Oprah Talks To Michelle Obama About Fighting The ‘Angry Black Woman’ Stereotype
In less than a month, the Obama family will be out of the White House and moving on to the next chapters of their lives. While many of will surely miss the presence of President Obama, some of us will miss the First Lady even more.
Last night, Michelle Obama sat down for an exclusive interview with Oprah Winfrey about her time as First Lady, the future of the White House and even if she’d consider going into politics herself, according to USA Today.
Even the title of the segment brings a tear to the eye – First Lady Michelle Obama Says Farewell to the White House: An Oprah Winfrey Special.Winfrey asked Obama, “What allowed you to stand in your own truth and find your way?”
Her response was brief and to the point, “Being a grown-up.”
“Let us not forget: I didn’t just wake up first lady,” she went on to clarify. “I mean, I went to law school, I practiced law, I worked for the city, I ran a nonprofit (and) I was an executive at a hospital. I’ve been in the world. I’ve worked in every sector, and you don’t do that without coming up against some stuff. You know, having your feelings hurt, having people say things about you that aren’t true. … Life hits you, so over the course of living, you learn how to protect yourself in it. You learn to take in what you need and get rid of the stuff that’s clearly not true.”
The interview was full of insight as two of the most famous and successful black women we have spoke for an hour-long segment – which included a brief appearance from President Obama himself. But one of the more revealing moments, that not too many people other than Oprah probably could’ve fostered, came when Michelle spoke on fighting the trope of being viewed as an “angry black woman.”
“That was one of those things that you just sort of think, ‘Dag, you don’t even know me,’ you know?” Obama said. “And then I thought, ‘OK, well, let me live my life out loud so that people can then see and then judge for themselves.”
The entire interview will likely be cited and played in rotation for years to come, as it may be the last interview with Obama as First Lady of such a personal nature. Hopefully Michelle’s request of the country as she and her family leave office will bode true.
When Winfrey asked Obama about whether she believed President Obama had brought hope to the White House. Obama had this to say:
“Yes. I do. Because we feel the difference now. Now, we’re feeling what not having hope feels like. Hope is necessary…Barack has been that for the nation in ways that people will come to appreciate,” Obama continued. “What do we do if we don’t have hope Oprah?”
“It’s hope,” Obama replied. “My desire for this country is that we remain hopeful and that we find a place in our hearts to love each other. It’s really simple — just opening up our hearts to others, making room.”
Image via OWN/YouTube