Thursday, February 14, 2013

Michelle Obama goes bold for Black History Month

Yesterday First Lady Michelle Obama hosted a workshop at the White House for 80 middle/senior high schoolers from the D.C. area and New Orleans to view and discuss the movie Beasts of the Southern Wild in honor of Black History Month.

Because I recently watched the movie, I was a bit surprised. It is a tough gritty tale - told through the eyes of 6 year old "Hushpuppy" - of life and survival in the Louisiana bathtub.

Here's how Ms. Obama described the movie yesterday.
But it's rare these days to find a movie that can so completely and utterly captivate such a broad audience, and that was one of the things that struck me about this movie. It managed to be beautiful, joyful and devastatingly honest.

It's a movie that makes us all think deeply about the people we love in our lives who make us who we are. It shows us the strength of our communities, no matter what they look like. It shows us that those communities can give us the power to overcome any kind of obstacles. And it also tells a compelling story of poverty and devastation, but also of hope and love in the midst of some great challenges.
The challenges Hushpuppy faces are indeed great and Michelle is not exaggerating when she says that the movie is "devastatingly honest." Too many adults today want to pretend that we can somehow shield young people from that kind of honesty. Obviously Michelle is not one of them. She knows that many of them already face similarly great challenges in their lives. And as she said in the introduction to this workshop, she loves and trusts them enough to be honest about that.

Go watch this movie if you haven't already. When you do, you'll understand what a bold move this was from our First Lady - and what that says about her commitment to ALL of our children.

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