Michelle Obama
Contributed by Eleanor Sherer
Chapter 12

Michelle and Barack got married in 1992 at the Trinity United Church of Christ in the South Side (Obama 122).  The author uses a section of this chapter to chronicle her wedding day itself as well as their honeymoon trip to Northern California (Obama 123-124). The author describes with admiration, two of her great mentors, Susan Sher, and Valerie Jarrett. Michelle made sure to note everything Susan and Valerie did, hoping someday that she too would be able to balance family and work as they did. Despite having numerous expectations as mothers, both Susan and Valerie did not strive for perfection, but managed to be excellent, powerful, and more importantly, true to themselves (Obama 125).

Obama states that Barack’s efforts at Project VOTE had managed to register 110,000 new voters, something that helped in empowering African American voices in the United States as the author states “the African American vote mattered” (Obama 126). After Barack returned from a trip to Bali, Michelle took a yet another risk and switched jobs again, this time to search for nonprofit work that captivated her or find a leadership role that would provide her an opportunity to grow (Obama 128-129).


In this chapter, the author describes female empowerment. She describes with veneration how Valerie and Susan could unapologetically prioritize their children’s needs. Being a newly married woman, working alongside Susan and Valerie helped Michelle to find a balance between her work and motherhood later in life. In this chapter, the author also shows the reader the impact of voting, particularly concerning African Americans. The increased number of voters helped in reminding the African American community that progress was possible if they collectively participated in shaping political outcomes.

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