Of course I’ll miss the charismatic, poised and graceful President Barack Obama, the United States of America’s first ever Black President.
I remember my form tutor playing his inauguration speech in morning registration. History had been made and I couldn’t have been more excited and proud.
But at the same time, Michelle being First Lady meant just as much, maybe even more.
The President of one of the world’s most powerful countries had a wife who was an intelligent and beautiful black women who stood beside and not behind him. Michelle pursued her own political and social endeavours and dealt with all adversity with an unmatched grace and elegance.
Michelle Obama made balancing her career as well as being a mother and a wife look effortless. Michelle was also at many times, flawless. Name a First Lady with better style than Michelle, I dare you.
Regram of Chief Official White House Photographer @PeteSouza: "This family. What can I say. What an honor to have photographed them for eight years. A couple of months ago, the Social Office came to me and said they were thinking of using a family photo for this year's White House holiday card. So I thought of Justin Trudeau. I know you're wondering what the heck I'm talking about. Earlier this year we hosted the Canadian Prime Minister for a formal State Dinner. Malia and Sasha attended as guests. Before the dinner, I did a family photo in the White House residence. But later, when the Trudeaus arrived, the two families spent some time on the Truman Balcony with their respective delegations. At one point, the Prime Minister asked if we could do a photo of he and his wife with the Obama family. Click, click, click. Then, he said I should do a photo of just the Obamas. I could have said, ‘Sir, we already did one before you arrived.’ But instead, I clicked off a few quick frames. And lo and behold, it was this picture that Justin Trudeau asked me to take which everyone loved as the choice for the 2016 White House holiday card."
I remember when I discovered that Michelle has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. I told (and still tell) anyone who would listen that one of my joint honours is in the same subject. I felt proud and almost destined in knowing that I had something in common with such a powerful and intelligent woman.
Seeing a Black family in the White House was important for Black children in the UK too, not just the USA and I unfortunately don’t know if a Post-Trump American society will ever allow that experience again.
The 2016 Election was almost a complete eradication of the progress America appeared to have made by electing Obama in the first place. America went from having Beyoncé perform to celebrate the election of a President to organised Ku Klux Klan rallies for the same purpose. I saw a joke on twitter recently that said “we are living in a South Park episode” and it seems to be one of the most accurate things I have read.
As America says goodbye to a President that inspired children in the USA and beyond, it will also be sad to see a First Lady go who did the same.
One thing Obama lead with in his campaign was ‘hope’ and I hope that the future will see more Black Presidents , Black First Ladies and First Husbands who will inspire all children to believe in anything they put their minds to and I hope less Presidents will encourage the metaphorical and literal building of barriers to keep out minorities.