Racial heritage of six former presidents is questioned
The political ascent of Mr. Obama, a man of mixed racial heritage who identifies himself as black, has reignited the discussion of presidential ethnicity that dates as far back as Thomas Jefferson. The third president of the United States was described by a political opponent as the "son of a half-breed Indian squaw and a Virginia mulatto father."
In addition to Jefferson, the books, magazines and newspaper articles found on the Web name five other U.S. presidents who may have had black ancestry, but never publicly acknowledged it: Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Despite author Toni Morrison's infamous 1998 declaration, Bill Clinton was not on the list.
Yet, as millions of Americans take DNA tests, they are discovering a surprising truth: America's strict racial lines are, in fact, blurred. One-third of white Americans, according to some tests, will possess between two and 20 per cent African genes. The majority of black Americans have some European ancestors.
http://observer.guardian.co.uk/magazine ... 56,00.html