Tag Archives: Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama’s commencement speech at Tuskegee University

On Saturday May 9, 2015 First Lady Michelle Obama (FLOTUS) gave a fantastic commencement speech to the Tuskegee University graduating class of 2015 in Tuskegee, Alabama.

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First Lady Michelle Obama delivered a powerful commencement speech at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama, on Saturday, addressing the stereotyping and pressure she feels not only as the First Lady of the United States, but also an African-American woman.

Michelle, who addressed the graduating class of 2015 and an audience of nearly 4,000 at the historically black university, spoke about overcoming her own insecurities regarding her public perception – specifically during her husband President Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008.

“As potentially the first African-American First Lady, I was also the focus of another set of questions and speculations; conversations sometimes rooted in the fears and misperceptions of others,” she said. “Was I too loud, or too angry, or too emasculating? Or was I too soft, too much of a mom, not enough of a career woman?”

Obama referenced a July 2008 cover of the New Yorker, which featured a satirical illustration of the Obamas drawn by Barry Blitt. The caricature showed the future FLOTUS dressed as a Black Panther, first bumping with a turban-wearing Barack in front of portrait of Osama bin Laden.

I remember that cover. I blogged/bitched about that cover back in July 2008.
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Check out the entire speech at WhiteHouse.gov. or you can watch the video below.

First lady delivers charter school commencement address

Back in February Jasmine Williams sent an invitation to the White House asking if Michelle Obama would speak at her high school graduation. Today Michelle delivered the commencement address to the Washington Math, Science, and Technology Public Charter High School.

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First Lady Accepts Invite to Charter School Graduation
Michelle Obama tells charter school graduates not to worry

By DARLENE SUPERVILLE and MATTHEW STABLEY

WASHINGTON — Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas isn’t the only D.C. celebrity getting in on the high school commencement action. First lady Michelle Obama is offering this advice to students doubting if they’re ready for the future: “Don’t worry.”

She delivered the commencement address to Washington’s Math, Science, and Technology Public Charter High School at Howard University Wednesday thanks to an invitation from graduate Jasmine Williams.

Mrs. Obama told 98 graduates that before going off to Princeton University she worried about whether she was ready and would fit in.

She also mentioned Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic considered for the nation’s highest court. Sotomayor attended Princeton before Mrs. Obama and has said that she felt intimidated by her surroundings.

In the end, Mrs. Obama said she, her husband Barack Obama and Sotomayor all were ready for the challenge. And she told the graduates they are more than ready as well.

Jasmine will be attending North Carolina A&T this fall.

WMST PCHS sounds like a really good school.  According to the website:

Founded in 1998, Washington Mathematics Science Technology Public Charter High School (WMST PCHS) is a leading school that is free to residents of the District of Columbia.

The mission of WMST is to provide a rigorous education, integrating mathematics and science instruction with technology that will enhance analytical reasoning development. Our goal is to produce highly motivated, successful students prepared for higher education in mathematics, science, technology and related careers.

The school has a 99 percent graduation rate and 98 percent of the graduating students attend college.  Congrats to this years graduates.

Meet the ROTUS, aka Darienne Page

Most of us know that POTUS means President of the United States and FLOTUS means First Lady of the United States. So what’s a ROTUS? That’s the Receptionist of the United States and President Barack Obama has one. Her name is Darienne Page.

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From Serving in Iraq to Welcoming White House Guests
By JEFF ZELENY

WASHINGTON — Have you met Rotus?

This is a question President Obama has taken to asking some of his visitors to the White House. In a bureaucratic world awash in abbreviations and acronyms, this one in particular seems to amuse him.

Mr. Obama, of course, is Potus (president of the United States). Michelle Obama is Flotus (first lady of the United States). And the title of Rotus (receptionist of the United States) is worn by Darienne M. Page.

“This is the receptionist of the entire United States,” Mr. Obama said, introducing Ms. Page to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.

“How long was your confirmation hearing?” Mr. Holder asked with a smile.

