Michelle Obama’s ancestors were born into slavery, at a time when America faced the horrors of racial inequality and enforced slavery. Her family faced racial inequality even after it was abolished. Michelle herself was made to realize her racial identity.
When in college, the mother of a white roommate reportedly tried (unsuccessfully) to get her daughter reassigned because of Michelle’s race. Michelle said that being at Princeton was the first time she became more aware of her ethnicity and, despite the willingness of her classmates and teachers to reach out to her, she still felt “like a visitor on campus”. There were also issues of economic class. “I remember being shocked”, she says, “by college students who drove BMWs. I didn’t even know parents who drove BMWs.”
Being in an elite, private American University, at a time when African-American students did not often get access to such opportunities, Michelle faced a lot of challenges. However, she did not let these challenges deter her from her goal of being a successful lawyer. She worked hard and got into Princeton University after which she went to Harvard Law School and went on to practice law.
As the First Lady of USA, Michelle Obama spoke on several issues including tackling racial inequality, women empowerment and the need for education. Through her words and her charities, she became a hugely influential and successful figure, rising from a humble background and challenges throughout her life.
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