Conversation with Michelle Obama
Last month, I had the privilege of seeing Michelle Obama live at First Ontario Centre in Hamilton. I may have been seated in the nosebleed section, but I didn’t care. For close to two hours, thousands of people sat and listened to her speak and share candidly. I felt as though she was sitting right beside me in my home, that’s how comfortable I felt.
I came home feeling great after that evening. The thing about Michelle (we are on a first name basis in my mind) is how relatable she is. Reading her memoir and hearing her speak made me feel as though she could have grown up in my neighborhood or in my city. She has no air of pretension, yet she has accomplished so much and given so much to the world.
I genuinely appreciated how authentic and candid she was. Open and unashamed to share her journey, the good and the bad. I left there feeling that I could accomplish great things in my own life. I am not talking about changing the World or becoming famous or anything. I want to participate in change where I am at in a meaningful way. In my family first and foremost, in my neighborhood and city.
When I see what she has accomplished as a woman of color whose story resonates with my own, I feel encouraged and inspired. I want to dream bigger than I have been dreaming.
One of the reasons why I co founded QueensConnected and the UsNow conference is because I passionately believe that everyone should have the chance to determine and define their sexuality. I believe that us women have the right to explore and define what our own sexuality comprises. There is no one definition or right definition. For me, true female liberation is being the author of your own self expression.
Historically, women in general were seen as subjects and women of color were objects that were owned. We existed for the benefit of other people, not for ourselves. Women have been defined by: men, media, governments, religious institutions, and so forth. Isn’t it our turn to define who we are and want to be?
My personal fondness for Michelle stems from the fact that continues to explore and define who she is. She has changed courses, made compromises and so forth but she continues, in my eyes, to be who she wants to be. She has stayed true to herself and her ambitions while being the First African American First Lady of America.