| | | | |

Becoming Summary, Themes and Review

Becoming” is a memoir written by Michelle Obama, the former First Lady of the United States. It was published in November 2018. 

The book provides an intimate look into Obama’s life, from her childhood in Chicago to her years as a lawyer, mother, and ultimately, as the First Lady during Barack Obama’s presidency. 


Michelle Obama, born Michelle Robinson, grew up on the South Side of Chicago, in a neighborhood undergoing demographic shifts as white and affluent families gradually moved away. 

Despite residing in a modest apartment above her great-aunt and great-uncle alongside her parents and older brother Craig, Michelle’s upbringing was enriched by her close-knit family and supportive adults. Her mother fostered her early literacy skills, while her great-aunt Robbie imparted piano lessons, nurturing Michelle’s talents and fostering a love for learning.

Nevertheless, Michelle encountered obstacles along the way. Attending a piano recital revealed the limitations of her instrument, a stark contrast to the pristine ones she had never played. 

Her father’s battle with multiple sclerosis, concealed by his stoic demeanor, underscored the fragility of life. 

Additionally, a distressing incident of vandalism following a visit to a predominantly white neighborhood highlighted the racial tensions prevalent in her surroundings.

Undeterred by these challenges, Michelle excelled academically, earning admission to Princeton University, following in her brother’s footsteps. 

At Princeton’s Third World Center, she found solace among fellow minority students, forming friendships and mentorships crucial for navigating an environment she described as predominantly white and male. 

Despite her academic achievements, Michelle pursued a degree in sociology without deeply considering her passions, driven instead by the pursuit of validation and certainty offered by Harvard Law School.

Her professional journey led her to Sidley & Austin, where she crossed paths with Barack Obama, a promising law student whom she mentored and later developed a friendship with. 

Their relationship blossomed despite geographical distances and demanding schedules, eventually culminating in marriage. 

Michelle’s career trajectory shifted as she sought fulfillment beyond the confines of corporate law, transitioning to roles focused on community engagement and advocacy.

Parenthood brought new challenges, compounded by the demands of career and public service. 

Despite setbacks, including miscarriage and struggles with work-life balance, Michelle remained resolute in her commitment to effecting positive change. 

Her tenure at the University of Chicago Medical Center, coupled with Barack’s political ascent, provided platforms for advancing causes close to her heart, particularly children’s health and education.

The historic election of Barack Obama as the first African American President marked a new chapter in the Obamas’ lives, accompanied by unprecedented scrutiny and expectations. 

Michelle embraced her role as First Lady with grace and determination, championing initiatives such as Let’s Move!, Joining Forces, Reach Higher, and Let Girls Learn. Despite facing criticism and adversity, she remained steadfast in her resolve to make a difference.

The Obama administration’s accomplishments, including the passage of the Affordable Care Act and efforts to address economic challenges and global conflicts, were tempered by the persistent obstacles of partisan gridlock and societal divisions. 

Michelle’s unwavering commitment to service and advocacy continued beyond the White House, as she remained actively involved in promoting social causes and supporting marginalized communities.

As the nation grappled with the transition to a new administration, Michelle’s optimism endured, tempered by a sober recognition of the work yet to be done. 

Reflecting on her journey, she emphasized the importance of embracing one’s unique narrative and striving for growth, both individually and collectively. 

Michelle Obama’s legacy serves as a testament to the transformative power of perseverance, empathy, and resilience in the face of adversity.

Becoming Summary, Themes and Review


Social Mobility and Equity

Michelle Obama’s upbringing in a neighborhood undergoing demographic shifts reflects larger societal issues of social mobility and equity. Despite economic challenges and racial discrimination, Michelle’s family instilled in her the values of hard work and education, enabling her to transcend her circumstances and pursue opportunities like attending Princeton and Harvard Law School. 

Her journey highlights the importance of addressing systemic barriers to upward mobility and fostering environments where all individuals have equal access to education and opportunity.

Identity and Intersectionality

Michelle’s experiences navigating predominantly white spaces at Princeton and Harvard Law School underscore the complexities of identity and intersectionality. 

As an African American woman from a working-class background, Michelle grappled with issues of race, gender, and class, finding solace and support within communities like the Third World Center at Princeton. 

Her journey reflects broader conversations about identity formation, representation, and the importance of inclusive spaces that validate diverse experiences.

Personal Agency and Purpose

Michelle’s trajectory from corporate law to public service reflects broader themes of personal agency and purpose. Despite initially pursuing paths that offered societal validation and stability, such as attending Harvard Law School and working at Sidley & Austin, Michelle ultimately prioritized her passion for community engagement and social impact. 

Her journey highlights the significance of aligning personal values with professional pursuits and finding fulfillment through purpose-driven work.

Legacy and Leadership

Michelle Obama’s tenure as First Lady and her advocacy for initiatives like Let’s Move!, Joining Forces, and Let Girls Learn exemplify the power of leadership and legacy in effecting positive change. 

Through strategic initiatives and public engagement, Michelle leveraged her platform to address pressing social issues like childhood obesity, support for military families, and girls’ education worldwide. 

Her legacy underscores the transformative potential of leadership in shaping public discourse, inspiring collective action, and leaving a lasting impact on society.

My Review

Now, I’m not one to get sentimental, but let me tell you, Michelle’s story hit me harder than a ton of bricks. 

From her humble beginnings to her epic journey through the corridors of power, this woman’s got tales to make you laugh, cry, and maybe even snort your coffee out your nose.

This scene particularly hit me hard. 

It’s Malia’s 10th birthday, smack dab in the middle of a crazy campaign trail. The Obamas are running on fumes, barely keeping their eyes open, and what do they do? 

They throw together a last-minute party that’s more chaotic than a circus on wheels. 

But guess what? 

Malia thinks it’s the best birthday ever! 

Cue the waterworks, folks, because if that doesn’t tug at your heartstrings, I don’t know what will.

And let’s talk about relatability—Michelle’s got it in spades. 

She’s like your best friend, your confidante, your partner in crime. 

Whether you’re a man, woman, or intergalactic alien, you’ll find something to connect with in her story. 

Plus, who knew our birthdays could align with the First Family’s? 

It’s like cosmic destiny, folks!

But wait, there’s more! 

“Becoming” isn’t just a memoir; it’s a roadmap to kicking butt and taking names (including a Former President). 

It’s about finding mentors, opening doors, and making the world a better place, one fabulous pantsuit at a time. 

So before you think twice, let me tell you that you have to read this memoir. 

Trust me, you won’t regret it!

Sharing is Caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *