I’m not entirely sure what to make of Michelle Obama’s remarks about waking up every morning in a White House built by slaves. I believe that only the facade of that White House remains, that the White House was completely gutted and rebuilt nearly 70 years ago (not by slaves), and that the present White House was only symbolically built by slaves.
When Harry and Bess Truman moved into the White House following Franklin Roosevelt’s death in office it was in falling down condition and woefully out-of-date to boot. Between that and the remodeling done by Jackie Kennedy in the 1960s it’s materially a different White House. For symbolic effect I’ll take Truman’s gutting and rebuilding the White House which coincided with his integration of the military over waking up in a White House the facade of which was partially built by slaves any day.