“You want to say, ‘Hello, Potus,’ ” Ms. Page said later, recalling her interactions with Mr. Obama, who picked up the Rotus nickname from young aides and now uses it nearly every time he sees her. “But then you say, ‘Hello, Mr. President.’ ”

Ms. Page presides over the beehive of activity that is the West Wing lobby of the White House. At 27, she is among the hundreds of young aides who help the new administration tick. But her vantage point offers a considerably closer view of this presidency than most of them.

She is on hand to greet nearly every official visitor who has an appointment with the president or his top advisers. She oversees the front of the house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, serving coffee to former Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain, making small talk with a delegation from Kazakhstan and trying to chew a mouthful of almonds quickly before saying hello to Tiger Woods as he stands at her desk.

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Ms. Page graduated from high school in Maryland and joined the military, following in the footsteps of other family members. She served as an Army sargeant in Iraq and worked as a paralegal taking depositions in the Abu Ghraib prison.

For her $36,000-a-year salary, Ms. Page schedules all the activity in the Roosevelt Room, just steps from the Oval Office, and in the Wardroom Room, which is outside the White House mess hall. Even with a dawn-to-dusk schedule, the meetings often run overtime, creating a logjam that she is left to contend with.

I’m sure she’s happy to be working for President Obama but that salary is awfully low, especially considering the cost of living here in the D.C. area.

Anyway check out the entire article here.

A commentary on black moms

I read an interesting commentary from Fannie Flono, Associate Editor for the Charlotte Observer titled Black moms, my mom and Michelle Obama. She talks about the image of black moms and specifically Michelle Obama. Considering that mainstream media and some black media have pretty much shown images of black women as lazy welfare queens, video vixens and teenage single moms, Michelle Obama is a much needed refreshing change.  Yes I know some folks are sick of seeing and hearing about Michelle Obama but after decades of negativity about black women or treating normal, non stereotypical black women like we’re invisible, I enjoy reading about Michelle Obama.  I’m sure the media circus surrounding the FLOTUS will slow down eventually.

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Black moms, my mom and Michelle Obama

By FANNIE FLONO
McClatchy Newspapers

What I’m liking most about Michelle Obama being first lady is this: She puts on public display an image of black women and black mothers that many African-Americans can identify with, but that others have viewed as an anomaly. I’m not talking about her being a Harvard-educated lawyer or dressing in designer clothes or personally knowing Oprah. That sets her apart from most of us.

But her loving relationship with her husband and her devotion to her children are familiar to many of us who have grown up in black households. It’s the stereotype of the wild-haired, bedraggled-looking “welfare queens” or booty-shaking, single teen moms that gives us pause.

Sure, those people exist. But they’re not who most black women are. The last census showed 62 percent of black women worked for a living (as opposed to 60 percent of white women). The census also showed that 79 percent of blacks and 89 percent of whites earned at least a high school diploma. Nearly 30 percent of each group had some college education. For blacks, the majority of both were women.

It is true that 65 percent of black births were to unwed mothers. But that’s not the same as saying 65 percent of black single women had children. The census shows 39 percent of black women are childless, and 43 percent of black families are married couples.

So the idea of a Michelle Obama-like black mom is not a fairy tale, not the exception. It is the heart-warming reality a lot of us know.

Check out the entire article here.

The first couple’s night out

Last Saturday night President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama had dinner at a Georgetown restaurant and then took an evening walk.

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Obamas take a walk, holding hands in the evening

By CHRISTINE SIMMONS

WASHINGTON (AP) — The first couple took full advantage of the cool spring night.

In one of their date nights in the District, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama dined out for nearly two hours at a posh Georgetown restaurant.

Then they took an evening walk.

After their motorcade arrived back at the White House, the first couple wanted a private stroll. Below an overcast sky Saturday, the Obamas clasped hands and made their way down the driveway of the White House South Lawn. They came back the same way, rounding out their 8-minute walk.

