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First College Year Common Reading 2019: About

About Michelle Obama and "Becoming"

“I’m an ordinary person who found herself on an extraordinary journey. In sharing my story, I hope to help create space for other stories and other voices, to widen the pathway for who belongs and why.” — MICHELLE OBAMA

From the publisher: "In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare. 

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.

Michelle Robinson Obama served as First Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, Mrs. Obama started her career as an attorney at the Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin, where she met her future husband, Barack Obama. She later worked in the Chicago mayor’s office, at the University of Chicago, and at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Mrs. Obama also founded the Chicago chapter of Public Allies, an organization that prepares young people for careers in public service.

The Obamas currently live in Washington, DC, and have two daughters, Malia and Sasha."

About this Page

This page by the Brooklyn College Library is meant to act as a supplement to the 2019 First College Year Common Reading events and activities, which include reading and writing about the book in your English 1010 class and students writing personal essays for possible publication in the anthology Telling Our Stories, Sharing Our Lives. Click here to visit the official Brooklyn College First College Year Common Reading site.

If you are a first-year student and you have not yet received your copy of Becoming, stop by 3219 Boylan Hall.

The First College Year Common Reading experience is meant to build community and foster dialogue.  Check out these primary and secondary sources to learn more about the author, and explore just a few of its many important themes.

Happy reading!