Michelle Obama: 'Blood of Africa' in My Veins

First lady urges young African leaders to focus on women's rights

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 30, 2014 4:52 PM CDT

(Newser) – Her husband didn't dwell much on his African heritage when he addressed a group of young leaders from the continent this week in DC, but first lady Michelle Obama took the opposite approach today, reports Reuters. “The blood of Africa runs through my veins, and I care deeply,” she told 500 Africans completing a six-week fellowship in Washington. “The roots of my family tree are in Africa,” she said to cheers, noting that the president's father was born in Kenya.

The first lady urged the group to focus on women's equality upon returning home, reports AP. Making sure girls get an education is important, but it's not enough, she said. Men must “look into their hearts and souls and ask if they truly view women as their equals." The first lady said the men who raised her set great examples on that front, "which is why I went on to marry a man who had the good sense to fall in love with a woman who was his equal, to treat me as such—a man who supports and reveres me."

First lady Michelle Obama hugs a participant of the DC summit of young African leaders.
First lady Michelle Obama hugs a participant of the DC summit of young African leaders.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
First lady Michelle Obama walks to a roundtable meeting of the summit.
First lady Michelle Obama walks to a roundtable meeting of the summit.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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