Most of the millions of Africans enslaved before 1807 were known only by numbers, the stories of their ancestry either a part of family lore or completely re-written upon their disembarkment in America.

So far, two men named Obama sit among some 9,500 captured Africans whose names were written on line after line in the registries of obscure, 19th century slave trafficking courts - registries recorded almost two centuries before there was a man with the same name in the White House.

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