First Lady Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama is a lawyer, writer, and the wife of the 44th and current President, Barack Obama. She is the first African-American First Lady of the United States. She has become a role model for women and an advocate for poverty awareness, higher education, and healthy living.
In 2010, she launched Let’s Move!, bringing together community leaders, educators, medical professionals, parents, and others in a nationwide effort to address the challenge of childhood obesity. Let’s Move! has an ambitious goal: to solve the epidemic of childhood obesity within a generation. Whether it's providing healthier food in our schools, helping kids be more physically active, or urging companies to market healthier foods to our children, Let’s Move! is focused on giving parents the support they need to make healthier choices for their kids.
In 2011, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Jill Biden came together to launch Joining Forces, a nationwide initiative calling all Americans to rally around service members, veterans, and their families and support them through wellness, education, and employment opportunities. Joining Forces works hand in hand with the public and private sector to ensure that service members, veterans, and their families have the tools they need to succeed throughout their lives.
In 2014, Mrs. Obama launched the Reach Higher Initiative, an effort to inspire young people across America to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school, whether at a professional training program, a community college, or a four-year college or university. Reach Higher aims to ensure that all students understand what they need to complete their education by working to expose students to college and career opportunities; helping them understand financial aid eligibility; encouraging academic planning and summer learning opportunities; and supporting high school counselors who do essential work to help students get into college. Read more at www.whitehouse.gov.
Obama: A Life
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by Peter Slevin
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Knopf (April 7, 2015)
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An inspiring story, richly detailed and written with élan, here is the first comprehensive account of the life and times of Michelle Obama, a woman of achievement and purpose—and the most unlikely first lady in modern American history. With disciplined reporting and a storyteller’s eye for revealing detail, Peter Slevin follows Michelle to the White House from her working-class childhood on Chicago’s largely segregated South Side.
The journey winds from the intricacies of her upbringing as the highly focused daughter of a gregarious city water-plant worker afflicted with multiple sclerosis to the tribulations she faces at Princeton University and Harvard Law School during the racially charged 1980s. And then returning to Chicago, where she works in an elite law firm and meets a law student from Hawaii named Barack Obama. Unsatisfied by corporate law, Michelle embarks on a search for meaningful work that takes her back to the community of her South Side youth, even as she struggles to find balance as a mother and a professional—while married to a man who wants to be president.
Slevin deftly explores the drama of Barack’s historic campaigns and the harsh glare faced by Michelle in a role both relentlessly public and not entirely of her choosing. He offers a fresh and compelling view of the White House years when Michelle Obama casts herself as mentor, teacher, champion of nutrition, supporter of military families, and fervent opponent of inequality.
Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White, and Multiracial
Ancestors of Michelle Obama
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by Rachel L. Swarns
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Amistad (June 19, 2012)
Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.5 inches
Michelle Obama's family saga is a remarkable,
quintessentially American story—a journey from slavery
to the White House in five generations. Yet, until now,
little has been reported on the First Lady's roots.
Prodigiously researched, American Tapestry traces the
complex and fascinating tale of Michelle Obama's ancestors,
a history that the First Lady did not even know herself.
Rachel L. Swarns, a correspondent for the New York Times,
brings into focus the First Lady's black, white, and
multiracial forebears, and reveals for the first time the
identity of Mrs. Obama's white
great-great-great-grandfather—a man who remained hidden in
her lineage for more than a century.
American Tapestry illuminates the lives of the ordinary people in Mrs. Obama's family tree who fought for freedom in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars; who endured the agonies of slavery, the disappointment of Reconstruction, the displacement of the Great Migration, and the horrors of Jim Crow to build a better future for their children. Swarns even found a possible link to the Jewish Reform movement.
Though it is an intimate family history, American Tapestry is also the collective chronicle of our changing nation, a nation in which racial intermingling lingers in the bloodlines of countless citizens and slavery was the crucible through which many family lines—black, white, and Native American—were forged.
Epic in scope and beautifully rendered, this is a singularly inspiring story with resonance for us all.
Obama: The First Lady in Photographs
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Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (November 4, 2009)
Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 8 x 0.9 inches
A stunning, visual biography of Michelle Obama that finally puts her phenomenal fame into a cultural and historical context we can all understand. There has never been a First Lady like her before. While there have been a slew of Obama celebrity books, none contain the message of Deborah Willis and Emily Bernard's eye-opening book. With nearly 200 compelling photographs, these two noted scholars capture Michelle Obama's dramatic transformation from working mother to First Lady, from her first tentative steps on the campaign trail to her spontaneous hug of the Queen, to her fairy-tale-like "date night" on Broadway. Not since Jacqueline Kennedy has there been a First Lady who has so enchanted America, but in her down-to-earth dealings with all Americans'schoolchildren, military families, and home gardeners alike'and in her diverse fashion taste, from J. Crew to Jason Wu, Michelle Obama is inexplicably all pearls, all business, all mother. The authors show how Michelle Obama represents the culmination of America's evolving views on women, race, motherhood, and beauty. Much more than a mere catalog of style, Michelle Obama is a remarkable pictorial story of one woman's hold on our imagination. 150 full-color photographs.
