Michelle Obama
Contributed by Eleanor Sherer
Chapter 8

The chapter starts with Michelle waiting for Barrack Obama to arrive at her office to begin a mentorship program. A senior partner had requested Michelle to mentor an incoming summer associate, to which she willingly agreed.  Like Michelle, Barrack was an African American, born and raised in Honolulu, “the son of a black Kenyan father and a white mother from Kansas” (Obama 80). Over a couple of weeks, Michelle and Obama had become acquainted with one another and had established a routine where the two of them had lunch whenever they had time.

The author informs the readers that parts of the South Side had “become desolate as business shut down and families continued to move” (Obama 79). The increasing use of drugs in Chicago lead to rival gangs fighting for the market share, hiring young boys to sell drugs on the streets instead of going to school. Obama writes that she hated any kind of drugs including smoking, and apparently, Barack lighting a cigarette after they had had lunch snuffed out any interest, she might have in him (Obama 81). With time, Michelle realized that she and Barack shared a lot and their workplace association ultimately turned into romance.


The author describes the deteriorating situation in Chicago, resulting particularly from the emergence of crack cocaine. Gangs fought for the market share, recruiting young boys to sell the drugs instead of attending schools. The chapter also chronicles Michelle’s first meeting with Barack Obama at the law firm Sidley & Austin. Although Barack’s striking appearance did not attract Michelle at first, their relationship developed gradually. Michelle had carefully planned her life and had hardly any interest in dating. What she did not know was that a man with a strange name whose reputation preceded him would march in, belated, to her office, and transform the course of her life. The chapter ends with Michelle and Obama kissing, an action that seemed to have taken their relationship to the next level.

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