Dr. Khadijah Miller and Dr. Ernestine Duncan '79 will discuss their book chapter, "Negotiated Respectability, the Looking Glass Self and Mrs. Michelle Obama" The book, Michelle Obama and the FLOTUS Effect: Platform, Presence, and Agency explores the role of the first African-American First Lady, and considers her impending legacy on the American political landscape, and society.
Michelle Obama intentionally defined her role and herself in ways that countered and complemented the images and works of previous First Ladies. Together, as FLOTUS and President of the United States, Michelle and Barack Obama reframed the view and evidenced the possibility of a strong Black man and Black woman, co-existing and thriving individually and collectively. Her initiatives, which were consistent with other first ladies were established to improve the quality of life for all Americans. The strategies she used were crafted to influence and empower rather than denigrate and divide. Through her accomplishments as a woman, a mother, a Black woman and FLOTUS, Michelle Obama has stood straight in the ‘crooked room’ of America, and American culture is evermore changed.