white, if you weren’t already aware–is believed to be a descended of an African slave. While a definitive link cannot be established, DNA analysis, marriage records, and property records led the researchers of Ancestry.com to believe that Barack Obama could be the 11th great-grandson of John Punch.
John Punch was an indentured servant of Hugh Gwyn, a Virginia planter. Wanting to come to America, he agreed to serve under Hugh Gwyn for a stint as an indentured servant in return for safe passage. But upon his arrival, he and two others (both white) decided that indentured servitude was not going to be fun and they fled. Upon their capture, John Punch was sentenced to serve a life of servitude. The two white men who escaped with him were not given such harsh punishments. This event is believed (by most) to have been the first documented case of an African being legally sanctioned to a life-long punishment of serving a master, also known as slavery.
In the recent weeks, actor Morgan Freeman said the following: (Click for audio.)
They just conveniently forget that Barack had a mama, and she was white — very white American, Kansas, middle of America,” Freeman said. “There was no argument about who he is or what he is. America’s first black president hasn’t arisen yet. He’s not America’s first black president. He’s America’s first mixed-race president.
Now that Barack’s mother has lineage that includes African origin, could it be that finally President Obama will meet the standards of Oscar winner Morgan Freeman?