Dear First Lady Michelle Obama,
You don’t know me, but I feel like I’ve known you since 2004 when your husband first became a fixture in our nation’s consciousness. Then, we got even better acquainted in 2006 during your husband’s run for President. Though we may have met through then Senator Obama, he was not the reason I fell for you.
No, since the day we met, I have been captivated by your grace, awed by your beauty, and struck by your intelligence. I immediately thought, “I want to be like you when I grow up.” A partner in a top law firm and graduate of some of the best schools in the country. But more importantly, a woman with a large life who appeared to enjoy even the difficult parts of it.
My heart broke when you were lambasted on the campaign trail and made to be nothing more than an “Angry Black Woman” like so many who came before you. As if Black women in America don’t have good reason to be angry. As if you and your feelings, not America the ideology and institution were the problem. But if I’m being honest, I don’t know that I ever believed you were actually upset. It always just seemed to me like you weren’t sure if you wanted the job of First Lady. Any sane person should’ve been be able to understand the hesitation. Unfortunately though, we’re not always dealing with people who will understand us.
For the past 8 years, I have watched you fulfill the duties of First Lady with impeccable class and strength. Truly breathing life into the statement, “When they go low, we go high.” From the outside looking in, you never got caught up in the splendor of it all. Part of why you resonate so much with America, with me, is because you embody a true spirit of authenticity. You’re still Michelle from the Southside and that connects with people.
That connects with me. You are a walking lesson in always being true to oneself and ones values. A lesson in not getting caught up in the ways of the world. A lesson in using ones voice in service of ones vision and hopefully doing some good. A lesson in pursuing ones education and career wholeheartedly and again, hopefully doing some good. In putting family first. In never losing sight of what actually matters in life. In finding your equal and loving them with your whole heart. In having it all.
For this little Black girl, with huge dreams, you are a constant reminder that any and everything is possible – if I work hard, reach higher, and believe.