Michelle Obama opened up about her role as first lady during a candid interview with Gayle King at the 2019 Essence Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana on Saturday.
Wearing a kinky curly wig, the 55-year-old mom-of-two admitted she initially found it difficult to be taken seriously in her role as first lady.
"I would have to earn my grace and I knew I would have to quickly define myself and I want all young girls out there to know - we all struggle with that, people of color, working class folks, women of color," Michelle said. "People try to define us in a negative way before we get a chance to get out there and tell our own stories."
After Barack Obama made history in 2008 by becoming the first biracial president, Michelle quickly became popular with voters and the public. Rather than take a back seat and let her husband lead, Michelle projected the image of an outspoken strong Black first lady, which led to accusations she was "emasculating" her husband, Barack.
"For a minute there, I was an angry black woman who was emasculating her husband," she said. "As I got more popular, that's when people of all sides - Democrats and Republicans - tried to take me out by the knees and the best way to do it was to focus on the one thing people were afraid of: the strength of a black woman."
The couple signed a multi-million dollar deal with Netflix that will give voices to marginalized groups in society - particularly minorities and the LGBT+ community. An upcoming podcast series is being developed by their Higher Ground production company in conjunction with streaming giant Spotify in advance of the presidential elections in 2020.
Speaking about the Spotify venture in a statement last month, Michelle claimed the podcast will "amplify voices that are too often ignored or silenced altogether".
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