Educate Us! Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’ Becomes College Certified

by Brianna Williams

December 31, 2018

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Our forever First Lady, Michelle Obama broke records this year when her memoir, “Becoming” made its way onto our bookshelves and into our hearts. Now, the New York Times best-selling book is being transformed into a curriculum that will help black girls who are struggling to find their place in the world.

(Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)
Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images

Former Assistant Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, Lauren Christine Mims created the curriculum that we always knew we needed in school, but never got: “I disrupt the traditional practice of talking about black girls in pejorative ways and center them and their unique experiences to study how we can support them. For example, my research highlights what ‘Black Girl Magic’ means to black girls; the role teachers play in supporting or stopping the success of black girls; and more about what they are learning and how it makes them feel.”

This course will take pages from other curriculums inspired by celebrities and public figures like Georgetown University’s “Sociology of Hip-Hop: Jay-Z” and Rutgers University’s “Politicizing Beyoncé.” It will obviously require students to read “Becoming,” but also watch films featuring black girls in leading roles, and participate in conversations on topics like, what it means to feel like your presence is a threat or that you do not belong.

Mims hopes that this curriculum will make space for black girls to thrive in a world that often seems to try and deny their humanity, which is what the essence of the book is all about. In her book, Mrs. Obama says, “For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.”

After the highly successful release of her memoir, Michelle held a multi-city book tour that sold out and left everyone wanting more. From having Oprah moderate the first stop in her home city of Chicago to rocking $4,000 thigh-high Balenciaga boots, here are some great moments from the tour:

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Earlier this year, Netflix announced that the author and her husband, former president Barack Obama entered into a multi-year agreement with the streaming platform to produce films and series. Michelle Obama is certainly taking over.

TELL US: Do you think this course will change the way black girls and young women see themselves?

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