Editor’s Note: This piece originally ran in December of 2016 for our “Woman Of The Year” special on First Lady Michelle Obama.
It was June of 2013, years before the cloudy haze of Trump’s America and just a year shy of her husband’s re-election anniversary, when something about Michelle Obama struck me.
She was speaking at a Washington D.C. fundraiser when a demonstrator began shouting–interrupting her speech.
“One of the things I don’t do well is this,” she said, quickly exiting the stage to confront the heckler clothed in the guard of secret service.
“Listen to me or you can take the mic. But I’m leaving. You all decide. You have one choice.”
Media outlets devoured the incident, with adjectives that summoned aggression and confrontation. Mrs. Obama still had not escaped the falsities of the angry-black woman troupe.
It was the imagery of an educated Black woman demanding respect for her freedom of speech, not because of her status, but because she knew it was her inherent right.
It was a memorizing moment in revealing the true character of the First Lady who stood in bold determination to receive respect.
Why do Black women fiercely protect Michelle Obama? Why do we use our tongues as swords towards anyone who objectifies her, demeans her or fails to give her the queendom she is due?
Because to us, she is everything our grandmothers, mothers, aunties and sisters wanted us to be. And it’s not because she is married with children. Though those are paramount achievements, defining ourselves by the presence of a wedding band and the usage of our uterus would only diminish us.
It is because Michelle Obama exudes a bulletproof confidence and is unabashedly unafraid to be who she is.
In less than 30 days, Black Camelot will be no more.
As difficult as it is to say, the fear is that we may never see this country, founded on the principles of White men, love a Black woman who is not an entertainer, as much as she is admired.
Michelle Obama, along with President Barack Obama, has held her position with the grace and patience of 1000 Jobs.
For all of the degradation her husband suffered, questions pertaining to his legitimacy, and utter aversion to his mere existence, the First Lady stood behind him dually absorbing every blow. She was no doubt, his fortitude in those times of tribulation.
Though she may have had many dark moments in private, it never took away from her light. We, the public never saw her waiver, but only watched as she demanded more of us while rising to peak levels of #Blackgirlmagic.
As she exits on January 20, we look forward to watching her flourish, for her story has just pressed upon the dawn of phenomenal heights.