For Black History Month, we celebrate former FLOTUS and new Grammy winner Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama, author, American lawyer, university administrator, former first lady of the United States, and now a 2019 grammy winner for best spoken word album for her memoir Becoming, has been an advocate for black women and girls around the world. 

Her book has sold over a million copies and has held the longest streak at the number 1 selling spot on amazon. Becoming traces her Chicago roots to her time in the White House. Being an advocate for poverty awareness, education, and health are reasons as to why she is honored during Black History Month.

In late 2018, Michelle published Becoming. Describing the “deeply personal experience” of writing her memoir, she tweeted: “I talk about my roots and how a girl from the South Side found her voice. I hope my journey inspires readers to find the courage to become whoever they aspire to be.” 

Obama was born on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois. She was raised in what she describes as a “conventional” home, with “the mother at home, the father works, you have dinner around the table”. 

As Obama grew older, she entered Chicago’s first magnet high school and shares how she recalled being fearful of how others would perceive her, but disregarded any negativity around her and used it “to fuel me, to keep me going”.

After graduating law school in 1988, Michelle Obama worked as an associate in the Chicago branch of the firm Sidley Austin in the area of marketing and intellectual property. Obama became executive director for a nonprofit leadership-training program, helping youth learn skills for future careers in the public sector. 

Michelle Obama is a major advocate for women’s rights and teaching girls their worth from a young age. In a speech she made at the Obama Foundation Summit in November of 2018, she shares, “When we think about women in particular we ask them to speak up. We ask them to speak their mind. We ask them to just say no, to speak out against sexual harassment,” 

“But if we don’t teach our young girls to speak at an early age, that doesn’t just happen. It takes practice to have a voice. You have to use it again, and again, and again before you can say ‘no.’ Or ‘stop.’ ‘Don’t touch me.'” 

As First Lady, Mrs. Obama worked on the issues close to her heart — supporting military families, helping children lead healthier lives, and encouraging all our young people to fulfill their boundless promise. Mrs. Obama called on countries across the globe to help educate and empower young women, and she shared the stories and struggles of these young women with young people here at home to inspire them to commit to their own education. 

Former first lady Michelle Obama has snagged her first Grammy win for the audiobook version of her best-selling memoir Becoming. It’s the third Grammy win for the Obama household. Obama’s win for best spoken word album beat out nominees John Waters and the Beastie Boys, among others.