Then, Michelle’s most influential role was as US First Lady from 2009 to 2017. During her time in the White House, she served as an advocate for poverty awareness, education, nutrition, and physical activity. and healthy eating.
Becoming is a memoir by former US First Lady Michelle Obama. This book was published in 2018. It delves into his upbringing and its impact on his future life.
The book explains how Mitchell found his voice. Becoming gives her readers insight into the White House and what it was like to run a highly influential public health campaign as a mother.
Covering the diversity of Michelle Obama’s experiences, Michelle described writing the book as a “deeply personal experience”. A highly influential book, Becoming sold more copies in 2018 than any other book in the US.
More significantly, Becoming was released just 15 days before the end of 2018. It sold more books in less time than any other book of 2018.
Throughout that year. The book is divided into 24 chapters but ultimately divided into three sections. The first section is titled Becoming Me and focuses on Michelle’s early life.
Becoming Us focuses on his education, meeting Barack Obama, and the start of Barack’s political career.
Finally, Becoming More concludes with thoughts on Barack’s presidency, Michelle’s Let’s Move campaign and her role as “Head Mom in Chief”.
Therefore, this book summary will also be divided into these three sections. Each section will be full of highly impressive experiences, ideas.
Mitchell’s early years in Chicago
Michelle Robinson was born in 1968 on the South Side of Chicago. She was brought up in her maternal aunt’s brick bungalow. Michelle Martin recalls the national riots in response to the assassination of Luther King Jr.
She hardly understood what was going on in her neighborhood at that time. She was very young. Her family was very important to Michelle Obama when she was growing up in Chicago.
His mother taught him to read from an early age. She would accompany Michelle to the public library while her father worked as a laborer in the city.
Her father ensured that she and her brother were exposed to art and jazz. This exposure to music encouraged Michelle to learn piano at the age of four.
Music ran in the family for Michelle, so she always found it easy to play the piano. Her great aunt, Robbie, tutored her. This period was one of the earliest examples of Mitchell’s strong-minded nature.
She and Robbie often clashed during lessons. She also considered becoming a musician one day, but ultimately decided to pursue opportunities in law.
In the book, Michelle recounts her memory of how accustomed she was to her great aunt’s piano. She fully practiced the song set to perform at Roosevelt University.
But the unique aspect of her great aunt’s piano is that its middle C has a chip in it. While on stage, a young Michelle froze because she couldn’t get a middle C on this new piano.
Her great aunt then came on stage and directed her. Michelle then performed her song as she had initially hoped.
Chicago’s Racial Transition
A notable feature of Mitchell’s upbringing is that his neighborhood was 96% white in the 1950s, and then 96% black by 1981. She grew up in the midst of this transition.
Therefore, she was surrounded by a mixture of black and white families. But more and more families decided to move to the suburbs.
The move meant less funding, and the area was considered a “ghetto”. Michelle and her family still call this area home.
Michelle’s mother was a very influential woman in the local community. She was also very influential in Michelle’s education as she grew up.
In the second grade, Michelle told her mother that she hated her class because it was full of unruly children. The teachers could not control the class, and Michelle was missing out on learning opportunities.
Michelle’s mother also made sure that the school tested her abilities. Michelle was moved into a class with other high-performing children who wanted to learn.
This decision is potentially the most crucial to how her life turns out. She was put on the right track to excel in school.
Due to her excellent performance in school, she was awarded the Whitney M. of Chicago. Young led to attending high school. A magnet school, the teachers were progressive, and his fellow students were all high-performing kids.
Michelle made a significant commitment to attending this school. It took her two buses and 90 minutes to get to school every day.
Some of her fellow students lived in high-rise apartments next to the school and wore designer purses. Mitchell explains in the book how he found everything so easy.
Despite doubts about her fit, she put her head down and got excellent grades.
Princeton University and finding a great mentor
During her time at school, Michelle excelled academically but was also involved in school societies. He was elected class treasurer.
Michelle was also in the National Honor Society, and was on track to rank in the top 10% of her class. Despite this, her college counselor told her that she might not be “Princeton material.”
Previously, she had been excited by the prospect of Princeton. Her brother, Craig, had attended Princeton, and she thought she might join him there.
This counselor can crush her confidence. Instead, they teased her and made her want to apply more to Princeton. She did, and she went inside.
Upon arriving at Princeton, Mitchell recalls the experience of being one of the few non-whites. This was uncomfortable. For example, less than 9% of his freshman class was black.
Despite this, she enjoyed her time at Princeton. She found a welcoming community and a fantastic mentor.
While at Princeton, Mitchell’s mentor was one of the leaders of the Third World Center. The center has since been renamed the Carl A. A Field Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding is housed.
Her name was Czerny Brasuell, an energetic New Yorker who was a strong black woman and working mother. During his time at Princeton, Mitchell became both Keizer’s assistant and his protégé.
Czerny also encouraged Mitchell to start running an after school program for the children of black faculty and staff members. Her fate was influenced by Czerny.
