Back when my husband first started campaigning for President, folks had all sorts of questions of me:
What kind of First Lady would I be? What kinds of issues would I take on?
Would I be more like Laura Bush, or Hillary Clinton, or Nancy Reagan?
And the truth is, those same questions would have been posed to any candidate's spouse.
That's just the way the process works.
But, as potentially the first African American First Lady, I was also the focus of another set of questions and speculations;
conversations sometimes rooted in the fears and misperceptions of others.
Was I too loud, or too angry, or too emasculating?
Or was I too soft, too much of a mom, not enough of a career woman?
Then there was the first time I was on a magazine cover -- it was a cartoon drawing of me with a huge afro and machine gun.
Now, yeah, it was satire, but if I'm really being honest, it knocked me back a bit.
It made me wonder, just how are people seeing me.
Or you might remember the on-stage celebratory fist bump between me and my husband after a primary win that was referred to as a "terrorist fist jab."
And over the years, folks have used plenty of interesting words to describe me.
One said I exhibited "a little bit of uppity-ism."
Another noted that I was one of my husband's "cronies of color."
Cable news once charmingly referred to me as "Obama's Baby Mama."
And of course, Barack has endured his fair share of insults and slights.
Even today, there are still folks questioning his citizenship.