Black History month recognizes the struggles, but also focuses on the achievements of African-Americans. Many have paved the way and are engrained in our history. But the Obama Family is not just part of Black History, but American History.
During the past year, I have received countless invitations to the White House to represent the voice of women of color and Mocha Moms, Inc. Many of these visits included our Commander in Chief, President Barack Obama. But nothing excited me more than receiving an invitation for my two daughters and I to have Mother’s Day Tea with Mom-In-Chief, Michelle Obama!
From the moment we were confirmed to attend, the excitement overwhelmed our household. My girls, ages 8 and 9, told everyone they knew that they were going to meet our First Lady! Each day leading up to it was filled with anticipation.
The day finally arrived on May 10, 2012 when my girls and I joined a group of military spouses, grandmothers, including First Grandmother Ms. Marian Robinson, and children in the East Room of the White House. As fate would have it, we were seated with the first African-American Major League baseball player Jackie Robinson‘s family. His wife, Rachel and daughter Sharon, who is a children’s book author, were so welcoming to us.
After tea and treats, the children were whisked off to another area of the White House to create arts and crafts. What we didn’t realize was First Lady Michelle Obama was enjoying that time with our children! That’s right! Our Moms-In-Chief was in the back hanging with our kids, and working on crafts! How awesome is she!?! This really speaks to her dedication to families.
As First Lady Michelle and Dr. Biden were introduced and entered the East Room, our beautiful babies followed them in a burst of smiles and color with roses from the White House Garden, cards, cookies (which they REALLY made for themselves) and home-made tea bags. We all wiped away tears, as this emotional moment overwhelmed every mother in the room, and was such a heart-warming surprise.
More than the First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech to us lucky attendees, I was struck by her elegance, grace and passion for people. She didn’t have to “say” she cared, you could feel the warmth through her words and her presence. Having been in the same room with President Obama, he certainly exudes confidence and swagger. But by the same token, First Lady Obama creates a sense of family when she enters a room. It was as if we were all sitting on the living room sofa of their home in Chicago.
This was proven again when she took the time make her way to our tables after her speech to converse with each of us one-on-one. My girls say, “She gives the best hugs, next to you, Mommy.” She asked each of us about our lives, and was genuinely interested.
First Lady Michelle Obama is an amazing role model for education, parenting and the strength of a woman. As a woman of color, she speaks to the possibility of dreams being realized regardless of your background or socio-economic status. I cannot think of a better person to exemplify not only Black History, but American History and the essence of style and grace of the African American woman.