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.