Michelle Obama paints a very hon­est mem­oir of her life as a daugh­ter, law­yer, moth­er, and or course first lady to become the woman she is today. It’s a per­son­al insight into the fam­ily lives of America’s first black pres­id­ent, Barack Obama. From a simple life revolving around fam­ily in Chica­go to choos­ing wall­pa­per for their res­id­ency at the White House, one thing remained con­sist­ent, Michelle’s need to have ment­ors, good friends and fam­ily around her. Her love for her chil­dren is strong and they always came first. It’s an intim­ate por­trait of the jour­ney Michelle took with her hus­band as pion­eers in racial equal­ity, recog­niz­ing how import­ant inaug­ur­a­tion day was in light of the civil rights move­ment of Amer­ic­an his­tory (that bit made me tear up with pride). Explor­ing the yearn­ing they both felt to use their pos­i­tions of power in pos­it­ive ways to open the doors for oth­ers. Michelle’s own recog­ni­tion of their chil­dren Sasha and Maliha hav­ing all of the oppor­tun­it­ies to flour­ish in edu­ca­tion which oth­ers may not, help­ing to push edu­cate for oth­ers such as immig­rants was a high pri­or­ity. Anoth­er innov­a­tion of Michelle Obama I admired was her idea to cre­ate a garden in the white house to grow pro­duce, this at first met a lot of push back, but even­tu­ally became very pop­u­lar and pro­duct­ive to serve the loc­al com­munity.

The Obama’s being one of the very few pres­id­en­tial couples to leave the white house without scan­dal is refresh­ing. Michelle’s descrip­tion of Barack is fresh it does­n’t dis­tract from her own story and she even men­tions how her life changed to becom­ing known as the ‘wife of the pres­id­ent’. She later real­ized she could use her power to influ­ence and make a change that it was in fact a priv­ilege. Her vivid descrip­tions of her rela­tion­ship with her hus­band leaves us in awe as they acknow­ledge the import­ance of com­mu­nic­a­tion and under­stand­ing each oth­er. It’s made clear in sev­er­al points Michelle had to make many sac­ri­fices to share her hus­band with the world, for the great­er good, with a sense of self­less­ness which was admir­able. I found little snip­pets of their daily lives and how they car­ried them­selves in the white house by insist­ing to pay or their own bills and for Michelle’s moth­er to do her own laun­dry refresh­ing.

Feel­ing like she had extra eyes on her being the First black First lady and her struggles to adjust to her new opu­lent life­style. One humor­ous example was when she met the Queen of Eng­land and acci­dent­ally touched her shoulder n con­ver­sa­tion this was a huge faux pas. A learn­ing curve Michelle no doubt rose to the chal­lenge not com­pris­ing her val­ues or her char­ac­ter which says a lot. Still deeply caring about her com­munity she men­tioned spend­ing time with mil­it­ary vet­er­ans and those need­ing health­care such as ter­min­ally ill can­cer patients.

Told in her own voice, I would highly recom­mend her audio book which makes you feel empathy much more, in the many heart ren­der­ing scenes such as that of the death of her fath­er to Mul­tiple Scler­osis, we saw her human side. Many rumors we also addressed, there was no beat­ing around the bush, she addressed the rumors being cir­cu­lated about Barack not being an Amer­ic­an cit­izen, stat­ing that he was born in Kenya not Hawaii and is very hon­est in stat­ing she will ‘nev­er for­give the Trump admin­is­tra­tion for endan­ger­ing the lives of her fam­ily’.

There was noth­ing dis­taste­ful in this story, even the most con­tro­ver­sial situ­ations were handled with advocacy and grace. There was a great les­son in char­ac­ter.

We are left inspired by this strong Back woman who has achieved so much, aca­dem­ic­ally, career wise whilst rais­ing a fam­ily (pretty much without Barack who was away so often for work). We can only won­der what she is going to do next.

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Faizah Cyanide

Faizah Cyanide

Faizah works in clin­ic­al research by pro­fes­sion and has been an avid Hip Hop lov­er since the early 90’s, hav­ing cre­ated her own Hip Hop event, ‘Breakin’ Bound­ar­ies’ in the early 2000’s which was pre­dom­in­antly based around the concept of bboy battles, she has worked with sev­er­al inter­na­tion­al events pro­moters and dan­cers to inspire oth­ers through this art­form.

About Faizah Cyanide

Faizah Cyanide
Faizah works in clinical research by profession and has been an avid Hip Hop lover since the early 90's, having created her own Hip Hop event, 'Breakin' Boundaries' in the early 2000's which was predominantly based around the concept of bboy battles, she has worked with several international events promoters and dancers to inspire others through this artform.