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Abandoned by Booklikes

Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!

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Becoming is Inspirational

Becoming - Michelle Obama

I apologize in advance if this seems a little incoherent. What a great memoir!


Michelle Obama hits everything that I love in memoirs. She goes into her childhood, her family, how her parents and family shaped her. And then you get to read about how certain incidents throughout her life defined her. I laughed, cried, grieved, and got angry reading about all of the highs and lows in her life. And I ended up smiling when we get to the epilogue and know that she and Barack are going to be okay. That dealing with the GOP who obstructed Obama at every turn, the racist memes, the hatred, all of that didn't break them. They came out stronger in the end.


I know that it's become a sort of joke that everyone misses the Obamas, but seriously, I miss them. I just miss that we had a kind and thoughtful POTUS and FLOTUS who really wanted to do right by us, but also realized as the first African American First Family, they were going to be held up to a ridiculous standard and not falter.


I know that Michelle Obama grew up in Chicago, but reading this book and smiling along as I realized that we had a similar childhood even though I grew up in PA makes me tickled. I lived steps away from my aunts, uncles, and my grandmother was less than a 5 minute car ride away. My parents pushed us to excel at school and sports, and we pretty much lived in the church. Michelle Obama shares her remembrances of living upstairs from her aunt and uncle. How her parents supported her and her brother without overwhelming. That she learned how to play the piano, but wanted to jump ahead to more fun songs. That she beat herself up if she didn't do well at all things. 


There was so much good in this book that I ended up feeling like I got to know Michelle's father, mother, brother, and grandparents. She also talks about the migration that many African American's like her grandparents did in order to find work up north, and how it left them bitter about being passed over and not able to apply for union jobs. We just had a presentation at my job a few months ago about the Pullman Porters and I was intrigued to find out her uncle did that until he retired. 


Image result for pullman porters


And slowly but surely Michelle has us follow her along to her highs while going to college in Princeton, and finally getting a great job at a law firm, where she would eventually meet Barack Obama. 

I have to say that I was tickled to read about how Michelle first met Barack, and cracked up about her comments about his untidiness, but how he loved to read, had great ideas, and seemed to bowl people over within minutes of him meeting them. And it was lovely to read about how she realized she was in love with him and how they worked. 


Michelle invites you into her life wholly. Nothing is held back. Not about how hard it was to be working with children while her husband was working as a part time professor and in the house. And then when he went onto lose his first Senate race because he chose her and their daughter over a vote about guns. And then we go back again to his next race, to him being selected to speak at the DNC, and how everything snowballed into the Presidency. And you read about how she got torn apart and picked apart with regards to her clothes, her hair, what she said, her expressions, etc. Michelle doesn't go into how hard it had to be to not show the world an angry black woman, but shit, I know, and I don't know how she wasn't throwing middle fingers at people.

She talks about Sandy Hook, the Charleston Church Shooting, and how she felt inadequate at times since she wanted to do more. I will never forgive our Congress for not doing more about gun violence until this latest election. Thank goodness the tide seems to be turning and people want commonsense gun laws.

She of course mentions Trump and his birtherism crap, how his racism about Barack Obama ended up of course leading him to the White House and his Presidency. I stand amazed everyday how racism is back in our faces in this country. That it's 2019 and we have members of the GOP arguing about white supremacy, that anytime a black person is shot the first thought is what did that person do? That even know with four cops shot by a couple who is white people seemed to be disappointed, because they really wanted it to be immigrants who did it so they can get a wall that will be a symbol of racism and hate as long as it stands. I will be puzzled for life that some people no matter how much you talk to them, don't get why harboring racism sentiment is wrong and why I have no problem refusing to listen to their rhetoric and blocking them out of my life. 

And through it all though, we have her still wanting to believe in the good of people. All I can say is "I hope" and keep pushing forward.