October’s Donated Book
Courage is Contagious: and Other Reasons to Be Grateful for Michele Obama
By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Tracee Ellis, Alice Waters, Gloria Steinman and others
“You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.” – Michele Obama
Michelle Obama’s legacy transcends categorization. Mrs. Obama was not only our first black first lady; she was President Obama’s equal partner in marriage and parenthood and a tireless advocate for women’s rights, education, healthy eating and exercise. Her genre-busting personal style encouraged others to speak, to engage, even to dress as they wished. Similar to his popular T, The New York Times Style Magazine feature, Nick Haramis has assembled nineteen essays from prizewinning writers, Hollywood stars, and political leaders – all of whom have been moved and influenced by Michele Obama’s extraordinary example of grace in power.
Alice Waters (chef, author, food activist), inspired by her parents victory garden, felt that a national garden would be a powerful national symbol for healthy eating. At the 2008 National Convention, she seized the opportunity to present her idea to Michelle Obama and soon after the Obamas entered the White House, ground was broken for a vegetable garden. The garden became the first step in Michelle Obama’s pioneering Let’s Move initiative. Jason Wu, an American fashion designer, submitted a sketch for Michele Obama’s first inaugural gown. His design became the winning gown and his brand became instantly internationally known. Laura Camacho, a ninth-grader writes, “Michele Obama has shown me that even though I am just a girl in Red Hook, Brooklyn, I can do anything.” Actress Tracee Ellis Ross suggests that Mrs. Obama “provided an antidote to all the false representations of black women that have inundated us for centuries.”
No matter your political leanings, do yourself a favor and read this slim book that captures the qualities that all women everywhere strive for. Here are some of the many facets of Michelle Obama as she continues to inspire us, a stirring reminder that the best of America was embodied in one authentic, inclusive, and courageous woman.