Michelle Obama: Don't Call Me an 'Angry Black Woman'

First lady responds to claims made in Jodi Kantor's book
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2012 9:26 AM CST

Michelle Obama says she hasn't read Jodi Kantor's new—and, at times, unflattering—book on the Obamas, but she does take offense to what's in it. Speaking to CBS co-anchor/long-time pal Gayle King, Obama explains that she has grown weary of people portraying her as "some kind of angry black woman." Kantor's book sets a scene in which tension (and, on one occasion, profanities) ran rampant between the first lady and Rahm Emanuel and Robert Gibbs; the New York Times reporter also depicts Michelle Obama as a somewhat unwilling participant who felt wary of and constrained by life in the White House.

"I love this job," countered Obama. "It has been a privilege from day one." She acknowledged there are "challenges," particularly related to Malia and Sasha. "I want to make sure that my girls come out of this on the other end whole." As for the reported clashes with Emanuel, the pair "never had a cross word"; the same is true of Gibbs, she says, adding that "I don't have conversations with my husband's staff." As for the book, "it's just more interesting to imagine this conflicted situation here. That's been an image people have tried to paint of me since the day Barack announced, that I'm some kind of angry black woman. ... Who can write about what I feel? What third person can tell me what I feel?" Watch the interview in the gallery, and stick around after its conclusion to hear King's less-than-impartial thoughts on the book. (More Michelle Obama stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.