World / Africa & Diaspora
Saturday, 18 Jun 2016 15:27 EATnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.com
American President Barack Obama’s father’s yearning for education in the United States could have provided the spark for the extraordinary scholarships that American universities offered to African, and especially Kenyan, students in the 1960s.
Many African students, who later became important statesmen, bureaucrats and intellectuals in their countries underwent American education under the scholarship programme, better known as the Airlifts.
Newly-discovered correspondence between President Obama’s father, Barack Obama Sr, and potential American financiers of his education indicate that it was Obama Sr’s hunger for an American education that sparked the interest of American foundations and universities in supporting the education of Africans.
The letters, dated as early as 1958, before the Airlifts were even mooted, have been made public for the first time. They were discovered by an archivist at the Schomburg Centre for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, New York, which is a leading repository for black history in the United States, the New York Times has reported.
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