It was a quiet contrast to their dinner outing. The Obamas’ visit to Georgetown attracted crowds of onlookers who were held back by police tape, while sirens wailed and a protester chanted outside the restaurant.

It’s a good thing they took their walk Saturday night cause the weather around here is gonna be lousy for the rest of the week 😦

Meet Bo Obama Part 2

The newest member of the Obama family, a Portuguese water dog named Bo, made his official debut yesterday at the White House.  He’s a gift from Senator Ted Kennedy.  Bo graced the front page of today’s Washington Post Style section.

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The entire family minus the FLOTUS graced the front page of today’s Post.

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Puppy Ciao!
First Family Introduces Bo the Dog to the World

By Manuel Roig-Franzia
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Bo Era beginneth.

Or, at least, it seemed almost that consequential today, judging from the overflow crowd of reporters and photographers who swarmed onto the White House South Lawn for a glimpse of the new first puppy.

On this chilly, overcast day, the frisky Portuguese water dog upstaged even the president and first lady.

“Bo Obama!” a reporter called out. “Are you hypoallergenic?”

Bo, only 6 months old but already savvy to the ways of Washington, made no comment. But the first kids, not to mention the tall guy in the blue suit, spoke up for him.

“I love him,” Malia Obama, 10, said as Bo nuzzled her leg. “He’s perfect.”

Seven-year-old Sasha, punctuating her words with a little hop, declared, “He doesn’t know how to swim!”

Dad, also known as President Obama, added that Porties “have webbed feet.”

Bo was a gift from Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and his wife, Victoria. The Kennedys sent over gifts today for Sasha and Malia: the book “My Senator and Me,” authored by, ahem, their Portie Splash; chew toys for Bo; a book on training Porties; and a collar and leash set emblazoned with the message, “I {heart} Obama.”

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US Obama Dog Debut

Fellow Portuguese water dog owner Susan Bowe has some advice for the Obama family:

Susan Bowe had a special interest in the arrival of the Obama family’s new dog, Bo, at the White House on Tuesday.

The first family adopted a Portuguese water dog, which happens to be the same breed as Bowe’s dog, a 2-year-old named Bailey. The Leland Grove resident had some advice for the first family.

“You just have to give them a lot of love and understand that they want to be with you all the time,” Bowe said. “I was told that if you like a dog that lies in the corner, don’t get a Portuguese water hound.”

From scary to adored

Columnist Leonard Pitts has an interesting column on how the media and America’s perception of First Lady Michelle Obama has gone from an angry, fist bumping, Angela Davis type militant to a warm, loving first lady and first mom.  Her mainstream media perception has gone from this:

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To this:

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Michelle Obama: from scary to adored

Leonard Pitts Jr.
Syndicated Columnist

Maybe you remember when Michelle Obama was scary.

Surely you do; it was just a few months ago. A fire-snorting amalgam of Angela Davis and Sister Souljah she was, a militant, terrorist fist-bumping sister girl whose hatred of America was exceeded only by her hatred of “whitey.” Or so we were told.

If you remember all that, then perhaps you are as amused as I am by the transformation of perception that has since taken place, culminating in last week’s triumphant visit to Great Britain where the famously formal queen (“whitey” doesn’t come any whiter than that) stunned royal watchers by putting an arm around the first lady. But why should her majesty be any different from anyone else? Seems like everybody has embraced Michelle Obama.

Pollsters tell us she is more popular than her very popular husband. You cannot pass a magazine stand without seeing her smile. Women are gushing over her toned arms and elegant fashion sense, and she’s being called this era’s Jacqueline Kennedy. Then there’s that whole thing of Elizabeth II throwing an arm around her like they were sorority sisters or something, leaving the British, with their arcane protocol governing every interaction with their monarch down to and including how many times one may blink in her direction, well and truly gobsmacked.

And you wonder how anyone ever thought this woman was scary.

