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Michelle Obama: Ten things you may not know

NATURALLY MOI | 8/12/2013, 10:43 a.m.
First lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama record a message for Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts, in the Library of the White House, Feb. 19. Pete Souza

The Westside Gazette

(NNPA) What do you really know about Michelle Obama? You might know quite a bit about the woman who will go down in history as one of the most popular first ladies ever, but here are a few things that you might not know:

  1. Her middle name is LaVaughn. Her father (Fraser) was a worker at the city water plant and her mother (Marian) was a secretary at a Spiegel’s catalogue store. Her father was involved in politics, working as a Democratic precinct captain in the South Side of Chicago.

  2. Her paternal great-great grandfather, Jim Robinson, was a slave in South Carolina. Her maternal great-great-great-grandmother, Melvinia Shields, was impregnated by a White man.

  3. She and her older brother Craig skipped the second grade.

  4. Michelle went to Whitney Young High School, where she was a classmate of Jesse Jackson’s daughter Santita. She commuted three hours to school every day and graduated Salutatorian of her 1981 class.

  5. She and her brother graduated from Princeton.

  6. Her graduating thesis at Princeton was called “Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community,” where she said, “I remember being shocked by college students who drove BMWs. I didn’t even know parents who drove BMWs.”

  7. In college, she majored in sociology and minored in African American studies, graduating cum laude with a BA in 1985. She then went on to earn her JD at Harvard University in 1988. During her time at Harvard, she participated in demonstrations to get the law school to hire more Black faculty. Since that time, the number of Black faculty at Harvard has barely increased. Her husband’s appointee to the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, served as dean of the Harvard Law School for six years and did not hire one under-represented minority for a tenure track position.

  8. She is an honorary member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.

  9. Her first date with her husband, Barack Obama, was to see the movie Do the Right Thing by Spike Lee. They married in October, 1992.

  10. According to her tax returns, she earned far more money than her husband while working as the vice president for Community and External Affairs at the University of Chicago Hospitals. She earned $273,000 per year, and her husband earned $157,000 as a senator.