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Janny Scott, 'A Singular Woman': Barack Obama's Mother, The Woman We Know Nothing About (VIDEO)

06/15/2011 12:07 pm ET | Updated Aug 15, 2011

We know a lot about Barack Obama's father. Obama wrote a memoir about him, "Dreams from My Father." But the woman who gave birth to him, the white woman from Kansas we know almost nothing about.

Janny Scott, author of "A Singular Woman" appeared on Stephen Colbert's Colbert Report to talk about her.

Scott argues that she has been oversimplified and describes her as "thoroughly unconventional." At 17, she went abroad and conceived a child with an African man during a time when 17 states had laws against inter-racial marriage. When she fell in love with an Indonesian man, she took her six-year-old son with her and lived there during a time of great political crisis. Scott called her, "Very open emotionally and intellectually," and said, "The only label she ever embraced was anthropologist."

Colbert tries to argue that she was a terrible mother because she left Barack with her parents during high school so that she could pursue graduate work in Indonesia. The author wants people to read the book and judge for themselves.

Watch the interview here:

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