For many people, the story of Michelle Obama is familiar territory, from humble beginnings on the South Side of Chicago to an Ivy League Education to being a beloved First Lady. However, The Root reports that her latest memoir “Becoming” takes a new spin on showing pieces of her life that fans of Michelle are sure to appreciate.
“There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice,” she writes, and this certainly holds true, with Obama pulling no punches barely a page into her writing. “I’ve been held up as the most powerful woman in the world and taken down as an ‘angry black woman.’ I’ve heard about the swampy parts of the internet that question everything about me, right down to whether I’m a woman or a man,” she writes, before adding that these comments and others hurt her. However, she also adds how her hard-working parents taught her to laugh off things like these, as well as many other valuable lessons.
Some other interesting topics that come up over the course of the memoir include the ongoing thread of community, from her parents to her friends to fellow mothers when she first became a parent. Obama describes the renewing effect of her friendships with a relatable honesty: “Each one of these women was educated, ambitious, dedicated to her kids, and generally as bewildered as I was about how to put it all together.” She also mentions how difficult it was to start as a working mom.
In addition, since she is no longer in the White House and doesn’t have to worry about political context, Becoming gives us the first chance to see Michelle Obama be more open about other topics, including the concept of her “respectability” which many people have cited about her over the years. She describes her own desire to be “so eager for respectability and a way to pay the bill, that I’d marched myself unthinking into law.” However, after graduating from college, she instantly found a lot of her ideas were challenged, something that any college grad can relate to.
“Becoming shows us the ways we hide and do not hide from ourselves. It shows us how we learn to live. Reveling in the importance of community and self-discovery, Becoming is a lovely, inspiring read from one of the most respected world leaders of our time,” the Root concludes.