Former First Lady Michelle Obama told her story in 2018’s memoir “Becoming,” but she had more to add over the weekend at the Essence Festival in New Orleans. In a livestreamed interview with “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King on Saturday (July 6), Mrs. Obama discussed her time in the White House, why she needed to write her book and what she’s learned about herself over the years.
“Our stories as Black people and as Black women have power,” Mrs. Obama said of the reaction she received while touring with her book. “We often don’t get to see ourselves, we don’t hear ourselves because we don’t control the narrative. And I knew that it was important in writing ‘Becoming’ that I had to sit with the fact that, and understanding of, how rare it is that a Black woman, a modern day woman, gets an opportunity to tell her own story.”
Other key quotes snippets from Obama’s interview:
As I got more popular and started being more of an asset to my husband, it was interesting that 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 they knew people were afraid of was the strength of a Black woman. So they turned that into a caricature.
To sit at [Trump’s] inauguration and to look around at that crowd that was not reflective of the country, it was such the opposite. Because during Barack’s inauguration, we made sure that the crowd looked like all of America. Having the Tuskegee Airmen. Having the civil rights folks. Having folks who had marched. You could look out at his crowd and you could see America, all of it. And I had to sit in that audience, one of a handful of people of color, and then listen to that speech and all that I had sort of held onto for eight years, watching my husband get raked over the coals, feeling like we had to do everything perfectly. No scandal. No nothing. No nothing, y’all. It was a lot emotionally.
Watch the full interview: