Oprah and Barack Obama

Photo: Marc Royce

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Barack Obama
November 2004

Oprah: When I was working at a news station in Baltimore, the manager wanted me to change my name to Suzie. He said, "Nobody will ever remember Oprah."

Barack Obama: I was told, "People will remember your name and won't like it." You can have one African name, but not two. You can be Barack Smith or Joe Obama—but not Barack Obama.

OW: I loved reading where you said, "People don't know whether it's Osama or Yo' Mama."

BO: Alabama, Bahama or Barama.

OW: I think the name is working for you now.

BO: Absolutely. Yours turned out okay for you, too.

Read the full interview from the November 2004 issue.