“Becoming,” Michelle Obama’s memoir and one of the most highly anticipated books of the year drops on Tuesday, giving us a deeper insight into the life of the first Black woman to hold the office of First Lady.
As release day nears, more tidbits of information surrounding Obama and her accomplished life has left audiences captivated by the joy and pain she experienced before and during her time in the White House, including her upbringing on the South Side of Chicago, a miscarriage she suffered over 20 years ago, and conceiving her daughters through IVF.
But there was one day in particular that left Obama past her limits: Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 20, 2017.
“Someone from Barack’s administration might have said that the optics there were bad, that what the public saw didn’t reflect the president’s reality or ideals. But in this case, maybe it did,” Obama wrote in an excerpt obtained by ABC News.
“Realizing it, I made my own optic adjustment. I stopped even trying to smile,” Obama continued.
During a Sunday interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts, Obama discussed the reasoning regarding why her and former President Barack Obama have stayed relatively mum about Trump’s presidency up until recently.
“I said what I continue to say — being the commander in chief is a hard job,” Obama said. “You need to have discipline. You need to read and you need to be knowledgable. You need to know history. You need to be careful with your words.”
“But voters make those decisions and once the voters have spoken, we live with what we live with,” she said.
In her memoir, Obama candidly described how she would never forgive Trump for his birther campaign, where he openly instigated false accusations over President Obama’s birthplace and nationality.
“The whole thing was crazy and mean-spirited, of course, its underlying bigotry and xenophobia hardly concealed,” Obama wrote. “But it was also dangerous, deliberately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks.”
“What if someone with an unstable mind loaded a gun and drove to Washington? What if that person went looking for our girls? Donald Trump, with his loud and reckless innuendos, was putting my family’s safety at risk. And for this I’d never forgive him,” she wrote.
As Tuesday draws nearer, “Becoming” marks a celebratory moment where a former First Lady is able to reveal herself in her full humanity, placing honesty and openness in the forefront during an era where truth and vulnerability is so desperately needed.