Maya Soetoro-Ng, Obama's half-sister, told the Associated Press recently that her grandfather had seen Mr Davis was a "point of connection, a bridge if you will, to the larger African-American experience for my brother".In his memoir, Mr Obama recounts how he visited Mr Davis on several occasions, apparently at junctures when he was grappling with racial issues, to seek his counsel. At one point in 1979 Mr Davis described university as "an advanced degree in compromise" that was designed to keep blacks in their place. Mr Obama quoted him as saying: "Leaving your race at the door. Leaving your people behind. Understand something, boy. You're not going to college to get educated. Youâ€™re going there to get trained."