In honor of the festival’s 25th anniversary, the former FLOTUS hit the main stage of the Mercedes Benz Superdome for an in-depth interview with “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King.
The atmosphere in the dome was palpable and Mrs. Obama shared intimate details about her time in the white house.
Michelle Obama was a vision of style and grace as she hit the stage along with Gayle King.
There are several things that struck me during the discussion but one I can personally attest to was Michelle Obama’s recollection of the way the press treated her as a black woman in the public eye.
Obama talked about how the media attempted to de-feminize her by referring to her as “gorilla” (I’ve been called that and worse) and she stated that the “angry black woman” trope was used time and time again to describe her. There were also those who attempted to undermine Michelle Obama’s strength and intelligence by describing her with other demeaning and derogatory terms.
“For a minute there, I was an angry black woman who was emasculating her husband,” Obama recalled about the campaign.
“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.”
“For us as women, we have a hard time putting ourselves on our own priority list, let alone at the top of it,” Obama said.
“And that’s what happens to our health as women. We are so busy giving and doing for others that we almost feel guilty to take that time out for ourselves.”
King noted “we are trained that way,” and Obama agreed and said “we have to start having a different set of conversations to un-train us.”
She said women have to start having conversations about why it is so hard for women to put themselves first.
“We are living in a world where we as women are so devalued, we have trained ourselves to think we don’t deserve it — that we don’t even deserve to take care of ourselves.
Michelle Obama also provides an intimate peek into her relationship with Barack Obama. She admits that they’ve had their ups and downs, but the couple survived because they are equally yoked.
Obama said above all else, it is important for people to marry their equals.
“My husband is my teammate and if we are going to win this game together, he has to be strong and he has to be ok with me being strong,” Obama said.
Obama said along those lines, she doesn’t want a “weak player” on her team because “it feels easy.” “Be cautious of the man or woman who wants an easy person on their team,” she said.
For those of you who are wondering who the Obama’s will support in the upcoming election, Michelle states that it’s too early to tell. Mrs. Obama said she and her husband are not getting involved until after the primary.
“It’s very early. It is like trying to figure out who is going win the World Series after the first seven games.”
Obama said the general election is “so important” and they have to make sure everyone in the party comes together to support the nominee.
“We’re watching everyone, we’re supportive of everyone,” Obama said. “We are giving advice to whomever seeks it.”