Tuesday, May 5, 2009

FLOTUS and Diversity

No matter how you craft it, one can not walk away from looking at the First Family in the White House now, and the ones that lived there prior. They are different. That is in color.

A new one for the United States of America. A forceful portrait that this country has painted on November 4, 2008, a fixture this country is trying to move on from the terrible sin of slavery and the horrible treatment of Blacks during the Civil Rights Era.

There were many, including me, wondering what Michelle Obama's itinerary or intentions would be as First Lady of this country. Well, she has been dynamic, poised, exciting and real to many women and families in this country. A woman that you feel believes or understands what you are going through. Someone who appears approachable, lovable and heartwarming. A woman who right now is more popular than the President of the United States.

I would love to be a fly on that bedroom wall as she quotes the polling numbers to her husband........

There have been plenty of un-veiling ceremonies for new statues at the U.S. Capitol. But when Michelle Obama peeled the cover off the bronze bust of abolitionist Sojourner Truth last week, the moment was heavy with symbolism. Truth is the first African-American woman to be honored with a statue in the Capitol. In a way no first lady before her ever could have done, Obama connected the dots between herself and the black feminist pioneer. "Now many young boys and girls like my own daughters will come to Emancipation Hall and see the face of a woman who looks like them," she told the gathering. "I hope that Sojourner Truth would be proud to see me, a descendant of slaves, serving as the first lady of the United States of America."

It was just the kind of scene I'd been hoping for when Barack Obama won the presidency last fall. I knew that Michelle Obama was already changing the way we see ourselves as African-American women. But I also hoped she would begin to knock down ugly stereotypes and educate people about American black culture. What's remarkable now—just over that much-hyped 100-day mark—is how quickly and decisively Michelle has taken on the issues that matter most to us.

From the start, Michelle never shied away from being an African-American role model. "I think it's clear that Michelle Obama is very comfortable in her own skin,'' says Debbie Walsh, director of the Center of American Women in Politics at Rutgers University. "She's not sending a message that I'm the first lady who just happens to be African-American. She's saying I'm an African-American first lady. There is a difference, and she's not afraid to show that.'' read more here......

Home Page