US President Barack Obama was subjected to racial abuse as a child in Indonesia, according to a new book about his mother’s troubled life.
The forthcoming book, A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mother by Janny Scott, also revealed that young Obama might have witnessed his mother being beaten by his stepfather, reports the Telegraph.
Ann Dunham died at the age of 52 in 1995 before her son embarked on the career in politics that led him to the White House.
At 18, the anthropologist married Barack Hussein Obama Sr, an African. She was already pregnant with baby Obama. She later divorced and married Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian.
The book details her unconventional approach to the world, which led to turbulence in the lives of Obama and his half-sister Maya but also extraordinary achievement on his part.
It also describes racism experienced by Obama, then known as Barry Soetoro.Elizabeth Bryant, an American who also lived in Indonesia at the time, recalled a lunch with Obama's mother, her young son and others.
Afterwards, they took a walk, with the future president running ahead.
"A flock of Indonesian children began lobbing rocks in his direction. They ducked behind a wall and shouted racial epithets," Scott wrote in an extract published by The New York Times.
Bryant said that he "seemed unfazed, dancing around as though playing dodge ball" with unseen players.
Scott also writes of an incident recounted by an Indonesian man called Saman. He overheard an argument in which Soetoro said to his wife: "I''ve warned you many times. Why are you still doing this?"
Afterwards, she appeared in the house with a towel pressed to her face and blood running from her nose.
"Whether Lolo''s worry was infidelity or simply what others might think is unclear from Saman''s story," wrote the author.