The Burden She Carries: What Michelle Obama’s Speech at the 2008 Democratic Convention Meant

On August 26, 2008, at Andrew Sullivan’s Atlantic blog, an African American woman wrote movingly of the import of Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic Convention:

I am a 36 year old African American woman.  I have two girls ages 10 and 8.  The country does not get the full import of this moment.  My daughters and I sat together along with my husband to watch Michelle Obama tonight.  Mr. Sullivan, we were all in tears.  This is a day that cannot be fully described.  This country has systematically oppressed Black women for centuries.  My ancestors were slaves and my great, great, great, grandmothers raped and treated as property.  My daughters have very few Black women to look up to in popular culture as role models.  They do not feel seen, they are not held up as the standards of American beauty.   We shed tears tonight as a family because Michelle (with her elegance and grace) is holding all of us up with her.  You don’t understand the burden that she bears.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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1 Response to The Burden She Carries: What Michelle Obama’s Speech at the 2008 Democratic Convention Meant

  1. Tanilan says:

    How so right you are! I feel almost like society wants us to duck our heads or feel ashamed of being Black women! We have never been held as important in this country and when we achieve greatness, we are shunned!

    Thank you for your words! They are so true!

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