Currently, I’m writing this after wrapping up First Lady Michelle Obama’s Becoming documentary. And, I just have to say wow.
Netflix could not have released this at a better time. Why? The current climate of the United States with racial tension and needing inspiration is all there.
Let me be the first to let you know that I am a fan of Michelle Obama. I love the Obamas. They are my other family and they probably don’t know that.
Barack Obama is why I am so passionate about politics. “Yes we can” and “Change we can believe in” set off my interests in politics and learning that my vote counts for something. Plus, some guy in high school tried to tell me that I only liked President Obama because he’s Black. One, that’s racist to say/assume/think because I’m Black. Two, I liked what he represented as a sixteen-year-old that was going to take the world on.
But, this isn’t about President Obama (still love you, though). This is about First Lady Michelle Obama and her greatness. The one thing that I admire about Michelle Obama is how she perseveres. Nevertheless, she persisted is exactly what I would say about the First Lady.
Michelle Obama persisted through eight years of scrutiny and prejudice.
There is no denying that the First Lady dealt with horrible people. She was token as an “Angry, Black Woman”, while on the road to campaign. The media would question her love for the USA and find different ways to knock her. And, I watched it replay in the Becoming documentary. All I could think about is how could people be so awful? And, would they be proud of this legacy of the ugliness of their words and behaviors.
Honestly, I think about that a lot for many people. Are you going to be proud to leave behind a legacy of hate? But, I won’t dwell on that.
Michelle Obama killed everyone with kindness. She was (and still is) gracious and a beautiful woman. I will meet her one day — SS if I pop up on your radar, please let her know that I love her and can’t wait to meet in a non-stalkerish way.
Find your voice.
Find your voice and share your story. Your voice is needed, whether you think it’s a big deal or not. As I get older, I realize how important it is to share my experiences to people that are younger than me and can grow or take from my story. Michelle said it best — “That story, with all the highs and lows, and what seems so ordinary, and what seems like nothing to you, is your power.”
And, I think it’s important that we use our voices and share out stories. From the troubles to the wins, be someone that can help the next generation.
As a Black woman in corporate America, I will always be open to providing guidance and sharing my path to land where I am at. Especially to women that are in a similar space that I once was in. It’s not easy and you have to prove your worth by working and giving the results. It’s not fair either, but that’s why I want to be in a place where I can make it more accessible.
And, Michelle Obama has inspired that.
You’re not invisible.
This is important to me. I felt this in my soul when Michelle told a group of young Black women that it starts within you to be visible. Honestly, I needed that. It’s always been a struggle for me to be heard — that’s on me to change. And, I will change that.
In order to be seen and heard, it’s on you to go out there and do the work. You are only invisible if you allow it. Whether that’s having a seat at the table and speaking up or using your platform to push for social justice, you are the person that determines if you are seen or not. I encourage all young women to make sure that they are visible. Do not let anyone make you feel invisible and if you start to feel invisible, you find a way to be seen.
Be loud and be proud.
Family matters, but so do you.
Not only is Michelle Obama a working mother, but she was also the First Lady. Can you imagine adding that to your already full plate? I can’t. Honestly, I could not. It’s a lot and I commend her for being so raw and open about it.
Michelle talked about being equal in her marriage to President Obama and she talked about marriage counseling after having children. As a mother, that was important for me to see. Not everyone is perfect and there are struggles which she acknowledges. The best part was that she stated that her happiness was not dependent on her husband and I think that’s so important to highlight. So many people think they have to depend on spouses, children, and family members to be happy, but it’s on you when it comes to your happiness.
Our First Lady has made it a point to prioritize herself. With a family and a career, she made sure that she mattered, as well. Mamas, let’s take note.
When they go low, we go high.
I know you’ve heard this saying. There is no way that you’ve gone through the last four to five years and haven’t heard Michelle say this.
And, it’s true. I find her heart amazing for being that powerful, to be able to just let it go and do her thing. It’s inspirational. The Obamas dealt with a lot in that White House. They were scrutinized and hated — racism was very prevalent and Michelle shared flashbacks of those moments. From pictures of poster where someone painted a noose and stated “Hang in there Obama” to “Obama Bin Laden” posters — that racism was there and people chose to ignore it.
Somehow, the Obamas went high. It’s admirable and classy. And, I know they were in an office of standard where lashing out was not okay, but I admire them for it. “The higher up you go, the higher up you have to be.” That’s what Michelle said and she’s right.
To this day — I feel that I tend to go high instead of going low. I focus on what will bring me peace rather than getting even.
Be free to be yourself!
And, I think Malia and Sasha Obama said it best at the end of the film.
“I’m excited for her to be proud of what she’s done,” she says. “Because I think that’s the most important thing for a human to do: is to be proud of themselves.” – Sasha Obama
“No longer facing that same scrutiny, being able to let all of that leave your mind creates so much more space,” Malia adds.
These words stood out to me because Michelle dealt with so much and she’s still out her exuding positivity and love.
Do you understand how much of a wonderful soul you have to be to always go high? Actually, ask my friend Kelsea about this — she’s the go high queen and would probably be good friend’s with First Lady Michelle.
At the end of the day, I know that we won’t get it all from Michelle Obama. And, I don’t blame her. Why relive so much of the past when you have an amazing future ahead of you?
I hope that what we got is a wake-up call to some people and I hope that those that watched it learned a thing or two.
Do I recommend Becoming on Netflix? Obviously. Do I think you’re going to learn from it? I hope so.
If you’re not Black or a Person of Color, I think (and hope) you’ll learn to have compassion towards more things and that’ll you’ll take some of the stories told by the students in the film and make this world a better place.
And, I hope that’ll you’ll take some of the love and positivity that Michelle Obama shares and pass it on. We need it. We need a lot of it.
Have you seen Becoming? What are your thoughts?