Just Rankin’ Sh!t

6 U.S. Presidents You Most Likely Didn’t Know Were Black, Ranked

We’ll take ‘Untold American History’ for $500, Alex

LEVEL Editors
LEVEL
Published in
3 min readFeb 15, 2021

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Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

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6. Abraham Lincoln

Honest Abe’s connection to Black folks goes further than his role in ending slavery. In the 2001 book Black People and Their Place in History, historian Leroy Vaughn, MD, MBA, alleges that Lincoln’s father was African American and his mother had Ethiopian ethnicity, both of which may have explained his “very dark skin and coarse hair.” The political streets were talking, too — his rivals campaigned using propaganda that depicted Lincoln as “Abraham Africanus the First,” an African man. Wonder if his Lambo was blue.

5. Warren Harding

Like Lincoln, Warren Gamaliel Harding — yes, the original Warren G — was rumored to have Black ancestry on both sides of his family tree. He was once asked about the potentially damaging hearsay; rather than regulate, Harding is reported as saying “One of my ancestors may have jumped the fence.” DNA testing conducted in 2015 disproved the rumors, but due to Harding’s outspokenness on civil rights, we’re gonna go ahead and claim him, rampant corruption or not. The concept of race is made up, anyway.

4. Calvin Coolidge

Keep it 100: You had no idea that Calvin Coolidge was a member of the one-drop club. But the price is on the can, though. The 30th president was unabashed about the genealogy of his mother (whose maiden name happened to be Moor). He once explained that her dark complexion was due to her “mixed Indian ancestry.” Ethnicity aside, has any president had a Blacker, more swagged-out name than Calvin damn Coolidge?

3. Dwight Eisenhower

Vaughn’s Black People and Their Place in History also drops a dime on Eisenhower, claiming that regardless of how his first name sounds, his mother, Ida Elizabeth Stover-Eisenhower, was biracial. Snopes has labeled this rumor as unproven — sounds like someone’s trying to keep Dwight wight!

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