And he states this:

One is reminded that to be African American is inevitably to find yourself defined by other people’s distortions and fears and that the work of a lifetime is to make them see you — not the you that they’ve been told, but the you that you are, standing there.

Consider Michelle Obama. Six months ago, she was terrifying. Now she is beloved. If you’re wondering how that happened, I can only say this: It was not she who changed.

You can read it all here.

Michelle Obama and mom

First Lady Michelle Obama and her mom Marian Robinson grace the cover of the May 2009 issue of Essence Magazine.   I received my copy in the mail today.

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The first lady and first grandma look great.

A Mother’s Love: First Lady & Mom Cover May 2009 Issue of ESSENCE

In their first interview together, First Lady Michelle Obama and her mother, Marian Robinson, sit down in the White House to speak exclusively to ESSENCE Editor-in-Chief Angela Burt-Murray about retaining their family values, what it takes to raise good kids, and being role models for the Black community. Read on for excerpts from the interview.

Mrs. Michelle Obama on what being First Lady means to her:

It’s an honor and a privilege when you walk into the White House-at least I automatically felt a level of obligation. This is a big responsibility, a wonderful platform and I just want to make sure I take every advantage to serve as a role model, to provide good messages, to be a supportive mate to the President and to make sure that my girls are solid.”

Mrs. Marian Robinson on seeing her daughter step into this historic role:

“Well, to me, it’s overwhelming. I never doubted that she could do this. She is doing it with such grace and dignity. So I am just proud. I just hope she does what she wants to do. [Chuckles] Because the things that she wants to do are very important. They mean a lot to her.”

Mrs. Michelle Obama on finding balance:

“Unlike most women, I have a lot of resources: I have my mother living with me. The White House has a staff of people who are there to make my life easy. I don’t have a full-time job, although I work very hard in the role of First Lady. But I have a lot of resources. So I have been able to achieve the balance because I have the support I need.”

Mrs. Robinson on what her late husband, Fraser Robinson III, would say about this moment:

“You would not be able to shut him up! He would not be able to stand this. He would be beaming until you would just want him to stop talking. He bragged about Michelle and her brother, Craig, before they had even done anything. He always encouraged them, and when he talked about Craig and Michelle, you could just see a smile on his face whether it was there or not. He just enjoyed these two people.”

You can read the entire interview by picking up the May 2009 issue of Essence Magazine at any bookstore, newstand or grocery store.

Michelle Obama charms the Brits

With President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in Europe attending the G-20, looks like Michelle is making the big news splash.

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Brits go bloomin’ wild over First Lady Michelle Obama

BY Jane Ridley
DAILY NEWS COLUMNIST

London- Forget the global financial crisis or how the G-20 plans to solve it.

A far more pressing question is occupying great British minds: Does Michelle Obama wear Spanx under her pencil skirts?

Such is the obsession with all things Michelle that readers of London’s Daily Mail must ponder whether the First Lady’s “toned physique is [due] to more than just hours in the gym.”

The newspaper speculated on a so-called visible panty line across her right thigh – a tell-tale sign that the invisible support system slimming bottom and thighs has miserably failed in its job. Oh, the shame! But this alleged victim need not worry one bit.

The succession of chic outfits Obama has showcased here has won universal approval in the British press.

For her daytime appearance, she wore a springlike ensemble – a green gingham skirt, white top and cream-colored cardigan – from J. Crew, complemented by classic pearls and elegant bracelets.

Of course most folks are focusing on what Michelle is wearing. Being the proud non fashionista that I am, what Michelle wears isn’t a big deal to me.   In my eyes she looks nice in just about everything she wears.   Some folks are going batshit crazy over what she’s wearing. Hollering that this and that is so wrong and screaming about being sleeveless again.  Lord have mercy, the economy is in the tank all over the world and some folks are worried about what outfit Michelle is wearing.

