North Carolina, the state that gave us Jesse Helms and more than a few Klan members, went wild for Michelle Obama at a September rally as a stunned Maya Angelou watched, the poet recalls in the Washington Post. People of all races gave a thunderous welcome to the next first lady, who Angelou calls “the real deal,” borrowing the phrase from her pal Oprah.
Angelou didn’t really know Obama, but they chatted before the event, and “I was completely won over,” she writes. Obama “neither postured nor preened. She said what she thought and said it clearly, without bombast.” The crowd was impressed, too: the predominantly white audience greeted her husband's inclusive message with shouts of, “You go, girl!” “Many believe that this time, our nation has been blest,” Angelou concludes.