Grew up on the Southside of Chicago, earned degrees from Princeton and Harvard Law School, married the man she loved, became the first black woman to be the First Lady of the United States, improved civil rights for people of color, and changed the face of feminism; these are some, but most certainly not all, of the accomplishments of the same woman, Michelle Obama. She is overall an inspiring woman to so many people that have had to struggle in life. She has done everything in her power to help those people lead a life of justice and equality that they otherwise, had been prevented from doing. Michelle Obama has achieved things most others with her upbringing could only dream of. She used her achievements to give those people a better chance. Michelle Obama has become an extremely important figure in America because of her inspiring advocacy for women, younger girls, and people of color, and she was doing this far before she became the first lady of the United States. From a very early age, Michelle Obama was shaped to be a hardworking, honest, and a powerful black woman by things like her family and her birthplace. Michelle LaVaughn Robinson was born in Chicago, Illinois on January 17, 1964. Her parents were Fraser Robinson and Marian Robinson. Growing up, she always had an amazing role model, her own father. Her father was a hardworking man who continued to work hard to put food on the table for his family all while battling multiple sclerosis. She was an exceptional student, even at a very young age. She skipped second grade and according to her mother, “raised herself from about nine years old. She had her head on straight very early.” (Michelle Obama). She was not the only intelligent child in the family, her brother, Craig Robinson, went to Princeton University. Following in her brother’s footsteps, Michelle did the same. Although she was excelling at Princeton, minorities did not have very many opportunities, especially since there were very few other African-Americans. To get a better college experience, Michelle Obama and some others had to make their own ways to get involved, for example, she started a daycare program. She graduated from Princeton in 1985 with magna cum laude (academic degree received “with great honor”). After she graduated Princeton, she attended Harvard University Law School to study law and graduated. On October 3rd 1992, Michelle Obama and the man she loves, Barack Obama, got married. She was never involved in her husband’s politics until he decided to run for president. She was a major factor in her husband being elected on November 4th, 2008. When she became the first lady, she used her platform better than anyone had before her. She spent her time as a first lady advocating for people who couldn’t very well stand up for themselves. She helped in the advancement for women and people of color. Racism has been an extremely apparent part of America’s history and, contrary to popular belief, still takes place today. This topic is one that can make people uncomfortable to discuss, but that is only proof that racism still exists. While America has improved, there is still much more work to do. More than likely, there will always be racism in America. That does not mean that people should not work as hard as possible to lessen the effects on people of color. One major period of racism in America was the slave trade. Even after slavery was abolished in 1865, the effects never ended, and still continue today. Although many people won’t admit this, the fact is, there are still racist people in America. This country sees a lot of people who think that, because they are white, they are the superior race. In the past, every time a black person has protested the inequality towards them, they have been called out for it, shut down immediately, and often times punished. This is because many white people, even including those in office, cannot see this as what it is, a peaceful protest to call attention to the horrors of racism in America. The major source of racism today is racial profiling. Imagine not being able to walk in the street without fear of being killed by the people put there to serve and protect. Imagine being scared that a son or a husband will not come home at night, because he was killed for something as trivial as speeding. These are things many black people fear everytime someone steps out the front door of the house. One popular misconception about protests against police brutality, is that they are focusing on all police. The protesters know and have seen that there are fair police. Provided that, even one instance of a black man being wrongfully killed by the police who racially profiled him, is one too many instances. Because of this, black people have to work twice as hard to get half as far as a white man. From the moment the 2008 election came to a conclusion, the Obama presidency has been a motivational achievement for all black people in America. From the beginning of her husband’s campaign, she supported him and stood up for him against racist people. She recognized racial problems that still occur in the United States. For her to do this means so much to so many people, because a person of color has never had such a great platform to address these issues. Michelle Obama gave a commencement speech to the students of Tuskegee University, addressing racial problems today. She explains these problems as “stubborn” saying they don’t want to go away. She informed the students on the harsh realities of how people will perceive them, saying that people will not see how hard they had to work to get into and stay in college. She says that they will only try to see them based on assumptions about their appearance. She told them of the fear in black people across the country of police, being overlooked by employers, sending kids to schools that are still prejudiced, and the fact that, no matter how hard they work, it will never be enough. She tells these young students that they are facing real, unfair, and difficult challenges, but despite that, they should never give up, give in, or lose hope. Her speeches have had a lasting impact on America today, especially the black youth in this country. She informs the black youth of the troubles they might face in their future. She not only warns them but empowers them and motivates them to stay strong and fight back for what is right. She has helped people to be proud of their roots and ancestry. While she may not have changed laws in America, she has changed a way of life for people of color. By using her platform to speak out for black people, she has motivated others to follow in her footsteps and do the same. Women’s suffrage has been a problem for longer than America has even existed, and is definitely still a problem today. Women still deal with things everyday, that they should never have to deal with, and men have never even had to think twice about. Women have to worry when they apply for a job, that they will not be able to get as far as her male counterpart. Women have to worry about being judged based solely on their body shape and physical appearance. These are things that should never be criticized, yet they still are. Some young girls have had to go through unimaginable things just to be able to attend school. One major controversy right now, is women coming forward, and accusing men in power of sexual harassment. In today’s society, there are far too many men who do not see a problem with making sexual advances on a woman. Most of the time these men have power over these women because of their job titles, and so it is hard for the women to stand up for themselves. Even when they do gain courage to do so, they are fought against by more of these men in power. Men should not be able to have this ability, and that is what Michelle Obama fought so hard for. Michelle Obama has worked very hard to address this issue. She has appropriately used her position of authority to speak out for women around the world. She has worked to allow girls to attend school, that are being prevented from doing so. She has spoken out against men who overtly demean women and harass them for things they cannot control, like their weight. Her most moving and inspirational speech was focused on empowering women, even when they were being brought down by the people around them. She explained that any person in power, should “meet basic standards of human decency” (Obama). She showed the audience, why any female-respecting American, should not vote for Donald Trump. Her speech goes on to say that the language he uses when talking about women is demeaning and is teaching the children in America, that it is okay to disrespect women, but it’s not. Obama wants everyone to know how important this is, and she is very clear in getting her message across. “This is not something we can ignore, it’s not something we can just sweep under the rug as just another disturbing footnote in a sad election season” (Obama). Michelle Obama has done everything in her power to advance women in American society. She has been a major factor in making more equal rights for women. Her advocacy for women and girls has had a lasting impact on the rights of women. She has helped many girls to be able to go to school, and improved their lives through the Let Girls Learn program. She has said in many of her speeches the long term effects of women being respected by men and even other women. That if people teach kids at a young age to respect themselves and all women, then it would drastically change society in the future. Michelle Obama is a loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, an inspiration, and a role model. Even after her husband ended his presidency, she continues to speak out against misogyny, sexism, and racism in America. Her speeches and campaigns have had a lasting impact in our country. She has always been and will always be an amazing and empowering black woman that anyone and everyone should look up to and learn from.

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