Which inspired her to become a working mother in the future. After majoring in sociology, Mitchell began considering Harvard Law School.
Getting into Harvard Law School and meeting Barack Obama
Michelle decided to attend Harvard Law School and later took her LSAT test. She admits she never stopped and thought about what she wanted to do.
Michelle went straight from Princeton to Harvard Law School. She enjoyed her time at Harvard Law School, but the period that followed would shape her life.
After graduating from Harvard in 1988, Mitchell returned to Chicago to work for the law firm Sidley & Austin. Here he met a young law student named Barack Obama.
He immediately exuded confidence and self-reliance. Unlike Mitchell, he took a few years between Columbia and Harvard Law School to decide what he wanted to be.
Michelle heard about Barack before she met him. He left a wonderful impression on everyone he spoke to. Also, Harvard professors called him the smartest student they had ever seen.
At the time, Michelle remained suspicious of this man, Barack. From her experience, professors seemed to be “bonkers” compared to any semi-smart black man in a nice suit.
Michelle finally meets Barack. Her role at Sidley & Austin was to meet promising law students and encourage them to join the firm when they graduated.
When she met Barack, she realized she didn’t have much advice to give him. Taking the time, Barack was more experienced and mature than Michelle usually advised the students.
He recalls people at the firm asking Barack for advice on matters. His friends were very impressed when they met him. They made her ignore Barack’s smoking.
Encouraged to go on a date with him. After their first kiss, any doubts about her future husband disappeared.
Michelle and Barack’s marriage and the development of their careers
Michelle and Barack’s relationship developed quickly. Michelle was very appreciative of her brother Barack, especially since Barack was a decent basketball player.
Mitchell’s brother was a college basketball player and later a basketball coach. Michelle’s brother Craig was a great influence on her. Their support helped the relationship continue to flourish.
Barack became the first black editor for the Harvard Law Review, which meant they had to live apart for a while. Barack was then able to move to Chicago to live with Michelle.
During his early years in Chicago, Barak was offered several jobs. But he remained thoughtful and thoughtful, choosing community workshops over high-paying law firms instead.
During this time, Michelle was considering moving away from her work at Sidley and Austin, who were at odds. She no longer wanted to work on behalf of corporations; She wanted to help people.
In 1991, Michelle met Valerie Jarrett, who helped transform her career. Valerie would eventually become Michelle’s lifelong friend. Valerie was also a disaffected lawyer and wanted to work with and help people.
She worked for the mayor’s office. Valerie used this opportunity to help Mitchell get a job as an assistant to the then current mayor, Richard Daley, Jr.
Michelle and Barack were married in October 1992. The following year, Mitchell worked on an initiative called Public Allies and used this experience to land a role working at City Hall.
Then, a few years later, an executive director job for a non-profit organization arose. This organization connects promising youth with mentors working in the public sector.
This was the right job for Michelle, as she felt that civic-minded mentors had a huge influence on her.
Michelle was initially not keen on Barack’s political activities
Michelle understood that Barack could win people over. She remembers him speaking in a church basement to a small audience of women concerned about their community.
Barack encourages them to use political engagement through voting or reaching out to local representatives. By the end, the women were screaming.
“Amen!” However, Mitchell was not the only one to consider its political potential. Chicago Magazine noted Barack’s amazing work on Project VOTE!
campaigned and suggested that he should run for office. Unfazed by this at the time, Barak instead wanted to write a book called Dreams from My Father.
The book was published in 1995 to decent reviews but sales were negligible. It was based on the story of Barack’s unusual life growing up between Indonesia and Hawaii.
In 1995, Barack taught a class on racism and the law at the University of Chicago. This year he was also approached about starting a career in politics.
A new seat was to open in Michelle and Barack’s local area. Michelle was not excited by the prospect. She believed.
Barack may have more impact working for a non-profit than in the state senate. Barak heard these thoughts but decided to run with them. Barack believed that he could have a positive impact on politics.
With politics came personal political attacks
As Barak’s political career developed, personal attacks were inevitable. That said, Barack and Michelle differed in their ability to withstand these attacks.
Barack had a remarkable ability to let them go. Michelle struggled. She has a self-described need to be liked and can’t get away with hurtful comments just like Barack.
An example of this is when Barack was running for a seat in the US Congress House of Representatives. Michelle and Barack now had a child together, Malia.
Malia was especially precious because the couple struggled to conceive and had to use in vitro fertilization. Malia got a serious ear infection while the family was on vacation.
Personal attacks were then linked to one incident. At the same time, the Illinois Senate announced an emergency vote on a leading gun control bill. Barak fought hard to get this bill passed.
It was a hotly debated topic. But Barack couldn’t vote because he was stuck by his family to help Michelle take care of Malia.
However, this decision was followed by attacks. A local paper called anyone who missed the vote a “gutless sheep”.
The opposition Democrat accused Obama of “using his child as an excuse not to go to work.” Barak lost the primary but continued to serve in the state senate. Subsequently, their second child, another girl, Sasha, was born.
