Controversy will always sell books and the latest example comes from inside the walls of the White House.
New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor penned a book about the President and First Lady titled The Obamas which depicts, among other things, constant frictions between First Lady Michelle Obama and former top aides to her husband, President Obama.
The book delves deep into the Obamas’ marriage, covering the ups and downs and the hardships of their personal relationship before and after moving into the White House.
But what has people talking across Twitter and Facebook and what prompted the First Lady to defend herself in an interview with CBS News, is the way she’s portrayed in the book as being difficult to work with when it came to her husband’s staff.
As Mrs. Obama told CBS News:
“I guess it’s more interesting to imagine this conflicted situation here and a strong woman and– you know? But that’s been an image that people have tried to paint of me since the day Barack announced, that I’m some angry black woman.”
And she’s correct, one of her first “angry black woman” moments people remember happened in 2008 while campaigning for Barack. Michelle said:
“For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country, and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change.”
People haven’t forgotten that quote which ultimately placed her in the box of the “angry black woman.”
The right nearly pulled their wings out when she said that and they never let her forget it, deeming her anti-American and questioning her patriotism.
And all of that “angry black woman” rhetoric resulted in the infamous New Yorker magazine cover, depicting her as an afro-wearing, gun toting, Angela Davis revolutionary with Barack standing by her side in Muslim garb.
That drawing became cemented in the minds of many as an overall view of the First Lady.
But let’s get down to the real issue here. Is it that for the first time a black woman in one of the most powerful positions in America isn’t afraid to speak her mind and not stand submissive like her predecessors?
Mrs. Obama is a threat to the all-white boys club in Washington, she’s not going to stand still and be passive, she’ll tell you what’s on her mind. It’s the reason why she’s President Obama’s most trusted adviser, even though she doesn’t have that title.
What her haters fail to realize is that Mrs. Obama is from the streets of Chicago, she’s a Princeton graduate and earned her Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Harvard Law School.
It’s easier for them to brush her off and label her the “angry black woman” because that’s what they do. Not the mention they label her husband an anti-American Socialist who was born in Kenya.
So the “angry black woman” moniker probably won’t go away anytime soon. But neither will our First Lady.