Michelle Obama (nee Robinson) was born on January 17, 1964 – she’s 44 years old. She was raised by her parents. Her Father suffered from Multiple Sclerosis (MS). MS is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks the central nervous system (CNS). MS can cause numerous physical and mental symptoms, and often progresses to physical and cognitive disability. Despite suffering from MS Mr. Robinson worked and supported his family and rarely took a day off. Her Mother Marian Robinson stayed home and nurtured her family.
Michelle was raised in a one-bedroom apartment on Chicago’s South Shore, a predominantly black neighborhood. The South Side has mostly single-family homes and has endured a reputation as being poor and crime-infested. The neighborhood ranges from impoverished to working class mostly blue collar residents.
Michelle shared a “bedroom” with her brother Craig, but it wasn’t much of a bedroom. It was actually the living room with a divider down the middle since the family could not afford a larger apartment.
Michelle’s parents demanded academic excellence and Michelle and her brother excelled in school. After high school Michelle received a scholarship to Princeton where she majored in sociology.
Princeton was Michelle’s first step into a diverse America since before then her life was centered around Chicago’s South Shore.
Michelle arrived at Princeton before her roommate. When her roommate, a white southerner, arrived on campus her roommate’s mother was in shock and angry that her daughter would have a black roommate and immediately requested that her daughter get a different roommate.
I was not at Princeton with Michelle Obama but I can imagine some of her experiences at blue blood Princeton. She must have been shunned too many times to remember, most likely wasn’t asked to join a sorority and was most likely excluded from most social activities. But she persevered and graduated with cum laude honors in 1985.
From there she attended Harvard where she earned her law degree in 1988, one year ahead of her husband-to-be, Barack, whom she hadn’t met as yet even though they attended the same law school.
I can just imagine the many, many, many interviews she had to sit through before getting her first job. I can imagine the not so warm reception she received as a young black woman. I can imagine the bottom of the barrel assignments she received despite being a Harvard graduate. I can imagine her being excluded and constrained by the need to blend into a corporate culture dominated by white men.
Michelle’s impressive resume includes: Former associate dean at the University of Chicago; a member of six boards of directors including the prestigious Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools and Tree House Foods; and Vice President, Community and External Affairs at the University of Chicago Hospitals. In this position she was responsible for all programs and initiatives that involve the relationships between the hospitals and the community as well as management of the hospitals’ business diversity program.
Needless to say Michelle Obama was a conscientious, hard-working and highly valued employee; otherwise she would not have secured any of these positions. And just as needless to say her salary was 67% of what white men earned who had similar positions as she did – her tax returns verifies this.
Michelle Obama is a daughter that any parent would be proud of.
Despite the odds and all the insurmountable mountains she had to climb she succeeded and from all I’ve heard she has kept many of childhood friends and confidants. Michelle Obama is a woman any friend would love to have.
Despite all her successes Michelle Obama puts her two precious daughters Malia and Tasha first. Michelle Obama is a mother any daughter would love to have.
Despite a full plate, a career and young children to raise Michelle Obama still puts her husband at the top of her list. Michelle still travels on her husband’s behalf a couple times a week once it doesn’t interfere with her children’s well-being and schedule. Each time I see her with her husband they still touch each other lightly on the hand, on the shoulder, on the waist which is so intimate and shows genuine love and affection for each other.
As a woman those little touches tells me a lot about their commitment, adoration and fondness for each other after 16 years. Michelle Obama is obviously a woman Barack Obama is proud to call wife.
These simple little things tell heaps about a person. From everything I have read Michelle is loyal, kind, full of integrity and courageous.
Michelle always looks comfortable within herself. She is a tall regal woman and she wears it well. As a woman I love the fact that she does not ‘dumb down’ and make her light shine less. She is an inspiration to all women – young and old – that you can be intelligent, articulate, beautiful and grounded at the same time.
Michelle Obama is woman any country in the free world would be proud to have as their First Woman.
Michelle Obama is a woman any American would be privileged to have as First Lady. I know I am!
Michelle, her Mom Marian and daughters arrive in Denver: