I am embarrassed to say that I am surprised, shocked, and overwhelmed by Michelle Obama’s speech.
I do know that there are many intelligent, poised, passionate, articulate black women out there, I consider myself one. I have seen a couple of speeches by Michelle on youtube and thought she did great. I guess the truth is that I was fearful that whatever truths she might speak, it would be twisted by the pundits. I was fearful that there might be a gaffe. I was fearful that the energy and passion that I feel from Michelle would not translate well to middle America or non-Black women, or non-blacks in general.
I have never been happier to be wrong.
In the words of Keith Olbermann, Michelle was pitch-perfect in every sense. Mrs. Obama recounted her upbringing by her hardworking dad and stay at home mom on the south side of Chicago. She also mentioned how her dad struggled with multiple sclerosis and still managed to go to work everyday and provide for the family. Her parents instilled the value of education, hard work and treating others well. Michelle also relayed how she was pursued by Barack and that they have the same values. The most moving moment of the speech was the story of Barack cautiously driving Michelle and new-born Malia home from the hospital and how she knew he would always be committed to being a great father to their children.
I was crying. Many women (and some men) in the audience were crying. At that point I realized, that some of Hillary Clinton supporters had tried to corner the market on women and women’s rights, but Michelle’s “womaness” capitivated all and she picked up the “woman mantle” and ran with it. I received the shock of my life when I momentarily switched to Fox News (I warned myself that this would ruin my whole evening, but I was sooo curious about their reaction). I saw Juan Williams choked up and misty-eyed, recounting the effect of Michelle’s speech on him. Priceless.
And then of course, the interaction between Michelle, Barack, Sasha, and Malia. Those girls are so adorable and to here them excitedly repeat, “Hi Daddy”, “I love you, daddy” allowed whole world witness a rarely seen image of a happy, successful, African-American family. More tears.
I am so proud. I am so proud. I am so proud.