In the History of the United States, Black Women have often been attacked physically and psychologically. The resilience Black Women have displayed over generations is nothing short of remarkable and spectacular. Black Women were right beside Black Men during the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade by way of Africa and globally. Since settling in the Americas, Caribbean and neighboring Islands, Black Women have taken on the same fight, struggle and plight their Black Men endured. Black Women and Black Men are a “Unit”, regardless of what modern times have attempted to recreate. Our bond is a gift from the creator. At any rate, when you look into the eyes of a Black Woman, there is a deep story and lineage of strength.
The Unites States of America has always maintained a rocky relationship with Black Women. In every aspect of life, Black Women had to fight harder than White Men, White Women and Black Men. Yes, there is a segment of the population that represents immigrants but at the end of the day, we are all illegal aliens but I digress. As previously stated, Black Women were forced to endure an immeasurable amount of pain, but still managed to make great strides. If we look back at the Institution of Slavery, Black Women assisted in spearheading our freedom. I mean, Harriet Tubman is probably the most famous Black Person outside of Frederick Douglas during those times, with Sojourner Truth being closely behind in popularity. While some people talked about Freedom, Tubman was literally freeing her people.
Black Women have contributed to our future from Day 1! As we move forward to the early 1900’s, Madame CJ Walker provided Black Women with the reality that Business could be developed, nurtured, and sustained by Black Women (People). There were Black Men in Business but not many had the impact on the culture as Walker. Over the next 6-7 decades women such as Mary Kenner, Ruane Jeter, Alice Parker, Mary McCloud Bethune, and Oprah Winfrey played major roles in the accomplishments of Black Women. It’s sad how our School System continue to fail in regard to educating youth on the true contributions of Black People, especially Black Women. There are numerous Black Women who are Inventors, Scientist, Business Owners and Educators. Speaking of education, American was in for an unexpected lesson on class, humility and brilliance on a grand stage that couldn’t be ignored. After a historical night on November 4, 2008, Michelle Obama’s name would be attached to the history of this nation forever.
Michelle Obama’s life is one of the most fascinating stories I’ve been fortunate enough to witness. I tell you, what a time to be alive. Michelle Obama’s story is not like Cinderella as her accomplishments weren’t magical. Michelle Obama’s achievements resulted from hard work, perseverance, and an inner strength shown by Ida B. Wells, Shirley Chisholm, Maxine Waters and Condoleezza Rice, each paving the way before her. Michelle Obama (born Michelle LaVaughn Robinson) was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, January 17, 1964. Politics were in her DNA as her father was a Democratic Precinct captain (City Pump Operator as well), working with local government and elections. I guess some things are truly meant to be. Michelle was academically gifted growing up as well. Obama (Robinson at the time) was a brilliant student and was educated at Whitney Young High School, a Magnet School with special enrollment requirements. This was just the first step in her journey. Obama graduated Salutatorian (2nd Highest GPA) of her class in 1981. Following her brother, Obama attended Princeton University (BA) and afterwards received her (JD) from Harvard University. As you can see, Michelle was motivated from her childhood leading into her early adulthood. I’m telling you, when Black Women are focused, there is no stopping them.
When you are academically gifted, you will be in classroom, residential and business settings where you are a minority. Michelle saw racism as she attended Princeton, Harvard and in other travels. I’m sure none of this come as a surprise or anything. I mean, she didn’t experience what Coretta, Rosa, Claudette or Shabazz endured but she definitely felt a form of racism and prejudice reserved for Black Women. It’s not foreign that an intelligent, tall, dark and good looking woman would make other people uncomfortable. I’m sure plenty non black students and professionals have been intimidated by Michelle Obama for decades now. Michelle can chop you into pieces in the classroom or boardroom, take your pick. As she moved into her professional career, she excelled as an Associate at the Law Firm of Sidley and Austin (Where she met her future husband), several public sector positions and Assistant to Chicago’s Mayor, Associate Dean of Student Services at the University of Chicago, where she developed the Universities Community Service Center. Talk about achievement, Michelle is BAD. Shortly after, Michelle would serve as Executive Director for Community Affairs for University of Chicago Hospitals and finally, Vice President for Community and External Affairs in 2005. Oh, by the way, Michelle was initially Barak’s mentor. Again, Michelle Obama is no joke.
Over the next few years Michelle would scale down her professional life and focus on spending more time with her daughters (Sasha and Malia) and to work with her husband on his Presidential Campaign. Leading up to the Election, Michelle and Barack were a very impressive team. I mean seriously, for a Black Couple to be front and center in a Presidential Campaign in a country that wouldn’t allow Black People to drink out of the same water fountains just 5 decades prior, is literally unreal. The Obama’s worked as a unit and Michelle was Barack’s biggest cheerleader, support system and advocate. Michelle gave speeches all across the United States in support of her husband. Prior to the legendary run Barack faced, Michelle assisted him earlier on during his 2000 Run for United States House of Representatives. Barack has shared on many occasions that he would not have reached these milestones without Michelle Obama. Who would have known that on November 4, 2008, Barack Obama, with Michelle and their daughters by his side, would give his victory speech as the 44th President of the United States.
Michelle Obama becoming the First Lady of the United States is just as impressive as Barack becoming the first Black President. As I mentioned earlier, Black Women stood side by side with Black Men during Slavery in this country. Black Women were beaten, raped, and murdered for generations by a corrupt Government, the KKK and overall Systematic Racism. Fast forward a few generations and a brilliant Black Woman stood before this country as an example of fortitude. Michelle has encouraged, supported and embraced Black Women and Black Girls for decades and even at the top of her career, she was never too busy to talk to people. Michelle Obamas is possibly the most accomplished First Lady in the history of the United States. Michelle Obama is the most educated First Lady this nation has ever seen, graduating from 2 Ivy League Schools. Michelle Obama advocated for poverty awareness, nutrition, education, physical activity, exercise for children and became somewhat of a fashion icon without even trying. Michelle Obama continues to speak at College Graduations and has always been with “The People”. Even though she is a brilliant legend, you can find her enjoying music, dancing and just being a “Down Sister” even though there will be statues of her globally in the future.
At the end of the day, I salute Michelle Obama. One of her best characteristics in my humble opinion is the fact that she has never been “Too Big or Too Important” for her Blackness. Michelle embraced being a powerful Black Woman. Michelle has embraced our culture as Black People in America. Michelle is also an example to all Black People in regard to handling your business, staying out of trouble and setting goals. During the background checks Michelle and Obama were subjected to, you know the powers that be did everything possible to find dirty laundry and skeletons. Michelle Obama is thorough. Don’t get it confused either; Michelle Obama could be the President of the United States if we are talking ability. Michelle Obama is the first “Queen of America” from my perspective and the CROWN rest comfortably on her head. Michelle is one of the most impressive individuals this nation has ever seen. One day kids will look at paintings of Michelle Obama knowing that anything is possible. – God Bless
Tony Hanes, Founder of Da Dome
Article Profile Picture: Photo credit: Thomas Whiteside
The Source: 20 Black Women in History that changed the World
Biography.com – African American First Women
Biography.com – Michelle Obama
One of the homies :)