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Why she means so much to us?

Why she means so much to us?

First Lady Michelle Obama and yet another time she Slayed with Spoken Grace

 There were several takeaways that captured my attention from the parting interview of First Lady Michelle Obama done by Oprah Winfrey. Mrs. Obama stated “Being a straight up grown up in this role”, as the First Lady is potentially one of the most important notes to take when entering into the world of the Presidency.

Also the advice of the First Ladies mother which sounds a lot like my upbringing strengthened my resolve to stand in my truth and move into the social quorums that may confront me. First Lady Michelle Obama says, “Keep it moving, girl you better brush it off”-As black women we better be able to do it”. Able to do just this; maneuvering within the inertia without having an identity crisis.

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Getty Images

Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama (born January 17, 1964) is an American lawyer, writer, and First Lady of the United States. She is married to the 44th and current President of the United States, Barack Obama, and is the first African-American First Lady. via Wikipedia

Retrospectively, in middle school as I sat in the back of my English class hearing my white teacher state, “your homework is to write about the most influential person in the world at this time”. A lover of words and writing even then I knew who was the subject for my paper. Why she means so much to me; Mrs. Oprah Winfrey, I read the essay in front of my class with pride.

Years prior as a black girl on a country porch in rural Alabama I recollect hearing the grandfather of a small country town refrain “Someday you going be on TV like that lady Oprah Winfrey” as he spoke to my energetic self.

In this moving interview with Oprah Winfrey; listening to First Lady Michelle Obama state, “Images and experiences can be life changing for our kids”; for me having the image of a world class interviewer whose skinned look like mine and whose voice spoke to womanhood was life changing. As to circumvent if she is doing what I dream of the reality of that coming true is a now a reality for me and others who look like me.

Today and for the last eight years what it has meant to me and too many African American Women from diverse backgrounds and age groups has been akin to epitomizing Maya Angelou’s Phenomenal Women poem.

Excerpt from Phenomenal Women

By: Maya Angelou

Now you understand

Just why my head’s not bowed.

I don’t shout or jump about

Or have to talk real loud.

When you see me passing,

It ought to make you proud.

The hope that emanates from our First Lady Michelle Obama is strength and unwavering wisdom. The candor of a speaking on her own terms leaving knowledge such as this statement, “The things that lest defines us matter to others; paraphrasing to live out loud and don’t dial it back it”. Not expressing or feeling the need to relax on her greatness, intelligence, love, values, culture, and professional experiences as a boss and leader.

First Lady Michelle Obama exemplifies the role model of a mother whose mamma radar cautiously kept an ear to the needs of her family. Reminding her children of what challenges really look like and the opportunity that lies as being girls who grew up in the white house. The world has watched Mrs. Obama and the President nurturing their young women with perhaps “high class problems”; according to Oprah Winfrey statement, to sojourn in their own paths with sincerity and boldness of speech and venture.

The greatest impact that First Lady Michelle Obama has had on me is a point that Oprah reminded us all of… and what perhaps is what Oprah Winfrey a mogul herself is most proud of as an African American Women. The deft and detail in which Mrs. Obama remained completely herself in the wholeness of truth using her voice as an intangible force on and off the record challenging the world to go high.

This sentiment sends chills up my body that it did the same for Oprah Winfrey, is evermore integral to women and girls of all cultures. Words can barely express the importance of having Michelle Obama as the first African American First Lady of these United States of America and having a view of her experience and eight years overflows with a weight carried with dignity and power.

Moreover, when a husband and father the President of this democracy talks about his wife and her zealous ability to blend politics, policy, and fun the world has for eight years been the recipients of a model of a first family that reels respect and class exhibiting the message of enduring love.

Like many I have barely given thought to that day in January when the First African American Family steps on the parting helicopter in an accent celebrating eight years of affirming what possibility looks like. Indeed this will be a bittersweet moment for me; however having the opportunity to vote, support, and see hope for these eight years is more than ever expected and truly the excellence and grace of living in this republic.

And oh yes, I hope Grandma will be on that plane reflecting on her contribution as a generational spirit; according to the interview given by the First Lady she will with a smile give us one last “bye Felecia”, but promises to always be there for her family when needed and also signifying the importance of the cultural value of elders in the hierarchy of families.

I am taking with me from these years the advice of the First Lady, live out loud recognize when criticized for being what some see as too much or as an angry black women it isn’t about you as much as it is about the criticizer. Her legacy of inclusiveness of warmth and celebrating all cultures and empowering girls to learn and women to soar using their voices authentically in the forums they find themselves gleans hope.

The promise and possibility of a First Lady Michelle Obama is the lesson I shall be ever grateful for and this is why she means so much to us. Thank you so much, Mrs. Obama from a 40 year old proud black woman who now knows who she is and is determined to write, speak, and lead to empower others to voice their lives and heal through the power of words.

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Bio of Salaam Green, M.S.: Poet, Author, Social Health Activist and Speaker. Founder of the Literary Healing Arts Foundation- promoting the healing power of words. 2016 Poet Laureate for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, -Honored as Women of Wisdom 2016, International Women’s Day Poet for Mayor William Bell’s Administration. Member of Sister City Connection Spoken Word Troupe & Women Writing for a Change, See Jane Write Member of the Month. Member of the International Society of Poetry Therapy Facilitators, Contributor to The Black Female Project. Published in the Birmingham Times,, I am The F-Bomb, Bad Ass Biz Women featured author in the books My Second Story and I am Women:15 Stories of Triumph and more…founder of @beautifulblackpoetry

Contact Salaam and subscribe to book Salaam for Speaking, Community Healing Circles and Workshops, or Poetry Showcases and

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Best regards,

Salaam Green: 2016 Poet Laureate for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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