My Celebrity Encounter With Forever First Lady Michelle Obama Taught Me #BlackGirlMagic And Was Posted In JET Magazine

Written by: Toree Weaver – April 30th, 2020 9:30pm pst

BHL My Celebrity Experience With Michelle Obama

Most of us have had at least one celebrity encounter in the span of our lifetimes. The BHL My Celebrity Experience Series shares personal reminiscences of encounters with favorite celebrities and influencers.  From the time we sat on a plane next to Tiffany Haddish to the time we stood in line at Starbucks behind John Legend, these are the honest and true celebrity encounters our BHL writers have experienced and now share with you.

I’m sure I don’t have to explain why meeting Michelle Obama is a life changing experience, but I’ll give you a few examples. She has two Ivy league degrees, national initiatives, a New York Times best-selling book, beautifully written speeches, and was #BlackGirlMagic before it was a hashtag. I didn’t think I was qualified to even stand next to this amazing woman, let alone be pictured in a magazine with her.   

As a black woman, I have been rooting for her since the 2008 presidential campaign. With her potentially becoming the first African American First Lady, she faced some of the harshest scrutiny I have seen in my 22 years of living. It was hard to celebrate her accomplishments because there was always someone working overtime to discredit them. From racial slurs to death threats, Michelle Obama displayed nothing short of poise, grace, and strength. Once she became First Lady of the United States, her Black History Month Event at the White House was important for more than one reason and I was honored to be able to attend.  

The visit started with a tour of the main level and then all of the students were ushered into the East Room. I sat in the front row of the middle section as Sweet Honey and the Rock opened with a heartwarming performance. Michelle Obama came out and thanked the performers before addressing the audience. She started by asking if we knew her husband’s official title. Everyone answered in unison “The President of the United States” as my young voice shouted, “The first African American President of the United States.” 

Growing up in a proud black household, everyone around me emphasized the importance of this detail. Addressing him as such became the norm, until I realized I was the only one that said it! I was so embarrassed that I gave a different answer until Mrs. Obama smiled at me and asked me to stand up and say it again. Almost instantly, the embarrassment went away. At that moment, I felt seen. As if right then and there Mrs. Obama was telling me it was ok to be all that I was. I know that sounds like I’m thinking too deep, but it is a unique feeling when a black woman reassures another, they are enough. So, I stood up, and confidently repeated what I said. 

That was all I needed and would have been content with the night ending there. Michelle finished her speech highlighting that black history was American history despite us constantly being written out of textbooks. I mean most people won’t even acknowledge that the White House was built by black people. It was nice to be in a space where your history wasn’t condensed to a paragraph about slavery. After she concluded and thanked the performers again, she waited at the door as everyone filed out one by one. When I finally got to the door, I told her I was thankful for the experience and the chance to hear her speak in person. I hadn’t planned on telling her, but it felt right; almost like an instinct. She seemed deeply appreciative of what I said and gave me a motherly hug that felt like she had known me my entire life. As the press rushed to snap our picture, I couldn’t help but feel like my life had been made at the tender age of eleven. 

The next day, I walked into my first class thinking my fairytale was over. My teacher kept looking at me and then back at the magazine she was reading while we did our warm-up, but I figured it was because I was late. After ten minutes of silence, she asked “do you know you’re in Jet Magazine?” It took me a minute to realize she was talking to me because why would I be in a magazine? She turned the page around and there I was, hugging Michelle Obama! 

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Happy birthday queen!

A post shared by Tracee R. (@tee_mikel) on

My teacher told the school and immediately called my parents. By the time they picked me up, my family had already bought two copies each and told everyone they knew. Once I made it to rehearsal, the receptionist showed me the online articles I was featured in as well. Of course, no one cared what my name was, so I was credited as “girl in the audience,” but that didn’t stop me from printing out every last one of them when I got home.  

Now I have added her book Becoming to the “Obama” corner of my nightstand. It sits cozy with my article clippings, Jet Magazine, and Easter Egg roll wristband. Oh yea, did I mention I performed there too? Maybe I’ll tell you about it in my next one. I know I am nowhere near a leader of the Civil Rights Movement, but these experiences remind me that my life is much bigger than myself. You never know what sixth grade, curly haired, black girl needs to be reminded that she is worth it.  

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As a young girl, even in my wildest dreams, I never could have imagined this moment. Nobody in my family has ever had a portrait – there are no portraits of the Robinsons or the Shields from the South Side of Chicago. This is all a little bit overwhelming, especially when I think about all of the young people who will visit the National Portrait Gallery and see this, including so many young girls and young girls of color who don’t often see their images displayed in beautiful and iconic ways. I am so proud to help make that kind of history. But the fact is that none of this would be possible without the extraordinary artist and woman behind this portrait, @asherald. Thank you, Amy – it was a joy to work with you and get to know you.

A post shared by Michelle Obama (@michelleobama) on

If you love Michelle Obama, the Obama Family, and the Black Hollywood Live My Celebrity Experience series, share this article with a friend. Michelle Obama will release her documentary Becoming on Netflix on May 6th. Tune in daily to Black Hollywood Live and our sister network AfterbuzzTV for articles, aftershows, and all the latest news on the world of entertainment.

About The Author:

Toree Weaver is a host with a passion for glamour and kingdoms. When she isn’t modeling or dancing, she can be found binge watching shows from Gossip Girl to Game of Thrones.

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