Becoming book tour features Oprah, Valerie Jarrett and Tracee Ellis Ross among other celebrities

(NNPA) – “In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As first lady of the United States of America – the first African American to serve in that role – she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments,” said the publishers of Obama’s memoir, Becoming, an Intimate Conversation with Michelle Obama.

The former first lady’s book tour is more than just another book tour with signing events that are routinely held at bookstores and the only admission or signing requirement is that individuals purchase a book.

In each city, beginning with Chicago – the first stop on the tour for her memoir – a major celebrity will moderate the event. The tour will kick off on Nov. 13, the day of her book release. It will stop in 12 major cities across the country, stopping in Dallas on Dec. 17.

Talk show queen and television magnate Oprah Winfrey will host the first event at the United Center in Chicago, while the list of moderators for the book tour’s events in cities around the country include Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Valerie Jarrett, poet Elizabeth Alexander, Phoebe Robinson, journalist Michele Norris and Tracee Ellis Ross.

Obama’s events are being held at concert arenas where as many as 20,000 people are expected, locations like the United Center in Chicago and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

The event’s promoter is concert giant Live Nation. Tickets are selling out fast and they aren’t cheap. However, a spokesperson for the event said they would ensure that individuals who don’t have the ability to pay such high prices are able to get in.

“It is important to Mrs. Obama that her Becoming tour events are accessible to as many people as possible,” Live Nation officials said in a news release. The company announced that selected local and community organizations would receive free admission to stops on the tour. Thousands of tickets will be given away.

During the Dallas tour, Paul Quinn College – the only Historically Black College and University in the county – has been chosen as the group to receive free admission.

Additionally, 10 percent of ticket sales have been set aside for various organizations, including but not limited to charities, schools and community groups in each city the tour visits. The book is already a pre-release best seller.

“In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her – from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address,” the publishers noted. “With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it – in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations – and whose story inspires us to do the same.”

With the memoir written and ready to hit shelves, Obama said she is ready to open up and share her story, and hopefully inspire others.

“I’ve spent the last year and a half reflecting on my story as deeply and honestly as I could, and now I’m thrilled to travel the country and do the same with readers this fall,” Obama said. “I hope that this tour will inspire others to reflect upon and share their own stories – all the joys and sorrows, all the scars and renewals – so that together, we can better recognize that each of us, in our own way, is in a constant process of becoming.”


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