Just 15 days after the release of Michelle Obama’s book, ‘Becoming’ it has become the best-selling book released this year. So, last night, the former First Lady was in London, where she had a chat with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and other guests, as part of the promotion for her book.
According to BBC Over 40,000 people attempted to get a ticket to the event that took place at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall in London. Of course, not all were able to get in as the can only accommodate under 3,000 seats.
Michelle talked about growing up, her parents, marriage, rising to becoming the First Lady of the United States of America, amongst other things. Below are some of the profound things from this conversation.
One of the things my parents believed was that my voice was relevant and my opinions were meaningful and my anger and frustration was real and that’s something that’s important for parents of any socio-economic background must realise.
My parents saw this flame in me. the flame that would challenge my own habits and speak up for myself. Instead of doing what we often do to girls who are feisty, which is try to put that flame out, to douse it because we are worried about them not being lady-like or being bossy. They found a way to keep that flame lit because they knew I would need it later on.
To have that flame lit in a girl means you have to value her voice, to let that flame speak accordingly and let her learn how to use it.
On her message for young black women
It’s still hard out here. What happens to black women is that we become a caricature . . . people will take the things from us that they like. Our style, our swag becomes co-opted but then we’re demonised. We are angry, we are too loud, we are too everything. And I experienced that. How dare I have a voice and use it.
“The question I continue to ask myself is: am I good enough? This is true for women, for working-class people but it’s profound for women of colour. We are walking around with these demons and doubts in our heads; we have to slay the dragon in our own mind.
“My advice to young women is that you have to start by getting those demons out of your head . . . the messages that are sent from the time we are little are: ‘maybe you are not [good enough], don’t reach too high, don’t talk too loud.
Here’s the secret: they’re not that smart. There are a lot of things that folks are doing to keep their seats because they don’t want to give up power. And what better way to do that than to make you feel you don’t belong . . . you have to prepare yourself, because when you get those arrows thrown at you, all you can fall back on is your experience and your ability.
What a night! @MichelleObama was @southbankcentre last night to discuss her memoir BECOMING with writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in an exclusive UK event in collaboration with @penguinlive
More photos here: https://t.co/N7QgqfsC7R#MichelleObama @PenguinUKBooks #IAmBecoming pic.twitter.com/L8wJyqKfyt
— Southbank Centre (@southbankcentre) December 4, 2018
Now check this out