Mother's Day: My mother and Michelle Obama

Take extra time to praise and honor the women in thier lives. Not just on Mother's Day but every day. Photo: AP

WASHINGTON, May 12, 2013 -On Mothers Day, I think of my mother and of Michelle Obama.

“Barack Obama is brilliant!” In a speech in Pennsylvania on Thursday, March 13, 2008, Michelle Obama stated clearly, loudly, and very assertively that “Barack Obama is brilliant!” She then went on to wax eloquently about his past accomplishments including his academic achievements.

In all of my life, even though I have been a super achiever and provider, not one woman has called me brilliant. Not my mother or my wife or my sisters. But this works both ways. It’s time for men to praise their mothers, daughters and siblings this Mother’s Day.

Women are not taught that men are brilliant, industrious, honest, hard-working or anything remotely good. They are taught that we are lazy, no-good, slick, and of very little brain.

Black women love to gather around and find fault with their Black men, their providers and even undermine their confidence and belittle their achievements. The African American oriented film “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” a bestselling book and movie by Terry McMillan, features an opening scene in which a group of women gather while drinking wine in one of the women’s luxury well appointed home and degrade and insult Black men.

So, how can women help men and men help women? Simple, stop your negative behavior and believe in each other. It was amazing to watch Michelle Obama state her unequivocal love and admiration for her Man. How foolish it must have sounded when he said “I am going to run for U.S. Senate” against a billionaire. How foolish it must have sounded when her husband said “I am going to run for President” in a crowded field with Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and others. Yet, Michelle believed at the core of her very being that her husband was brilliant.

Men can also take this teachable moment and take extra time to praise and honor the women in thier lives. Not just on Mother’s Day but every day. Stop, look deep into your partner’s eyes and say “You are brilliant.”

How much more confident would your husband or boyfriend be if you, a woman, believed in him with all of your heart and soul. If you helped to nurture his dreams and desires, no matter how silly they sounded at inception. I challenge all women particularly to study Michelle Obama and the incredible and unbelievable love she has for her husband. The love and support of a good woman can be the difference between a dream and an achievement.  

Happy Mother’s Day!

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