Lewis Diuguid

Michelle Obama exposes what her family has endured as the first blacks in the White House

First lady Michelle Obama gives a thumbs up Saturday after walking out on stage just before delivering the commencement address at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Ala.
First lady Michelle Obama gives a thumbs up Saturday after walking out on stage just before delivering the commencement address at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Ala. The Associated Press

What the Obamas have had to endure as the first African-American family in the White House is sad and an indication that this country is far from the post-racial period that conservatives want folks to believe.

The public got a glimpse of what the first family has had to go through Saturday when first lady Michelle Obama gave the commencement address at Tuskegee University in Alabama. The news media have been particularly bad.

Obama said: “Over the years, folks have used plenty of interesting words to describe me. One said I exhibited ‘a little bit of uppity-ism.’ Another noted that I was one of my husband’s ‘cronies of color.’ Cable news once charmingly referred to me as ‘Obama’s Baby Mama.’”

It is revealing and important that Obama gave the public more insight into what the first family has had go through. President Barack Obama and his wife have become more outspoken on such matters during his second term in office.

Michelle Obama also told about 4,000 people in the audience for the graduating class of the historically black university that they have to excel despite others’ assumptions of them.

She encouraged the young people to never lose hope. Education, civic engagement and voting, she said, are the ways every new generation of black college graduates will help move this country beyond the chains of America’s past.

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