With all of the attention that the Obama’s have received since the 2008 Presidential Campaign, where they were bumping fists and exchanging deep stares, a lot of people never truly realized the impact that Michelle Obama had on Black men. Much of the focus was on her ability to be a role model for Black girls and Black women. No one really spoke about what she was doing for Black men. My 5 year old son and I both developed a crush on Michelle Obama. He proudly told me that he was going to marry her. I’m not sure if he and I saw the same thing, but I was happy to know that he wasn’t intimidated by her. We all stared at the comfort that President Barack had with her. The way he stared into her eyes, as though nothing else mattered…and she gazed back. In conversations with the fellas, we spoke of the respect and adoration that she exhibited toward him. We all looked to our right, at the woman we were sitting next to, thinking, “Is she my Michelle?”
Ohhh…Such a high standard. She’s a successful lawyer. A strong, articulate, well educated woman, who can hold her own, on so many levels. Yet…none of that has prevented her from supporting her husband through one of the roughest and most trying times in their lives and displaying what I consider to be the perfect representation of Black Love. For years, there’s been this tension between educated and/or successful Black women and Black men. There’s been a stereotype that because a Black woman is successful, “independent”, and educated, that she’s a cold-on-the-inside, hard-shelled, nut to crack. There’s been the stereotype that Black men can’t deal with those characteristics in his partner. More importantly, many of us believe that strong, educated, “independent” Black women are to selfish and incapable of receiving or giving love to a Black man.
I do happen to know women who are in fact those tough nuts to crack who judge Black men because they haven’t achieved at a certain level. I do know Black men who aren’t secure enough and avoid successful Black women, either due to their own inadequacies, bad experiences, or unwillingness to be tested and challenged by an equally strong opinion. Either way Michelle Obama is speaks directly to both of us.
For the Black women who has lived up to the stereotypes, she shows that you don’t have to be the Oprah type who seems to pride themselves on “independence”, and finding ways to prove that you don’t “need” a man. Yes…we understand that you can do bad all by yourself and that you can pay your own bills, but loneliness is more of a “bitch” than you have become. There’s no greater experience than Black love. Its been proven for centuries.
For the Black men who have avoided beautiful and strong Black women simply because you don’t want to be challenged or held to task, Michelle shows that true love doesn’t judge, it doesn’t size you up, but it has expectations. You can’t expect any women who has been thoughtful about her own live and actions to not want to know that the person she’s willing to spend her life with is as thoughtful or at least willing to learn, and be challenged.
I can’t imagine that President Obama avoid’s hearing Michelle’s opinion and doesn’t respect her strength. I can’t imagine that Michelle doesn’t have the utmost respect for President Obama. But what I can see…is that regardless of their qualifications, education, and financial situation, there is a love and passion between them that is contagious. Both Black men and Black women need to look at Michelle, and then look at ourselves in the mirror.