“Rather than being explicitly shut out or regularly and unapologetically discriminated against, during her lifetime Michelle Obama was granted admission to privileged quarters that only recently had become open and that were still uneasy about her presence or, at best, unprepared. One way to understand Michelle Obama is as a person who has lived much of her life on contested terrain.”
“The day she was born, Michelle Robinson embodied the unique combination of discrimination and opportunity, hardship and overcoming, of being acted upon and acting, that would define much of black history in America. Of history in America, period.”
“The Robinson family has never made a secret of the fact that Michelle could be independent-minded, even hard-headed. It’s a family joke. “I always say Michelle raised herself from about 9 years old,” her mother told the Chicago Tribune.”
“It was obvious that she had goals and she was going places,” recalls a high school classmate. “She didn’t goof off like other students. She was on a very advanced, focused track.”
“To mark her graduation from Harvard Law School, her parents paid to publish a tribute to Michelle in the back of the yearbook. ‘We knew you would do this fifteen years ago,’ they wrote, ‘When we could never make you shut up.’ ”
Excerpted from Michelle by Liza Mundy Copyright © 2008 by Liza Mundy. Excerpted by permission of Simon & Schuster. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.