Michelle Obama: Barack’s presidency ‘changes the bar for all of our children’

August 15, 2013

Two weeks before the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech," Michelle Obama spoke on the impact of her husband's legacy with regards to race in an interview with Parade magazine.

"Children born in the last eight years will only know an African-American man being president of the United States," she said. "That changes the bar for all of our children, regardless of their race, their sexual orientation, their gender."

Earlier this summer, the Obama family went on a three-country tour of Africa which included a stop in South Africa. The family toured Robben Island where former South African president Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years.

"To come back to the United States, with an African-American president who has been influenced by both King and Mandela, that is a reason to be hopeful about all that Dr. King sacrificed," she said in anticipation of the upcoming anniversary.

When talking about race, The Washington Post's Juliet Eilperin reported that the first couple appears to be most comfortable in their hometown, Chicago. The first lady gave a speech there earlier in the summer where she said her role as one of the few black women at board meetings prepared her for her life in the public eye.

"“That’s one of the reasons why, as first lady, I talk about my background," she said. "Because I’m proud of it."

Ruth Tam is a writer based in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter: @ruthetam.
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