#BlackGirlMagic at the DNC

MICHELLE

This is not a blog. This is a love letter that I almost could not bring myself to write. This is an outpouring of emotion that I can still barely wrap my head around. What words could I possibly pluck from my limited knowledge of the English language to describe the experience that I had last night at the opening of the Democratic National convention? What strings of phrases and ideas could I combine to attempt to relate how I felt listening to Michelle Obama’s speech? I wish I could create a new word to attempt to encapsulate all of what I was feeling in that moment last night. I want to be able to talk about how my heart started beating rapidly the moment they passed out the purple “Michelle” signs to wave. I can’t even tell you about the hush that fell across the arena moments before Michelle took the stage, or about the fleeting seconds before she walked out where I felt my stomach leap. I want to go back to the ephemeral instant right before Michelle began her speech so I can remember how the world was before Michelle changed it forever with her speech. It’s difficult to describe how inspired I felt as I watched Michelle deliver her speech. She articulated everything that I have no idea how to put into words. She was graceful, charming, funny, and eloquent. Her intelligence was evident but not intimidating. She was warm and firm and her voice commanded the stadium with ease. She flowed easily between topics in a speech that was largely devoid of vapid rhetoric or inflammatory statements. She talked about her family and the challenges of shielding her daughters while they grew up in the white house. She talked about the love and faith she entrusted in her husband and how she inspired the country to believe in him in 2008. She was candid about recognizing the dichotomous irony of the racial progress this country has made: she wakes up every day next to the most powerful Black man in the world in a house built by slaves. She talked about shouldering the enormous burden of weathering the undue criticism levied against her husband and her family. It is a narrative familiar to too many Black women. We are expected to put the needs of others before our own and not complain about it. I feel so blessed that I have experienced the Obama presidency from the time I was 10-18. During this formative period in my life, it has been amazing to watch the Obamas in the White House, especially Michelle. She’s brilliant, eloquent, beautiful, and gracious. It has been amazing to watch her as I’ve grown these past 8 years and my experience seeing her speak live on Monday night was almost too wonderfully surreal to articulate. Thank you Michelle Obama, for epitomizing #BlackGirlMagic.

Erica Jordan

 

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