[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/03/art.obama.census.wh.jpg caption ="President Obama checked the box labeled 'Black, African Am., or Negro' on his Census form."]Washington (CNN) - President Obama last week urged Americans to fill out their Census forms and, as a way of setting an example for the rest of the country, he filled one out himself.
The White House press office even released a photo of the President filling out the ten-question form in the Oval Office.
And in completing the form, President Obama made official what we have long known: He is the nation's first African-American president.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Friday that the President checked the box labeled "Black, African Am., or Negro" when asked his race.
Like many Americans, Obama – the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas – could have selected multiple races, but there is no check box for Americans that consider themselves multi-racial.
The Census first started collecting data on race in 1790, and according to the Census bureau, the question "is key to implementing many federal laws and is needed to monitor compliance with the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act."