Some of the letters former US President Barack Obama wrote to his college girlfriend, Alexandra McNear have been made public.
The Emory University’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library released the nine letters which were written in the 1980s, to researchers.
In the letters, the young Obama tells McNear about his feelings on making love, racial issues, money struggles and his plans for a political future.
According to MailOnline, the pair broke up in the mid 80s and McNear went on to work in green energy and marry a Serbian boxer. Obama moved on to his second love Genevieve Cook before marrying Michelle.
Emory University professor Andra Gillispie, director of Emory’s James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference, is using the letters in an upcoming book about Obama. She said they span the end of the pair’s relationship.
Excerpts from Obama’s letters to Alexandra McNear
In one of the letters – from September 1982 – he writes: ‘I trust you know that I miss you, that my concern for you is as wide as the air, my confidence in you as deep as the sea, my love rich and plentiful,’ before signing the missive ‘Love, Barack.’
The following month, he writes to her about the challenge of ‘forging a unity, mixing it up, constructing the truth to be found between the seams of individual lives. ‘All of which requires breaking some sweat. Like a good basketball game. Or a fine dance. Or making love.’
Writing in 1983, he told McNear: ‘I think of you often, though I stay confused about my feelings. It seems we will ever want what we cannot have; that’s what binds us; that’s what keeps us apart.’
In 1984, he said: ‘My ideas aren’t as crystallized as they were while in school, but they have an immediacy and weight that may be more useful if and when I’m less observer and more participant.’
Again in 1983, he spoke of ‘everyone slapping my back’ while working at Business International Corporation, adding: ‘Salaries in the community organizations are too low to survive on right now, so I hope to work in some more conventional capacity for a year, allowing me to store up enough nuts to pursue those interests next.’
In April of that year, he remembers time they have spent together: ‘A young black man with his arm behind his head, staring at the ceiling with moist eyes, and a young white woman resting her head on his arm, alone and facing the swirling expanse, outside the room, inside themselves, separate in the eye of the storm.’
Money is clearly a problem for the young Obama, who explains at the end of 1983: ‘One week I can’t pay postage to mail a resume and writing sample, the next I have to bounce a check to rent a typewriter.’
In 1982, he discusses his experience of college: ‘School. What intelligent observations can I glean from the first two weeks? I pass through the labyrinths, corridors, see familiar faces, select and discard classes and activities, fluctuate between unquenchable curiosity and heavy, inert boredom.’