Let Michelle be Michelle

Today I read and interesting commentary on CNN in which the author made a compelling argument and opened up what I believe is a necessary dialog concerning our future First Lady and the perceptions surrounding her as the first black First Lady.

What seems to be missing from the national dialog on race is where have we gone thus far since the Obama win on race relations?

I plan to write a reflective post concerning Race and Obama chronicalizing what I believe is a pivotal shift in race relations, however I’m a little busy at the moment, and can’t believe I even have time to write these few words. ūüôā

Either way, what I believe we should evaluate in particular is the contrast in the reactions to Barack versus Michelle.    I have a gut feeling that as it relates to race and stereotypes, Barack is accepted more by non-blacks due to his mixed ethnicity and exotic background, whereas Michelle is not.  Or could it be the concept that being black and a woman is just a little more difficult than being black and a man?

Which ever way the debate goes, there is a lot of discussion to be had as it relates to sexism, racism, and “role” of a First Lady.¬† I believe this commentary did a great job in opening up that discussion and I pray that I will have time in the near future to¬†comment a little more in depth.

Related Article:

Commentary: Let Michelle Obama’s real self shine


One Comment

  1. Let’s not forget the fact that like every First Lady before her, she’s got the pressure of balancing the world’s expectations against her own inclinations and capabilities. And like every First Lady for the past few decades, working outside the home is expected, although when your home is the White House, the lines are blurred quite a bit. So no matter her ethnicity, that weighs on her.
    The fact that she’s a black woman complicates things. As a blackAmerican woman, I’m viewed as hard and uncouth whenever I voice sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat, and don’t let me get started on the expectation that I have loose morals or a weak mind. Michelle faces that while being under the microscope of fame. But she’s already shown a remarkable ability to walk that tightrope with the world’s eye on her.
    Do blackAmerican men face some rough challenges? Is being the child of a recent African immigrant rather different from one’s family being listed on household inventories? Lord, yes. But comparing struggles won’t get us through. Lending a hand, or even a shoulder to cry on now and again, however, just might.


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