Why Michelle Obama’s Africa Trip Matters

The Root columnist says First Lady is inspiring model for young women emerging from apartheid

Michelle ObamaI didn’t have to be in the room or even in the country—which I am not right now—to have anticipated the rousing reception for Michelle Obama when she visited with young women and girls in South Africa’s black township of Soweto. Reading the White House pool reports, as even most reporters who are there must do, reminds me that I have been there, done that. While I don’t have anything like the stature of America’s first lady, I am up close and personal with the profile of the kind of woman those young girls and women in Soweto listen to with intense interest and appreciation.

What I learned from visiting townships like Soweto or other locations where Mrs. Obama and her daughters danced with the young women as they sang, “We Are Marching in the Light of God,” is that being from a mostly poor, impoverished place, where generations of black people have known nothing but oppression and denial, has not in any way diminished their humanity or their capacity to dream, though it may have stood in the way of realizing those dreams.

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  • Kris

    It would be nicer if she stayed in Africa!!!

  • Clara

    I think she is an ideal woman to visit Africa. She is doing a splendid job