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BRAZIL – In Brazil millions of residents are swooning over President Barack Obama, partially because his racial background and story makes him easy to relate to.

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The Washington Post reports:

“In Brazil, we have all kinds of culture, people, and our inner identity comes from black people,” said Melo, 47, a drug abuse counselor in City of God, a favela Obama is expected to visit on Sunday. “That’s why I think Obama is important for the world, because a poor guy suddenly becomes the most important man in the world.”

Obama’s story — the humble beginnings and the rise to prominence and power — is familiar here. And so is his race, which has struck a chord in a country with the world’s second-largest black population, after Nigeria.

“People identify with the self-made man, with his discourse, with his family,” said Silva, a former secretary of justice in Sao Paulo state. “All this generates hope and feeds the dream of black people in Brazil — that they, too, can access power.”

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