Michelle Obama Talks About Overcoming Being Labelled An ‘Angry Black Woman’

Michelle Obama is opening about being labelled an “angry black woman” in the early days of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

During the Essence Festival on Saturday night, Obama sat down with Gayle King where she spoke about the criticism she had to face and how at one point people on both sides were against her because she was seen as an asset to her husband.

Amy Harris/Invision/AP
Amy Harris/Invision/AP

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“For a minute there, I was an angry black woman who was emasculating her husband. As I got more popular, that’s when people of all sides — Democrats and Republicans — tried to take me out by the knees and the best way to do it was to focus on the one thing people were afraid of: the strength of a black woman,”  she said, adding that people “don’t remember how many punches we took to get” to the White House.

King questioned Obama if she is living her best life. “The Obama family is doing fine,” she noted but “Barack and I aren’t living our best life until we’re all living our best life.”

“But I’m here to tell you, there is nothing we can’t do or change when we as a collective put our minds to it,” she said. “I feel that when I’m out there. We’re the ones we are waiting for. But that means we have to roll up our sleeves and do the work every single time.”

Although she said that you can’t just vote for a president and then wait for things to improve.

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Obama also gave advice to young women on succeeding personally and professionally.

“What I don’t understand that we got to think you’re supposed to have it all at the same time — that’s a false set of principles, none of us gets to have it all, nor should we,” the former First Lady added. “We don’t even raise our kids to think they should have it all, that’s called selfish, that’s called not sharing. You never get to have it all, but you remember life is a journey and through it all, finding balance. Because without balance, you will never find happiness.”

You can watch the full hour-long interview above.

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