Michelle Obama’s legacy will not be forgotten

America’s first African American First Lady has set an example for women everywhere


Simon Davis/ DFID/ CC 3.0

On June 16, 2015 Michelle Obama visited the Mulberry School for Girls in London to announce a nearly $200 million partnership between the United States and the United Kingdom that would help bring education to girls all around the world.

Leea Ivanel, Staff Writer

While Michelle Obama may be leaving the White House, her legacy never will.

On Nov. 4, 2008, Michelle became America’s first African American First Lady — a historical moment in a country whose Civil Rights Movement led by Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X only ended a mere 48 years ago.

Throughout the eight years she has been in the White House, Michelle has been a model to women and girls all around the world, and a reminder for everyone of the true power and potential of a woman.

While there were many moments during these past years when I found her to be great, perhaps the moment that struck me the most was during the speech she gave regarding Donald Trump’s sexual behavior during his campaign. For months, news stations and radio shows were constantly talking about Trump’s deplorable actions towards women, from his suggestion that Megan Kelly was on her period to calling Alicia Machado Miss Housekeeping because she is Latina. Soon after, an audio recording of him claiming to “grab women by the pu**y,” amongst other degrading things, came out, and the media blew up.

However, in the midst of Trump supporters claiming this was acceptable “locker room talk” and women shouting the word “pu**y” on live TV, Michelle Obama’s speech came as a ray of hope and human decency.

Hearing Michelle say that Trump’s behavior is not normal and that it should not be accepted by society gave me a powerful reminder that, truly, the madness that was all around was not the norm and that decent people still existed.

Michelle also said, “…I can tell you that the men in my life do not talk about women like this. And to dismiss this as everyday locker-room talk is an insult to decent men everywhere,” reminding me, as well as many other women, that Donald Trump is not the norm for men, but rather a disgusting exception.

While the First Lady has had several great speeches, there is much more to her than just her words — she has lived up to her message of equity between the sexes and female empowerment.

I see myself  in these girls, I see my daughters in these girls, and I simply cannot walk away from them. ”

— Michelle Obama

In March 2015, Michelle and Barack Obama launched Let Girls Learn, a U.S.-founded international organization aiming to provide education to girls from all countries. Michelle traveled the world raising funds and support for women’s education programs associated with Let Girls Learn, impacting the lives of thousands of girls forever.

Michelle also helped children back in America through the implementation of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, which increased portions of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in school meals while limited the number of calories in an attempt to stop schools from selling fast foods.

To put it simply, Michelle Obama is a woman to look up to.

What is your opinion of Michelle Obama?

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In the eight years she has severed as First Lady she has not only been an inspiration and role model, but also a source of hope to women everywhere. I personally see her as an embodiment of what hard work, effort, and passion can accomplish, and as an example of a powerful, intelligent woman, who despite being a minority and coming from not the richest of families, became a self-made international leader.

Truly, she left a great legacy behind her — one that will not be forgotten.

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