Michelle Obama
Contributed by Eleanor Sherer
Chapter 7

At Princeton, Michelle Obama majored in Sociology, attaining good grades. She asserts that despite living in a new world where "people fretted about their LSAT scores" the author never forgot her roots. Whenever she was be asked where she was from, Michelle would answer “Chicago” particularly “the south side” (Obama 72). The author states that unlike the stereotyped images of the south side of Chicago that is often show in the news, for Michelle, the South Side was home. Michelle remained nostalgic about their tiny apartment with low ceilings and its fading carpet (Obama 73). The author states the words ‘South Side’ were reminiscent of her heritage. Although the South Side was certainly not paradise, it was significant to black people, including Michelle, since it reminded her of her heritage (Obama 73).

The author also shares her best Princeton University memories as well as the more melancholic times. She recalls happy moments with Kelvin, her football-player boyfriend, as well as the death of loved ones such as Robbie and her grandfather. (Obama 74-76). Feeling that she was destined for greatness, Michelle took the LSAT, wrote her senior thesis, and applied to the “best law schools in the country” (Obama 76). From her early years, Michelle was not only analytical but also lawyerly, and was able to secure a place in Harvard Law School. The author admits that throughout her life, the desire to achieve was driven by “some reflexive with desire for other people’s approval” (Obama 77). At the age of twenty-five, Michelle finally got a job at Sidley & Austin’s law firm in Chicago, and with the salary, managed to make monthly payments on her law school loan as well as purchase her first car.


This chapter discusses Michelle’s journey from Princeton University to Harvard Law School and eventually securing a well-payed job. The chapter also describes Michelle’s loyalty to her African American heritage. She attributes her success to the values instilled by her parents and relatives, as well as the desire to prove that the South Side produced capable people who could make a difference. She admits that her drive was not just logic but by the reflexive wish to be approved by other people. The desire to prove that she was good enough compelled the author to work hard, thereby attaining admission to Harvard Law School.

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