Michelle Obama fought hard to be taken seriously during husband Barack Obama’s eight-year stint as President of the United States.
Barack took office as POTUS in 2009, and remained in the White House for two terms. Speaking during a candid interview at the Essence Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana with Gayle King on Saturday (July 6, 2019), the 55-year-old admitted she initially found it difficult to be taken seriously in her role as First Lady.
“I would have to earn my grace and I knew I would have to quickly define myself and I want all young girls out there to know – we all struggle with that, people of colour, working class folks, women of colour…” Michelle confessed. “People try to define us in a negative way before we get a chance to get out there and tell our own stories.”
But the star, who has been selling out venues worldwide as part of the supporting book tour for her memoir Becoming, reflected she quickly became popular with fans and voters, which led to accusations she was “emasculating” her husband, 57.
“For a minute there, I was an angry black woman who was emasculating her husband,” she shared. “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.”
The couple is set to give voices to marginalised groups in society through its upcoming podcast series, which is being developed by their Higher Ground production company in conjunction with streaming giant Spotify.
Speaking about the venture in a statement last month, Michelle claimed the podcast will “amplify voices that are too often ignored or silenced altogether”.