More On Becoming


I’ve wrestled with what to write next. My last post highlighted former First Lady Michelle Obama’s book titled Becoming. I wrote briefly about some basic parallels in our lives. Having now read more of the book and learning about Mrs. Obama’s path to becoming a phenomenal First Lady, I wanted to discuss more about her importance to women of color.

Specifically, I say women of color in lieu of African American women because those of ethnic backgrounds other than Angola Saxon are often disenfranchised. We could have a long debate but that’s not the purpose of this particular post. The purpose is to focus on the positive impact that a former First Lady of the United States who is of the African diaspora has on girls and women who resemble her. The impact is huge. The fact she has accomplished academic and professional success separate from her husband is impactful. She is a positive role model.

There is a saying that I may not get right, “we become what we see.” Therefore if we only see negative influences that is our model. Vice versa if we’re exposed to positive influences that’s what we strive to attain. Interestingly, Mrs. Obama’s mother Mrs. Marian Robinson during a CBS interview indicated her daughter could have raised herself by the age of 9 years old. Some people are old souls, more mature than some adults at a very young age. However most need guidance to grow into an adult of good character.

Michelle Obama could have easily left public life behind. Even though it would have been difficult due to her expansive popularity nationally and internationally but she decided to share her life’s story. I speculate this was also due to her and former President Obama only being in their 50’s and needing viable income. Whatever the reasons, I am inspired to read about the struggles and self doubts she overcame along her journey.

I have a unique perspective of our former First Lady. I helped campaign for Barack Obama in 1996. Then had the opportunity to meet Mrs. Obama in various capacities during the Presidential campaigns and when they were in the White House. I’ve had the enjoyment of watching others react to her presence. And yes she is everything that you’d imagine including a great hugger.

Finally, most people don’t aim to become a role model it just happens over time. And when it does acknowledging that you are a role model requires taking the responsibility seriously. Mrs. Obama is aware of her influence and it’s a good thing. She is definitely helping girls and fully grown women everywhere learn and grow from her experiences. Thank you Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama for sharing your path to becoming.

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