Can Michelle Defy Stereotypes?
Why hasn't the 'Claire Huxtable' generation been accepted into the mainstream?
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2008 10:16 AM CDT
Michelle Obama, right, wife of of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., right, walks on stage with Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire, Thursday, July 17, 2008.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
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(Newser) – It's no wonder Michelle Obama is being criticized from all sides: She's an outspoken, successful black woman, writes Sophia A. Nelson in the Washington Post. "This society can't even see a woman like Michelle Obama. All it sees is a black woman and attaches stereotypes," a prominent female African-American journalist tells Nelson. Society sees categories: the hip-hop vixen, the capable Aunt Jemima, and the "angry black woman."

Although more black women are finding success, it often comes at personal expense—professional black women are five times more likely to be single at age 40 than their white counterparts. Obama introduces the "revolutionary" idea that a black woman can love her career, her family, and her country, writes Nelson: "And our hope is that if Michelle Obama becomes first lady, the revolution will come to us at last."