Michelle was also skeptical of Barack’s Senate and presidential bids, but then things changed
Michelle was already suspicious of Barack’s political career, which meant he missed a lot of family time. She was more skeptical about Barack’s chances of running for the US Senate.
Michelle only allowed him to run because she secretly suspected he would win. This doubt was not because she doubted his ability, but because he had recently lost a congressional primary.
Michelle promised Barack that if he lost the US Senate race, he should quit politics. He must find another way to positively influence the world.
Fortunately for Barack, the Republicans dropped out of the race. That same year, 2004, the Democratic presidential nominee asked Barack to deliver the keynote speech.
His speech was very impressive. Earlier, many people had not heard about it. Afterwards, an NBC commentator, among others, said they had “just seen the first black president.”
In the next election, Barak ran for president. This era marked a change of heart for Mitchell. Her earlier suspicions changed.
When she saw that 15,000 people showed up to an announcement event on a bitterly cold day in Illinois. She knew she had to show up for these people and support her husband, who was their beacon of hope.
White House Security
Michelle explains how Barack made the simple tasks of becoming president more complicated. This included their security. Barack Obama received a Secret Service security detail earlier than any other candidate in history.
Serious threats were made against him and his family. As always, the security level at the White House was high. Barack and Michelle were doing the best they could.
For that he was willing to accept insufficient privacy and autonomy in his life. Despite this, they did not want the same for their children.
Therefore, they tried to make it as normal as possible for girls. They found a beautiful school and made sure Malia and Sasha knew that the White House, despite its monumental size, was their home.
Michelle often told them it was okay for them to run around and play in the hallways. It was okay for them to rummage through the pantry for breakfast, too.
Raising children in the White House
Michelle also wanted Sasha and Malia to develop a healthy friendship. She prioritized a reliable system being put in place to allow friends to visit the White House.
At the White House, all visitors had to run their Social Security numbers through authorities before entering. This means that friends can come, but they can’t do anything spontaneously.
For example, they can’t just go to the local ice cream shop. However, Sasha and Malia took their lives in the White House. Michelle recalled how relieved it was to see the two of them borrow a tray from the kitchen.
They used the tray to slide down the snow-covered slope on the south lawn. This is the normalcy she hopes for her children.
Not to mention, family meals had become a staple of life now that there was no more commuting for Barack.
Michelle used this time to continue making a difference
As she had done throughout her life, Michelle used her circumstances to try to make a difference. Hillary Clinton advised her of the potential pitfalls of getting too involved in the administration’s agenda.
Hillary had a legal background. She found that it was not appropriate to use this experience to set policies when these issues were aligned with the administration.
So, Mitchell aimed to find his own endeavors. First, he started a garden at the White House. This made the White House more like home.
But the most important part of this garden was the healthy fruits and vegetables. Healthy food was at the center of one of her most notable accomplishments as First Lady. This was her Let’s Move! initiative.
The initiative was created to tackle childhood obesity, which had tripled 30 years ago.
The Let’s Move! The campaign involves four steps:
- Parents were given information about healthy eating options.
- School food was made wholesome.
- Health foods were introduced to many rural and urban areas that lacked fresh fruits and produce.
- The initiative aims to get kids more active, burning calories every day.
The campaign was successful from the start. Ten weeks later, 90 pounds of produce were harvested at the White House. This product was used in daily meals at the White House.
School lunches use less salt and sugar. At the same time, the American Beverage Association is committed to creating more transparent ingredient labels.
Finally, major television stations agreed to air public service announcements on the initiative during children’s programming. Michelle had made such a big change in such a short time.
A shocking attack on the White House
Mitchell explains in his book how Barack’s second term was much easier. The family was better adjusted to the protocols, and the White House seemed like home.
However, this does not mean that security threats have been eliminated. Mitchell recalls the winter of 2011 when a gunman opened fire on the White House with a semiautomatic rifle.
The horrific incident is a reminder of the uncertainty and security precautions of living in the White House. In the months before repairs could be made, there was a large hole in the room’s bullet-proof window.
Where Michelle often sat reading. It served as a reminder of why all those protocols and security procedures exist.
Michelle is proud of her accomplishments
Michelle concludes the book by saying that she is proud of what she has accomplished as First Lady. Throughout her time in the White House, she continued to ask herself if she was good enough.
She now believes she was. The Let’s Move! The program brought healthy school meals to 45 million children. Her Joining Forces initiative also helped 1.5 million veterans and their spouses find jobs.
Meanwhile, her Let Girls Learn initiative raised billions of dollars to help girls around the world get into schools. This education promoted women empowerment.
The proudest moments of her and her husband’s time in office, however, have been raising her two daughters. Both Malia and Sasha have graduated from school.
Barack and Michelle decided to stay in Washington after leaving office. They did so to allow their daughters to graduate with the friends they had made over the past eight years.
Final review and analysis
Becoming is Michelle Obama’s quest for life. It begins with her childhood and ends with her legacy as First Lady.
The book offers a unique insight into how Michelle Obama met Barack, but also into the joys and hardships associated with a presidential family.