Watch This: Footage of a Young Obama

Barack Obama (Buzzfeed)
Barack Obama (Buzzfeed)

Update: During Wednesday evening's broadcast of Fox News' The Sean Hannity Show, a more complete (but still edited) video shows a young Barack Obama hugging professor Derrick Bell after he introduced him at the rally. A second video aired during the broadcast shows a 2011 lecture by Harvard Law School professor Charles Ogletree, during which he airs the 1990 rally video and remarks, "What makes this so interesting about it is — of course, we hid this throughout the whole 2008 campaign — I don't care if they find it now." Hannity characterizes Ogletree's remark as an attempt to "suppress" the tape in 2008, even though, as Mediaite reports, PBS's Frontline aired footage of Obama's speech back in 2008.


See a more complete PBS video of Barack Obama's speech and embrace of Bell here.


Before Andrew Breitbart died, he promised that he would shortly reveal explosive, racially themed videos of President Obama in college that would "change this election." Buzzfeed, which has obtained footage that editor Ben Smith believes is the source of the threats, explains the context in which a young Obama introduced Harvard Law professor Derrick Bell at a rally in the following clip:

It was perhaps Barack Obama's most intense immersion in the charged campus racial politics of the late 1980s and early 1990s: As President of the Harvard Law Review in the spring of his final year there, 1991, he aligned himself with Professor Derrick Bell's dramatic protest for diversity on the faculty of Harvard Law School.

Bell was the first black tenured professor at the school, and a pioneer of "critical race theory," which insisted, controversially, on reading issues of race and power into legal scholarship. His protest that spring was occasioned by Harvard's denial of tenure to a black woman professor, Regina Austin, at a time when only three of the law school's professors were black and only five women. He told Harvard he would take a leave of absence — a kind of academic strike — "until a woman of color is offered and accepted a tenured position on this faculty," and he launched a hunger strike to dramatize his point.

According to, the video has been "selectively edited," and the game-changing clips that Breitbart talked about will be revealed over the next few days. We can't wait to see the shocking footage, but so far what sticks out most about the video is that the president sounds exactly the same as he does now. Is anyone really looking at him differently after seeing this?

Read more at Buzzfeed.

Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.