November Book Review: BECOMING

Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama is incredible. In reading this book, I have thought of nothing but how incredible she is. I thought about  how, just how incredible she is.

I chose to review this book via Audible because I wanted to hear her voice. I wanted the reminder that for 8 years, I had a reminder of what Black Girl Magic ambition looked like. For almost 20 some hours, I listened to her life with all its transparency. From her childhood, her piano lessons and her college years–and her courtship with the guy whom she said ‘had the funny name’, my respect for Michelle Obama is reverent. I went into reviewing this book with surface knowing of the woman we all call our ‘Forever FLOTUS’. I knew that she was brilliant, I didn’t know her mother fought to make sure she had a quality education–starting in second grade. I knew that she was a dual  Ivy League grad, but I didn’t l knowit was ain college where she got her passion for children and their well-being.  

I knew that she worked at the law firm that Barack was at, and that she was his boss. I didn’t know how passionate he was about social change, and the possibility this country could be exactly what is written on paper. I knew that she was a mother, I didn’t know she needed IVF to conceive Malia. I was in tears at points, furious at others and relieved her truth behind how she felt as the Imposter POTUS ran for the office her husband had fought to get, and the integrity he maintained to the point the Obama family used their own money to renovate the White House.

Near the end of the book, I couldn’t help but think how little we know about those in the public eye. How little we know about the woman who the title of First Lady doesn’t even begin to describe.

To say that I recommend this book is an understatement. It was refreshing to see all of her unfold and bare. Her style of writing I likened to Toni Morrison in detail. Michelle Obama is brilliant–and from her story? She always has been. Driven. Ambitious. Present. And wizened. In the book she mentioned that she would rather do something with depth and resources, than quickly without proper planning.

Magnanimous, gracious and beautiful, as she read, I felt that I was with one of my aunts–easy and willing. I felt that she gave me all her secrets, told me the secrets that made Black women the forces of nature we are known to be.Magnanimous, gracious and beautiful, as she read, I felt that I was with one of my aunts–easy and willing. I felt that she gave me all her secrets, told me the secrets that made Black women the forces of nature we are known to be.

For every piece that she gave, I respected her. I gave her that much more honor. I  cried because there are things ambitious women got through that are only understood by other ambitious women. The drive. The hustle. The vision. It can be incredible., the weight of ambition. The weight of it all. And putting another person with that with same amount of drive? It can be utterly maddening, passionately consuming, and wonderful.

Rich with advice, reflection and memories, this book was something I wish I had a decade before. A guide, a beacon to know that I could do all that I see myself doing, and that not being  unheard of. Becoming is not unheard of–it’s process. It’s all process. One of the quotes I used from he book, I shared on my social media:

“Becoming is equal parts patience and rigor.”

I couldn’t agree more, Aunt Chelle.

I couldn’t agree more, Mrs. Obama.

Thank you for being one of the better angels of our nature when all around was dark. Thank you for Becoming when it was easier to run and be silence.

Thank you for the soft light, your grace, poise and the power of being both Black and female. Thank you for not cowering, for standing, for being flat-footed and coifed.

Thank you for showing us whom follow you that Queens still do reign and exist.

Thank you, for sharing your husband with us.

Thank you, for Becoming.

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