Home World U.S. News Michelle Obama Speaks on Racism at Tuskegee University

Michelle Obama Speaks on Racism at Tuskegee University


Speaking to graduates at Tuskegee University in Alabama, Michelle Obama has talked about having to fight misperceptions when Barack Obama started running for president in 2008.

First Lady Michelle Obama says she had to deal with more scrutiny, because of the color of her skin.

On her commencement speech at the university, Michelle Obama described the kind of focus she found herself under.

“Back when my husband started campaigning for president, folks had all sorts of questions of me,” the first lady said.

“What kind of First Lady would I be, what kind of issues would I take on?” she said.Michelle Obama commencement speech Tuskegee University

“The truth is those kind of questions would be posed to any candidate’s spouse, that’s just the way the process works.

“But 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.

“Was I too loud, or too angry? Or too emasculating? Or was I too soft?

“But eventually I realized, if I wanted to keep my sanity, and not let others define me, there was only one thing I could do, and that was to have faith in God’s plan for me.”

Michelle Obama added: “I love our daughters more than anything in the world, and that may not be the first thing some folks want to hear from an Ivy League educated lawyer, it is truly who I am.

“By staying true to the me I’ve always known, I’ve found that this journey has been incredibly freeing, because no matter what happened I had the peace of mind of knowing that all of the chatter, the name calling the doubting, all of it was just noise.

“It did not define me, it didn’t change who I was, and most importantly it couldn’t hold me back.”

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