Friday, March 20, 2009

The First Lady Meets With Students & Stars

If you want to see the ENTIRE program with her at Anacostia HS, CLICK HERE FOR THE C-SPAN VIDEO.

FLOTUS meets with stars, students
| 3/19/09 4:38 AM EDT

Thirteen lucky students at Washington’s Anacostia High School were told only that they would spend about an hour Thursday morning chatting with someone famous. Imagine their surprise when Michelle Obama walked in.

They huddled close, in awe, and peppered her with questions about her life, her family, her home. One student wanted to know how she had achieved such success.

“There’s no magic to being here,’’ the first lady said, repeating what has become a signature line. “What I want people to know is that my parents were working-class people. We didn’t have a lot of money.”

Her makeup? (She does it herself, unless there’s a special event.) Her girls? (Up early, they get their own breakfast and make their beds.) College? (A necessity.)

But mostly, FLOTUS talked about the journey — her girlhood in Chicago, and the drive and discipline that propelled her along.

“I remember there were kids around my neighborhood who said, ‘You talk funny,’” she said. “I heard [that] growing up my whole life, and I was like, I don’t even know what that means, but you know what? I’m still getting my As.”

Obama visited Anacostia High School to mark Women’s History Month, and she called on an extraordinary array of the nation’s most accomplished female artists, business chiefs, athletes and other leaders to help with the commemoration.

How accomplished? When you’re Michelle Obama, you can pull them in: singers Sheryl Crow and Alicia Keys; Olympian Dominique Dawes and WNBA hoopster Lisa Leslie Lockwood; actresses Phylicia Rashad and Alfre Woodard; choreographer Debbie Allen; Gen. Ann Dunwoody, the nation’s first female four-star general; and Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman to travel into space.

Obama said the event was a “dream” of hers, dating back to her days on the campaign trail. The aim, she explained at a brief reception for the superstars before they fanned out to 11 schools around the region, was to deliver a simple message that success was not out of reach, no matter where you come from.

Read rest of article at link above.

I love this reachout to the local Washington community by The First Lady. I think this is part of the ' symbolic' that actually one of the things that The President and First Lady can do. The First Lady IS from a working-class family and EDUCATION was the key to transitioning from a working class lifestyle for many generations of Black folk. It's a message that I think has been lost in translation for many of the current generation, and I think that's our fault. Our Elders made it quite clear to us about what would be the foundation for any kind of success that we could have in America.






Michelle Obama





Anonymous said...

Michelle is too righteous for words. Sometimes I don't feel like this country deserves her.

Brian said...

It was interesting to hear her mention her experiences regarding "Acting White". A social phenomenon that some Blacks (almost exclusively) have to deal with just because they want to be good students.

There's no other culture that I know of where education is seen almost as a stigma. This (among many other reasons) is why I stopped identifying with modern Black culture sometime in High School.

Anonymous said...

Like you AI, I'm glad the "Acting White" issue was candidly addressed. This struck a certain personal chord with me; given that I have dealt with this exact issue numerous times growing up. Everything from my dress, to my taste in music, to my speech has been criticized because it wasn’t “black enough.” Being exposed to this narrow-minded view of blackness often caused a great deal of confusion for me growing up. Being measured against that limited social view of blackness was stressful and frustrating enough as a teenager. But as a man, it became far more complex. Not only did this racial identity impact my social circles, but it also affected my professional life.

Further, one of the most frustrating aspects of being black (in skin) is that many of us are left to deal with the social consequences of the imagery produced by a FEW black men, even when our stories are as far away as east is from west.