Michelle Obama was the first woman of color to serve as the First Lady of the United States, and even though she and her husband have enjoyed their fair share of success, she said people "don't remember how many punches we took to get there."
When you're in power, you have to deal with a lot of things that come along your way, and hate is one of them. People will say a lot of things to hurt you and spite you, and even though ignorance is bliss, sometimes things tend to get difficult to ignore.
Barack Obama, the former President of the United States Of America and his wife, Michelle Obama have been called many things, but Michelle says the label she resents the most till date is that of the stereotypical “angry black woman”.
The former First Lady was being interviewed by Gayle King at the 25th Essence Music Festival in New Orleans when she mentioned that way too many African-American women have been unfairly labeled with stereotypes!
Obama told King she was portrayed as a woman who was “emasculating her husband" during the 44th president’s 2008 election campaign, according to CBS reports.
"For a minute there, I was an angry black woman who was emasculating her husband," Obama recalled. "As I got more popular, that's when people of all sides - Democrats and Republicans -- tried to take me out by the knees and the best way to do it was to focus on the one thing people were afraid of - the strength of a black woman." This was not the first time she spoke about it.
Obama also said that she knew before she got to the White House that her journey as the First Lady wasn't going to be as easy for her as the others had it.
Obama said that she knew she "wouldn't get the benefit of the doubt" as other first ladies before her. Instead, "I would have to earn my grace, I knew that very clearly, and knew that would have to quickly define myself."
"I want all young girls out there to know -- we all struggle with that, people of color, working-class folks, women of color -- people try to define us in a negative way before we get a chance to get out there and tell our own stories," Michelle said. She told King that as First Lady, that meant coming to the White House "rolling up my sleeves and ready to work." She had to prove her place at the White House.
"I had to prove that not only was I smart and strategic, but I was going to work harder and faster and better and stronger than any first lady in history and I had to do that," Michelle said. The journey to success wasn't an easy one, said Obama. Even though Obama and her husband have enjoyed their fair share of success and popularity, she said that people "Don't remember how many punches we took to get there."
The former First Lady said she has learned "not to hold onto too much resentment and anger." "Everyone says this -- forgiveness is real, forgiveness is for you and not for the other person," she said. If there's anything that she did learn from her book tours from her biography, Becoming, it's that "people are really hungry for stories and stories about people who look and feel like them."
Wherever she went, people always told her that they found something they could relate with her book. "What it reminds me is that our stories as black people and as black women have power," she said. "We don't often get to see ourselves, we don't hear ourselves because we don't get to control the narrative."