One of the more poignant moments comes when Michelle Obama's mother, Marian Robinson says the following:
"I keep saying this: Michelle, Barack, and my son are not abnormal," Marian Robinson said. "All my relatives, all my friends, all their friends, all their parents, almost all of them have the same story. It's just that their families aren't running for president. It bothers me that people see [Michelle and Barack] as so phenomenal, because there's so much of that in the black neighborhood. They went to the same schools we all did. They went through the same struggles."
On some level, that will ring false for some people--these are two Ivy League lawyers, after all. But for those of us who've lived in black neighborhoods all our lives--and probably for black Chicagoans in particular--Robinson's point has a particular resonance. It's not that Ivy League lawyers are walking up and down the street, as much as we see talent, drive, and ambition every day. We see people taking their kids to school, going to PTA meetings, working their jobs everyday. But somehow the worst of it, becomes the most of it--and then the all of it. I think Obama, herself, also got at this at the end of the piece:
"People have never met a Michelle Obama," the soon-to-be first lady said toward the end of our interview. "But what they'll come to learn is that there are thousands and thousands of Michelle and Barack Obamas across America. You just don't live next door to them, or there isn't a TV show about them."
Anyway, here's another video where me and Pops discuss that aspect.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.