Michelle Obama

The FIRST Lady with a FUN Side
Getting a pizza on a Friday was a treat. Everything that I think about and do is shaped around the life that I lived in that little apartment in the bungalow my father worked so hard to provide for us.

My parents met as teenagers. My mother was the motivator and philosopher-in-chief, and together my parents saw it as their mission to provide strength, wisdom and a measure of insulation to my brother and me. My dear father was an Army vet who passionately loved art and sculpture, but rarely got to practice it. He rarely missed a day at his job at the municipal water company, even as he began to limp and struggle with degenerative muscular sclerosis.
 
Before I met Barack Obama I enjoyed a close family life and strong schooling, showing a competitive streak and a summer where I had a cursing problem. I also faced brushes with tight budgets and racial discrimination.
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We lived in the cramped upstairs of a bungalow shared with relatives.  My parents economized, with Sunday drives being a weekly highlight. Friday nights often meant Chinese checkers, Monopoly or Scrabble and "The Brady Bunch,'' of which I had an encyclopedic knowledge.

From my earliest days, I picked up tips from my mom's aunt. Aunt Robbie was a force of nature, teaching her piano and leading operettas. She once had been accepted into a summer program at Northwestern University, but was refused a spot in a residential dormitory because of her color. She sued the university, and won. I adopted some of my aunt's headstrong ways, missing out on a best camper's award as a 10-year-old because I was in my cursing stage.

As kids, my brother and I grew up in a then-safe South Side neighborhood in what he described as ''the Shangri-La of upbringings.'' Nonetheless, other black kids in the neighborhood were shooed away from South Shore Country Club near their home. The club, which later ended its segregation, was where Barack and I held our wedding reception.

I went to a magnet high school far from my home often was accompanied on the train and bus ride by my friend Santita Jackson, a daughter of civil rights leader Jesse Jackson. Another inspiring lady today.
The family of my freshman roommate at Princeton didn't want their daughter to share a room with a black woman. After one semester Cont'd at Right...
she moved out saying she was just happy to have a room to herself.

My parents limited us to one hour of television a day and made us do chores. They were relentless in pushing us in education as well. Both my brother and I excelled, each skipping a grade in elementary school. In junior high, my brother was valedictorian and I was salutatorian. There was no question the two of us were college-bound. My goals being met when I earned my Law Degree.

There is too much to my whole story to share right now so I will just concentrate on two sides of my life as First Lady that I am VERY Proud of. (Besides my Amazing Husband and daughters… That’s a Given) 
My serious side continues to concentrate on issues relating to women empowerment, children’s health and education, organic food movement, and national service. I was very proud of being acknowledged on the following: 7 Ways Michelle Obama Positively Influenced Education

However I am very comfortable with my “playful, FUN” side that I try to incorporate as not only a way to motivate others to get healthy, as First Lady, I had so much FUN on a few of the Late Night Talk Shows I was on. While there were occasions to sing with James Corden and do skits with Jimmy Fallon,  the one with Stephen Colbert  in the photo above brought back the fun of being young again.

While I may not have been the most traditional or conventional First Lady, I was always authentically Michelle.


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