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Michelle Obama Is Proof That Black Women Can Become More Than Their Wildest Dreams

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Michelle Obama Is Proof That Black Women Can Become More Than Their Wildest Dreams

By Michelle Duster via

“Yes I’m black. Yes I’m a woman. Yes I grew up working-class. How dare someone say I don’t love my country, that I don’t belong.”

Those words rang out in Chicago’s United Center Stadium as thousands of black women and girls listened to former first lady Michelle Obama discuss her life before and during her years in the White House.

After spending eight years as the first lady and two years working on her just-published memoir, Becoming, Michelle Obama returned to her hometown as a superstar, ready to launch her multi-city book tour with what was billed as an “intimate conversation” with fellow Chicago sister Oprah Winfrey.

Before she became first lady and a household name, however, Obama was a regular girl from the South Side, just like me. Growing up, we were taught to think beyond our circumstances and believe that we deserved the best. We were encouraged to enter competitive educational and professional worlds that had not been open to our parents.

Outside of our neighborhoods and social circles, however, we were met with attitudes that we were “exceptions,” not the norm. We learned to ignore or overcome the…

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I am a future butterfly at the stage of growth when I am turning into an adult. I am enclosed in a hard case shell formed by love, family, and friends. It is the hardest stage of becoming a black butterfly. You will encounter many hardships only to come out stronger and better than what you went in. At this stage, you are finding out who you truly are and how to love yourself.

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What Does It Mean To Be “Black Butterfly Beautiful”

The image of the butterfly has come to define the many expressions of the feminine black consciousness and for a good reason. The butterfly is the perfect articulation of the exquisite beauty of nature. Whether tiny or large, brightly colored or more subdued, the butterfly’s allure is undeniable. Each one displays its own unique patterns and hues, and no one species outshines any other.

Similarly, there is no one ideal image of a black woman -- each is gorgeous in her right. All African-Americans share a glorious history of struggle and perseverance that has funneled into the modern black renaissance. And, like the graceful butterfly, the awakened black woman exemplifies the dazzling beauty of that cultural evolution.

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