Our beacon of hope is slowly becoming dim
In Monday night’s interview “Michelle Obama Says Farewell to the White House” which aired on CBS, Oprah Winfrey had the honor of giving the First Lady her final one-on-one interview inside of the white house.
Gaining insight from the first lady herself as to what the position meant to her and what she takes away from this experience.
Throughout her time in Washington as a now public political icon, she had her own share of ‘politics’ that she faced.
Being the first BLACK first lady, no doubt made a huge impact to the black community but that also meant facing challenges. Racially charged accusations have shadowed the Obamas through-out the entire political campaign and presidency, so it was no surprise when Oprah raised a question that reflected an assumption made about Michelle.
Oprah asked, “When you were labeled that angry black woman, was that one of the things that knocked you back?”
Michelle replied, “That was one of those things that you just sort of think, ‘dang, you don’t even know me’, you know? And then I thought, ‘OK, well. Let me live my life outload so that people can then see and then judge for themselves.”
She did just that.
The doors of their home (the white house) were opened to those that are typically unwelcomed beyond the gates.
Entrance was granted to people of every ethnicity; their cultures were welcomed with open arms which lifted barriers that had yet to be raised. This approach of unity with no limitations created a sense of hope for those on the outside looking in.
Michelle and Oprah also touched on how much representation matters. Not only is she a beacon of hope for little girls and boys of color everywhere but she inspires those same children by the life choices she made before becoming first lady.
A Princeton and Harvard Law graduate (the ONLY First Lady to hold two Ivy League Degrees) shows that people that look like us CAN achieve great things and CAN reach high positions in life, that anything is possible.
Despite her own achievements spectators still subjected her to racial stereotypes that challenged her qualifications of even being a first lady. She took this moment to address the underlying issue of the racial divide in the U.S.
Michelle stated, “You start thinking, oh wow, were so afraid of each other. You know? Color. Wealth. These things that don’t matter still play too much of a role in how we see one another. And it’s sad because the thing that least defines us as people is the color of our skin.”
The issues that Mrs. Obama was subjected to, is in part why she decided to be open and show the world who she really is as not only just a first lady but as a wife, a mother, a friend.
The interview with Oprah revealed her aspirations for the future and her message for our country which is to simply have ‘hope’ which happened to be her husband President Barack Obama’s campaign slogan.
She stated how important it is to have this key element and for the first time in this country we will begin to experience what not having hope feels like (in reference to the president elect Trump)
Moving forward she encourages everyone no matter the adversity that we may face that we are to stay vigilant and not let opposing opinions stop us from the fight of obtaining HOPE.