Tell Michelle: African-American Women Write to the New First
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Edited by Barbara A. Seals Nevergold and Peggy Brooks-Bertram
Paperback: 287 pages
Publisher: State University of New York Press (January 15, 2009)
A collection of letters written by African American women
to Michelle Obama.
"You are me. When I look at you, I see me. I see the young African American woman who, through good family values, strong roots, hard work, and perseverance, has come into her own ... Though your journey may not be easy in the coming days, weeks, months, or years, think of us to ease your burden and pain. Think of those who you inspire. Think of those who you have given hope to. Think of those whom you have filled with pride. Think of your sister ... Think of your favorite cousin. Think of your mother. Think of me. We are the same."
"To you Michelle I take off my African woman hat from
Cameroon, my motherland. You have given us African women the
courage and the hope to move on and up. You keep your head
high and hold your husband close to your heart. Keep praying
my sister, you are the best. You have lived the dream of
every ebony woman. Ride on sister, we are with you."
"You are the song, you are the proverb, and you are the symbol of human dignity."
"When you and your family go to the spot under the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial, where Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, you will take with you our history of dreams deferred; however, you will also take with you our prayers and hopes for an America that is ready to build and dream anew."
"Thank you for your courage to say yes, to step from behind your private veil into the public eye, to step forward with the grace of boldness, to carry a message that `Hope is a wise decision' and also teaching the importance of learning to prepare oneself because with hope, things can change. I sat next to my daughter, praying that all women would tell this message to themselves, their daughters and sisters, nieces and neighbors, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, friends and sisterfriends, strangers and mates. But most of all, I thank you from the bottom of my heart to remind me to keep being hopeful so I can keep flapping my wings and not be afraid to fly."
"What I really want to say is thank you for existing and remaining visually the kind of woman I've always wanted to be. I'd given up hope. I'd given up hope that Black men could affectionately and passionately adore a woman publicly the way that your old man adores you. I'd given up hope that I'd get to keep my booty and succeed in the commercial production world of NYC. I honestly didn't believe I'd be able to be intelligent and sexy at the same time and be taken seriously ... You two have revolutionized what I believe to be possible in Black life. Black, young, sexy, beautiful, brilliant, and powerful. How marvelous."
"We are one woman, blessed to be born Black in America ... I rejoice for every little girl, every teenager, young adult and yes even every senior, who like me, can look at you and see herself. I rejoice for the mothers who loved their children as much as you and I do, yet could not protect them."
"Thank you for making me reconsider bringing my Black babies into this world."
Passionate, shattering, and tender, this astonishing book gathers together letters to Michelle Obama, written by African American and African women. Shortly after the election, the Uncrowned Queens Institute in Buffalo, New York, sent out a call across the country for African American women to share their hopes, fears, and advice with the new First Lady. Hundreds of letters and poems poured in, signaling both an unprecedented moment in our nation's history and a remarkable opportunity for African American women to look at the White House and see and speak to one of their own there.
These very personal letters and poems, written by African American women from all ages and walks of life, celebrate a newfound hope for our world and children, speak to a strong sisterhood with the First Lady, confess often very private fears and dreams, and acknowledge and remember the generations before who endured so much for so long.
Obama: Meet the First Lady
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by David Bergen Brophy
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: Collins (January 6, 2009)
Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
Michelle obama has been by her husband's side throughout
his historic presidential campaign, a dynamic personality
whether she is delivering speeches or hitting the dance
floor on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Follow the story of a hardworking girl growing up on the South Side of Chicago and how she has inspired our nation to believe in the American Dream that her life exemplifies. In her own stirring words: America should be a place where you can make it if you try.
Written by David Bergen Brophy, this in-depth biography captures the heart and soul of the First Lady behind the campaign for change.
Obama: First Lady of Hope
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by Elizabeth Lightfoot
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: The Lyons Press (December 11, 2008)
There is no one quite like her. Michelle Obama. This is the first book to tell the astonishing story of a woman whose intellect, verbal flair, and poise are certain to make her one of the most influential First Ladies in history. A woman whose remark, 'For the first time in my adult life I am really proud of my country,' did her husband's campaign no good. A woman whose impassioned speech to the Democratic National Convention may have helped win him the Oval Office. A woman touted as a future presidential candidate herself.
Readers are given a revealing and intimate look at Michelle Obama's remarkable life'from her Chicago childhood to her education at Princeton and Harvard, from how she first met Barack Obama at the prestigious law firm where they were the only African-Americans, to her role as his closest adviser, and to her own political beliefs. For Michelle, family comes first, and'like so many women who struggle between family and career'she seriously weighed her husband's presidential ambitions before giving her stamp of approval. Apparently she struck a hard bargain: he had to give up smoking.
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