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Friday 9 December 2016

First Lady Michelle recalls racial slights

politics

First lady Michelle Obama gives a thumbs up after walking out on stage just before deliveringthe commencement address at Tuskegee University
First lady Michelle Obama gives a thumbs up after walking out on stage just before deliveringthe commencement address at Tuskegee University

First Lady Michelle Obama "isn't holding back".

During a commencement speech at Tuskegee University on Saturday, she spoke frankly about the role her racial identity played during the 2008 presidential campaign. 

She referenced her satirical portrayal on a July 2008 cover of The New Yorker magazine as a terrorist.

"It was a cartoon drawing of me with a huge afro and a machine gun," Obama (inset) told the graduates at the historically black Alabama college. "Now, yeah, it was satire, but if I'm really being honest, it knocked me back a bit."

Directing her remarks directly toward her African American audience, Obama spoke from her own experience.

"The road ahead is not going to be easy," Obama said, "It never is, especially for folks like you and me.

"We've both felt the sting of those daily slights throughout our entire lives. The folks who crossed the street in fear of their safety ... the people at formal events who assumed we were the help," Obama said.

Obama also stressed that those experiences were "not an excuse" to "lose hope."

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