Thursday, June 12, 2008

On First Ladies Named Michelle.....and Diane

Nichelle at has done a very good article on Black First Ladies (Michelle Fenty, Michelle Paterson, Diane Patrick, and Michelle Obama). I liked this article because it was positive, gave proper respect to these women, and pushed forth why they're fabulous. And, because we live in a world where a national network finds as many ways as they can to demean the possible First Lady, we spread the word about fabuous Black women such as these.

I just wanted to excerpt some of the Michelle Obama parts of the article:

It's Our Camelot

Does a Black First Lady matter? It certainly does to me, but I wanted to ask other Black women about it so I started with my grandmother. I called and asked if a Black First Lady would make a difference to her and she thought that she heard me wrong and asked if I was kidding her. Ditto for my aunt, who is also my grandmother's sister. "Are you kidding me? In my lifetime? Both of them would do us well. Everything about them is such a plus for us. I'm just so proud of them already."

And, as you might have guessed, that is the same answer I got over and over. I figured as much, but I didn't want to assume. One of my friends also just came right out and said it. "It's our Camelot. To see a man like Barack Obama run such an amazing campaign is one thing, but to see his dynamic, pretty, relatable Black wife by his side is a huge (make that HUGE!) plus in his column."

I don't know if people realize just how deep this sentiment runs with many black women. I have received lots, and I do mean lots, of email forwards from other black women, simply filled with gorgeous family photos of the Obama family or especially affectionate pictures of Barack and Michelle hugging, snuggling... dancing. Seriously! If you are a black woman, how many times did the following picture appear in your inbox?

We like to see these photos for a very simple reason.

Extensive media coverage of attractive black men married to black women who look black (yeah, I said it!) with their beautiful black children are a very rare commodity. We are constantly steeling ourselves against negative media images of black women and persistent dismal statistics on the black family so a steady diet of the gorgeous Obama family can be quite satisfying.

Women like Michelle Obama, Michelle Paterson, Michelle Fenty and Diane Patrick remind me of women that I actually know, as opposed to women I only read and hear about in the press. They are living, breathing - yes, I'm going to say it - Claire Huxtables. Women like my friends, cousins and colleagues who are Mocha Moms or Jack & Jill members. Or women like myself who do not belong to any official group or sorority, but are well-versed in the "Negro Geography" game just the same. We know the meaning of 'Working While Black' and why the word "articulate" can be tricky. We're not perfect and we are well aware of it. We just want a fair shake just like anyone else.

Historically, prominent Black wives have always been highly educated, staunchly in the upper or middle class and almost always, light-skinned. Also, more often than not, they were of a higher social and/or educational class than their husbands. Black leaders like Booker T. Washington, W.E. B. DuBois, and early black politicians were all married to women who fit the bill.


The rest of the article is just as good, and click here to read it.

Thank you, Nichelle.

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