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Since leaving the White House and her role as First Lady in 2016, Michelle Obama has released her book “Becoming” and has continued to grow in popularity as a public figure. In late July, she decided to try a new avenue and released the first episode of her podcast “The Michelle Obama Podcast.” 

As a long time fan of the Obamas, I was excited that I would get to have some more personal insight into Michelle and her family. I was wary, however, that the podcast would come off as more of a cash grab in what is becoming a market oversaturated by celebrities. 

Despite my reservations, “The Michelle Obama Podcast” was a welcome change to my usual true crime and daily news podcasts. The commentary is interesting and comes off as genuine, with personal anecdotes woven naturally into conversation. 

Each episode consists of Michelle and someone else, her husband, a friend or a brother, narrowing in on a specific relationship between yourself and the world. Current episodes analyze the relationship between race and country, self and upbringing, women and friendship, as well as an episode solely focused on women’s health.

While that episode, titled “What Your Mother Never Told You About Health with Dr. Sharon Malone” was the most informative for me, it was directed towards the smallest audience. It spoke often about menopause and was directed to an older audience with Michelle and Dr. Malone emphasizing the importance of openness between mothers and daughters, as well as women and their friends.

Each episode feels more like an intimate conversation than a lecture. Michelle manages to invoke laughter and nostalgia, even when addressing serious topics. The first episode features Barack as a co-host and contains the two former White House residents discussing life in quarantine, as well as their reactions to George Floyd’s murder and the resulting protests. The conversation flows in a way that makes you forget you’re listening to a former president and his wife. Instead, the tone comes across like a dinner with friends that runs late from talking so long, even though nobody realizes how long it’s been.  It’s comfortable and the conversation flows smoothly. 

Michelle’s most recent episode digs deeper into today’s climate of racism in America. She details her experiences in the White House of feeling invisible as a Black woman. Despite all of the success Michelle and Barack have had, they, along with Black Americans across the nation, continue to be racially profiled. 

As myself and others work to better understand our peers and be more aware of racial issues, hearing her own words on the discrimination she’s faced was eyeopening. I think every opportunity to get someone’s perspective is valuable and I hope that Michelle’s platform will allow her to reach a large audience with her experiences. 

I would recommend Michelle Obama’s podcast to anyone looking to delve deeper into their perception of the world, as well as feel like they’re sharing a laugh with one of America’s most influential and inspiring women. New episodes are posted weekly on Wednesdays, exclusively on Spotify. 

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of The Torch.

 

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