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The Meaning of Michelle : 16 Writers on the Iconic First Lady and How Her Journey Inspires Our Own
by Veronica Chambers


Overview -

Whenever I think about Michelle Obama, I think, When I grow up, I want to be just like her. I want to be that intelligent, confident, and comfortable in my own skin . Roxane Gay

Even after eight years of watching them daily in the press, the fact that the most powerful man in the world is a Black man is still breathtaking to me.  Read more...


 
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More About The Meaning of Michelle by Veronica Chambers
 
 
 
Overview

Whenever I think about Michelle Obama, I think, When I grow up, I want to be just like her. I want to be that intelligent, confident, and comfortable in my own skin . Roxane Gay

Even after eight years of watching them daily in the press, the fact that the most powerful man in the world is a Black man is still breathtaking to me. The fact that he goes home to a tight-knit, loving family headed by a Black woman is soul-stirring. That woman is Michelle. Michelle. That name now carries a whole world of meaning. And a whole world of memory. And a whole world of magic. From the Preface by Ava DuVernay

Michelle Obama is unlike any other First Lady in American History. From her first moments on the public stage, she has challenged traditional American notions about what it means to be beautiful, to be strong, to be fashion-conscious, to be healthy, to be First Mom, to be a caretaker and hostess, and to be partner to the most powerful man in the world. What is remarkable is that, at 52, she is just getting started.

While many books have looked at Michelle Obama from a fashion perspective, no book has fully explored what she means to our culture. The Meaning of Michelle does just that, while offering a parting gift to a landmark moment in American history. In addition to a tribute to Michelle Obama, this book is also a rollicking, lively dinner party conversation about race, class, marriage, creativity, womanhood and what it means to be American today.

Contributors include: Ava DuVernay, Veronica Chambers, Benilde Little, Damon Young, Alicia Hall Moran and Jason Moran, Brittney Cooper, Ylonda Gault Caviness, Chirlane McCray, Cathi Hanauer, Tiffany Dufu, Tanisha Ford, Marcus Samuelsson, Sarah Lewis, Karen Hill Anton, Rebecca Carroll, Phillipa Soo, and Roxane Gay

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Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781250114969
  • ISBN-10: 1250114969
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publish Date: January 2017
  • Page Count: 240
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.7 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Political
Books > Literary Collections > Essays
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Women

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-10-31
  • Reviewer: Staff

This charming series of 15 essays about Michelle Obama, deftly assembled by editor Chambers (Mamas Girl), finds inspiration in various facets of the 46th First Lady of the United States as her time in that role draws to a close. Chirlane McCray, First Lady of New York City, draws parallels between their respective positions in Two Black First Ladies Walk into a Room. Amherst professor Tanisha Ford ruminates on Obamas evolving sense of style, from J. Crew to Jason Wu, in She Slays. Chef Marcus Samuelsson shares his excitement in preparing the Obamas first state dinner in Cooking with a Narrative (complete with mouthwatering menu). Rutgers professor Brittney Cooper examines the friendship of Michelle Obama and Beyoncé in Lady O and King Bey. Many of the contributors applaud the validation they feel the Obama administration has given them. In Crushing on Michelle, Damon Young, founder of the online magazine VSB, contrasts his own generations experience to that of his young niece and nephew, for whom an African-American president and first lady is literally all they know. That sense of gratitude resonates through each offering in this compilation, a warm tribute to an inspiring woman of color who has lived in the public eye for more than eight years. (Jan.)

 
BookPage Reviews

A portrait of Michelle Obama as FLOTUS

As the Obamas leave the White House, their departure saddens many, as evidenced by the essays in The Meaning of Michelle, a diverse collection united by admiration in a “praise song” anthology. Whether discussing Michelle Obama’s shapely arms, her fashion sense or her “Evolution of Mom Dancing” with Jimmy Fallon, these 16 writers would all agree with chef Marcus Samuelsson’s observation: “It’s nothing short of stunning the way she manages a 24/7 news cycle.”

Samuelsson got to know the first lady in 2009 while planning and cooking the Obamas’ first state dinner, for the prime minister of India and 400 guests. He concludes, “I think she embodies the ability to shape the conversation around her better than any person that I know.”

Here and there, we learn interesting tidbits of Michelle’s past, such as the horrifying fact that when she attended Princeton as an undergraduate in the 1980s, the family of her first roommate protested to the administration that their daughter had been assigned to room with a black person. (It would certainly be interesting to check in on this family now.) We’re also reminded of smile-worthy moments, such as the self-proclaimed mom-in-chief’s response that if she could be anyone other than herself, it would be Beyoncé.

Those who feel despondent about FLOTUS leaving the White House are likely to rally behind novelist and essayist Cathi Hanauer’s closing plea: “She has said she’ll never run for president herself. To that I say: Never say never, Michelle. Let’s just see where we all are a decade from now.”

 

This article was originally published in the January 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews