I found her speech (starting around 7 minutes in) to be incredibly inspirational to me as a black woman who has served in a variety of leadership positions. There is a lot of noise when you sit in those roles with that identity/background. There are a lot of people who make surface interpretations of your leadership based off of their own limited awareness of the world because you are a black woman. Some folks choose to succumb to and fear those interpretations, while others (such as Michelle Obama) choose to actively disrupt them by silencing the noise and staying true to their inner compass. I am so grateful to Michelle Obama for speaking her truth and illuminating the truth of many people who don’t have her platform and unapologetically dream for a better tomorrow, first by silencing the “noise”; second by following their own truth.
I think that it is so indicative and clear that when systems struggle to embrace leaders of color who are clear on their purpose/why which is deeply rooted in their community, we should not be surprised when those same systems struggle to embrace children of color and the unique gifts that they have to offer. There is nothing surprising about that parallel reality. And we shouldn’t shy away from the truths that this reality illluminates. Thank you Michelle Obama for your courage in beginning to speak your truth. We should all be inspired to do the same.