Michelle Obama Opens up About Fearing for Her Daughters' Lives

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Michelle Obama is opening up about the fear she lives with as the mother of two Black daughters, saying in a recent interview that she's concerned “every time they get in a car by themselves.”

The former first lady of the United States sat down with Gayle King in a new interview slated to air on CBS This Morning on Monday and revealed candidly that she "worries about what assumption is being made by somebody who doesn’t know everything about them.”

Obama and her husband, former President Barack Obama, are the parents of 22-year-old Malia and 19-year-old Sasha.

"The fact that they are good students and polite girls but maybe they’re playing their music a little loud, maybe somebody sees the back of their head and makes an assumption,” says Obama in the interview teaser published on Friday.

The Chicago native acknowledged that something like the "innocent act" of getting a driver's license is fear-inducing for a Black parent.

Obama's remarks come on the heels of the verdict of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin being convicted for the murder of George Floyd. She and Barack Obama spoke out in a statement in response to the verdict, telling Americans that “true justice requires that we come to terms with the fact that Black Americans are treated differently, every day.” They encouraged people "to recognize that millions of our friends, family, and fellow citizens live in fear that their next encounter with law enforcement could be their last.”

Of that statement, Obama told King that "while we’re all breathing a sigh of relief over the verdict, there is still work to be done. We can’t sort of say, ’Great, that happened, let’s move on.’”

“I know people in the Black community don’t feel that way because many of us still live in fear, as we go to the grocery store, or worry about our … walking our dogs… or allowing our children to get a license," she said.

Earlier this week, Obama sat down with Girl Scouts across the country for a special program tied to her book, Becoming. In an hour-long speech she made to the Scouts, Obama told them that "courage, like any leadership trait, requires some practice, and it’s OK that at your age you still find things that are intimidating for you or that you’re nervous about or that you’re hesitant because you’ve just been on this earth such a small amount of time."

Tags: Education

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Written By

Rose Low

Rose Low is a writer based in New York, with a background in social media strategy and reporting. She has a Masters from NYU and a love for romantic comedies. See Full Bio

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