President Obama: Michelle, for the past twenty-five years, you’ve been not only my wife and mother of my children, but my best friend. ….you made the White House a place that belongs to everybody. You have made me proud, and you have made the country proud.
I dare say that there would be no Barack Obama without Michelle Obama.
Dear Mrs. Obama,
As I sit here writing this, I don’t even know what to say. In 2007, I saw a reply in a post on a blog about you and your importance, and I never forgot it:
I joke a lot about these two, but something sticks out at me about the whole campaign. especially after seeing this interview:
I like her. And not because of any strong this and that, she just seems genuine.
Is America ready for a First Lady who looks like her? A regular black woman? Not a passable biracial curly girl that they call black, but a regular black woman from the south side of Chicago? With dark skin?
Is she going to be the face of The Woman on the largest pedestal in the country? A self-confessed “loud-mouth” black woman?
If they succeed, it turns white supremacy upside down. And not, in my opinion, because a black man is in the White House, it’s because a black woman is in there. And she didn’t have to come in the back door to lie in bed with the president.
May 24, 2007 at 1:34 pm
I admit this, without hesitation..
As much as I wanted to see your husband elected President…
I wanted to see you as First Lady that much more.
From the first time I read an article about you, any doubts that I had about your husband…
About Hawaii and Indonesia….they were gone.
They were gone because I knew you.
I knew that brick bungalow on the South Side…yours was in South Shore..mine was in Chatham.
I knew that apartment above the bungalow…
I knew the daily journey of buses and the ‘ El’ to get to Whitney Young…
I knew why you passed up all those other high schools just to go to Whitney Young…
I knew the journey to Princeton and then to Harvard. ..
And, for you to wind up doing what you did professionally, and to know it was your choice, and that you understood how fabulous it was, that, as a Black woman, you had that choice…You understood, that your ability to have that CHOICE was built upon the shoulders of those before you.
I knew you. And, I was in awe of you, because of this from that reply in the blog post:
And not because of any strong this and that, she just seems genuine.
That’s what hit me too-your genuineness. Your realness.
Others contort themselves to live in the world where you stood your ground and fought. You have been YOU.
It has been a pleasure to watch you in the role of First Lady. As the representative of this country to the rest of the world. We couldn’t have had a better representative than you.
Your caring for your own children – calling yourself the ‘ Mom-In-Chief’, was the ultimate in Black feminism. running counter to a long and sordid history of Black women in this country that told us that our children came LAST after we took care of everyone else’s. You stating, without equivocation, that your first job was to rear your children and make sure that they came through this experience sane and whole…it put a smile on Black women’s faces from coast to coast.
Your “Let’s Move” initiative was sneered at by the haters…..yet, you had the last laugh, as you helped inspire a generation of children to get active. You took on the Food Industry, and won. You got a new food pyramid. You got standard lifted, from coast to coast, in lunchroom after lunchroom, offering children throughout this country healthier choices while in school. Your garden inspired people from coast to coast to not only do gardens in their homes, but you, through your travels as First Lady, highlighted community farms all over this country. You didn’t just set an example for kids; there were plenty of adults who were challenged also to improve their lives.
The taking on of issues faces by Military Families by you and Dr. Jill Biden, is also a service to this country that didn’t nearly the exposure that it should. You took on veteran’s homelessness; veteran’s unemployment; the problem of unemployment for spouses, and other problems specifically faced by our Military Families. Veteran’s homelessness is down. Veteran’s unemployment down. Unemployment for veteran spouses – down. Bit by bit, you listened to our Military Families when they told you their issues, and then went to work to find solutions. We have so many people in Congress who wrap themselves in the flag, and cliche slogans of ‘ support the troops’, all the while their voting record shows just the opposite. You, though, walked the walk.
Those were just domestic programs. I should have known better than to underestimate you. To limit myself in seeing all that you could do, because I have to admit that Let Girls Learn took me by surprise. My First Lady went global with her desire to help others. By bringing forth the issue of girl’s education and what it means worldwide, you lead by example. There are girls all over the world who now have opportunities because of your fight for Let Girls Learn. Your trips abroad, and bringing that powerful moral voice to countries all around the world, has been invaluable.
As your time ends in the White House, there is so much more that I could say.
You have been a sterling example of grace under pressure. Of moral authority used correctly. I, and others, watched in awe, at how you handled the fundamental disrespect and hatred flung towards you and your family over the course of the past 8 years. We don’t know how you did it, because we realize that we simply could not have done it. But, handle it, you did. And, brilliantly. And genuinely. While the President has gained a head full of gray hair, you seem to have de-aged during the time in the White House. Considering the crucible that you’ve been through, it could only be righteous living and bathing in haters’ tears, that could have you look as beautiful as you do.
If you do nothing else with public service, it’s ok. It’s fine.
You served this country honorably.
You went above and beyond in your service.
As a Black woman, I could not ask for more than what I got in these past 8 years. You exceeded every dream I thought I could have about watching a Black woman as First Lady of the United States.
I am so happy that I lived during this time. That, I will be able to tell future generations of the time of the first Black First Lady of the United States.
And, her name was Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama.