Almost every Black woman has been labeled an “angry black woman,” but few of us have faced the racist and sexist term as public and pervasively as our own First Lady Michelle Obama. In her final White House interview, with Oprah Winfrey, FLOTUS speaks in-depth about having to deal with this unfair bias.
“That was one of those things that you just sort of think, dang, you don’t even know me, you know?” she said on Monday’s “First Lady Michelle Obama Says Farewell to the White House – An Oprah Winfrey Special.”
You just sort of feel like, Wow, where did that come from?You think, that is so not me! But then you sort of think, well, this isn’t about me,” she continued. “This is about the person or the people who write it.”
These attacks have followed FLOTUS since the moment her husband President Obama announced his run for president, including the 52-year-old having to reintroduce herself to America in 2008, the New Yorker cover of her toting a gun and an afro and the past eight years of accusations that she is hard to work alongside.
FLOTUS told the talk show icon that this caricature is rooted in people’s fear: “We are so afraid of each other, you know? Color, wealth, these things that don’t matter still play too much of a role in how we see one another. And it’s sad, because the thing that least defines us as people is the color of our skin, the size of our bank account. None of that matters.
The First Lady also said it was impossible to determine a person’s values from their race or religion, instead, she argued people—including herself—must “act out” their ethics and principles, CNN noted.
“I thought, let me live my life out loud so that people can then see and then judge for themselves. And that is what I want young people to do. Just live your life,” she said.
HelloBeautiful previously reported that during this same interview, FLOTUS said, without mentioning his name, that Donald Trump’s election has left a lot of American hopeless.
“We feel the difference now. See, now, we are feeling what not having hope feels like,” she said. “Hope is necessary. It’s a necessary concept and Barack didn’t just talk about hope because he thought it was just a nice slogan to get votes.”
FLOTUS added: “What do you give your kids if you can’t give them hope? You know, our children respond to crisis the way they see us respond. You know, it’s like the toddler that bumps his head on the table…they look up at you to figure out whether it hurts. And if you’re like, oh, my God, they’re crying. But if you’re like, you know what, babe, it’s okay.”
Watch the entire interview on Dec. 19 on CBS, with an encore showing Dec. 21 on Oprah’s network OWN.