The White House is brimming with Hidden Figures. Michelle Obama is not one of them, however, at one point in time, the country’s first black first lady could have been.
“We were supposed to be hidden,” she said Thursday at an occasion regarding STEM instruction and Theodore Melfi’s film, out Jan. 13.
“People didn’t even want to believe we were real. But here we are, eight years later.”
The first lady took the stage, in a refined Brandon Maxwell suit, after a screening of the film and board discourse with cast individuals Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae.
— Cara Ann Kelly (@CaraReports) December 16, 2016
Speaking to a room of students who were jazzed to spend their Thursday evening at the White House finding out about the genuine stories that roused writer Margot Lee Shetterly, Obama referenced her own associations with the book-turned-film, which tells the story of female African-American mathematicians at NASA who were America’s secret weapons in staying competitive in the Space Race.
“People didn’t even want to believe we were real,” she said about her husband’s campaign and the presidency. “But here we are, eight years later.”
Though she specifically tended to the young ladies in participation, it was clear she was communicating to youngsters the world over, refining the lessons she’s gathered as the first black first lady. Her message: There will never be a period without difficulty. However, self-assurance, instruction and diligent work are the keys to defeating it.
“Skin shading, sexual orientation, is the craziest characterizing attribute that we stick to,” she said. “It doesn’t matter. What is important is you believe in your potential. Because people will try to tear you down, I guarantee you that. There will never be a point when people will 100 percent be cheering you on.”
What’s more, for those moving to new employments and difficulties in 2017, she reminded everybody to glance around.
“I say this to my staff, as we move forward in life, and get access to these seats of power, I want you to look around and make sure there’s diversity at the table,” she said. “If everyone looks the same and thinks the same and has the same experience, you never come up with the right answers.”