Michelle Obama wants you to know she’s not an angry black woman

Pin it

It's hard ducking racial rhetoric when discussing the Obamas, but the notion of "the angry black woman" is something First Lady Michelle Obama wants to dispel. In an interview on CBS This Morning, Mrs. Obama discusses being falsely portrayed as an angry black woman, a myth perpetuated by a recently released biography by Jodi Kantor entitled The Obamas.

Rumors surrounding Mrs. Obama's temperament stem from reports of her arguing with former chief of staff and current Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel over President Obama's health-care overhaul. But the First Lady shrugged off the allegations. "That’s been an image that people have tried to paint of me since the day Barack announced,” she said in an interview with CBS News. “That I’m some angry black woman.”

When Mrs. Obama was asked how she deals with an accusation that can be, well, enraging (and therefore kind of self-fulfilling), she responded, "I just try to be me. And my hope is that, over time, people get to know me. And they get to judge me for me." The difficulties of being a woman in politics — toeing that gentle line between being perceived as assertive versus being a shrew — can only be tenfold when adding race into the mix. But in spite of the portrait the media has tried to paint of her, Mrs. Obama is handling the situation with the elegance and aplomb of, oh, an elderly British white lady.