Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wash Post: Black women see themselves in Michelle Obama

Interesting piece...the personal conversations that black women are having, at least the ones I've been having, seem to be getting into the national press.

Check out some excerpts below or read the piece at Washington Post: Black women see bits and pieces of themselves in Michelle Obama - and let me know what you think...jd

..."I have no doubt that she is prepared for the challenge," said Lani Guinier, a Harvard Law School professor and onetime Clinton nominee for a top Justice Department post. "She and her husband embody a very healthy relationship. That in itself is quite a public and political statement."

For Portia Pedro, 29, a third-year student of Guinier's, the hope "for young black professional women that's embodied in Michelle Obama is a bit different from the hope invested in Barack Obama." "There is a not-so-silent concern that you are less likely to get married and less likely to have children," Pedro said. "The career part is not in question, but can you do that and be married and have a family? If she can do that, then it opens possibilities for other black women."

...It would be too trivial to say that she is smashing stereotypes of black women, because the stereotypes are so flat, so unreal, that smashing them would be like punching a cloud.

"There's the stereotype of the powerful black woman, the aggressive black woman; there is the stereotype of the over-sexualized, overly sexed black woman; there is the stereotype of the mammy," says Aziza Gibson-Hunter, 54, of Washington, a conceptual artist and mother of four.

What she sees in Michelle Obama is strength: "I saw it in my mother. When I was a kid, I saw it in the women in the church, this dignified strength. I think that is real...

"What this whole situation is doing is inviting people to look behind the projections in their own minds and maybe begin to do some work to deconstruct some of that and find the truth."

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