Anyway Michelle is causing a frenzy again with another J. Crew outfit.  Their website saw a huge spike in visitors this week.  Then there’s the controversy over the hug Michelle gave Queen Elizabeth II.  Apparently the Queen placed her arm around Michelle first and Michelle returned the gesture.  And of course some folks went batshit crazy.

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She is not renowned for public displays of affection. Which made the Queen’s decision to put a friendly arm around Michelle Obama’s waist at a Buckingham Palace G20 reception – prompting the U.S. President’s wife to return the gesture – so utterly astonishing.

Finding herself next to Mrs Obama, the Queen remarked on their height difference. As she did so, her hand edged towards the small of Mrs Obama’s back. Mrs Obama responded – and even rubbed the Queen’s shoulder – before both women moved gently apart after about ten seconds.

The sight of the Queen publicly hugging another woman astonished other guests. An onlooker said: ‘It was a pretty simultaneous gesture. We couldn’t believe what we were seeing.’

It was an electrifying moment of palpable majesté: A breach of centuries-long protocol when the friendly and outgoing Michelle Obama put her arm round the Queen.

It now appears, however, that it may have been the Queen who made the initial move. In any case, it was the first time that anyone can remember in her long public life that she has put her arm around another woman.

‘A mutual and spontaneous display of affection and appreciation,’ was how a Buckingham Palace spokesman hastened to describe it.

Maybe the Queen was in a friendly mood.  It would have been hysterical if Queen Elizabeth had given Michelle the so called terrorist fist bump.  Oh the horror!!  The British and American media folks would have been in a frenzy, lol 😉

Tammy Bruce, the epitome of trash

Author and political commentator Tammy Bruce recently guest hosted for conservative commentator Laura Ingraham’s radio show and she didn’t take too kindly to First Lady Michelle Obama’s recent meeting with Anacostia High School students in Washington, D.C.

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Bruce called the Obamas “Trash in the White House.”

You can listen to the audio here at Huffington Post.

From the March 23 broadcast of Talk Radio Network’s The Laura Ingraham Show:

BRUCE: But here’s Michelle Obama explaining to some kids what it was like for her growing up because she sounded like a white person, whatever that means.

OBAMA: I did do my best, getting good grades was always important to me, and it wasn’t because my parents were

BRUCE: It’s all about her.

OBAMA: — hounding me or that they had the expectation, it was just something that I wanted for myself. I wanted an A. And I didn’t care whether it was cool, ‘cause I remember there were kids around my neighborhood who would say, “Ooh, you talk funny, you talk like a white girl.” I heard that growing up my whole life, and I was like I don’t even know what that means, but you know what? I’m still getting my A.

BRUCE: What? What? What — what is that? And then she devolves into that weird fake accent, like Hillary did when talking to black people. What? What is that? That’s, that — you know what that is.

DAVID AFTER DENTIST: Is this going to be forever?

BRUCE: Yeah, that – remember nitrous oxide kid, on You Tube. No it’s not going to be forever, nitrous oxide kid. It’s not. Can you — can you believe that?

OBAMA: So do I need to introduce myself?

BRUCE: What a shame. That must’ve just ruined her damn day. “I wanted the A for myself, and I wanted to do it, and ooh, they said you sounded like a white person, I don’t know what that means, but uhh.” Huh?

Man, oh, man. That’s who he’s married to, what does that tell you? This is what we’ve got — you know what we’ve got? We’ve got trash in the White House. Trash is a, is a thing that is color blind, it can cross all eco — ecosocionomic kind of categories, you can work on Wall Street or work at the Wal-Mart. Trash are people who use other people to get things, who patronize others, who consider you bitter and clingy.

Here was Michelle Obama trying to encourage these students (lord knows D.C. students need strong encouragement) to do well in school and letting them know she’s been in their shoes.   It’s a known fact in the black community that black students who do well in school and speak properly are ridiculed by others in the black community. But what does this Bruce woman do? Ridicule Michelle Obama and then procedes to call the Obamas trash.

Tammy Bruce needs to take a good look in the mirror.  What will she see?  The epitome of trash.

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