Michelle Obama says presidential centre will have section honouring her mother Marian Robinson

‘I simply wouldn’t be who I am today without my mom,’ the former first lady said of her mother Marian Robinson

Johanna Chisholm
Friday 06 May 2022 18:34
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Just ahead of Mother’s Day in the US this weekend, Michelle Obama has shared that part of the greatly anticipated Obama Presidential Center will have a section dedicated to her own mom, Marian Robinson.

“I am so excited to announce that we will be dedicating a space at the Obama Presidential Center in her honour,” the former first lady said while introducing the concept behind the special exhibit, called “Opening the White House”, during an exclusive with Good Morning America on Friday.

“I simply wouldn’t be who I am today without my mom.”

Ms Robinson, 84, moved in with the Obamas when their two girls, Malia and Sasha, were just 10 and 7 and remained in the White House throughout Barack Obama’s eight years as president.

During an interview with CBS’s Gayle King, while promoting her memoir, Becoming, the former first lady opened up about how her mother, who by her own admission shied away from attention, was assuredly the most popular resident in the White House during their time there.

“She had a stream of people,” Ms Obama said during the 2018 interview. “Grandma’s room was like the confessional. They would come by and unload,” she added.

Inside the exhibit at the Chicago centre, there will be scale replicas of the East Room, the Blue Room and the South Lawn, all of which will be “infused with so many of the values that my mother instilled in me: community, family, bringing people in, creating a warm, welcoming space where everyone feels at home,” Ms Obama said describing the space.

“My mother gave me that nonstop, unconditional love that was so important for me to grow up. In so many ways, she fostered in me a deep sense of confidence in who I was and who I could be by teaching me how to think for myself, how to use my own voice and how to understand my own worth,” the 58-year-old said of her mother, who she’s admitted in other public interviews played a key role in helping the Obamas navigate raising their girls while living in one of the most public homes in America.

In the same 2018 interview with CBS, Ms Obama described how the former “first grandmother” even taught the young girls how to do their own laundry and would stop by her living quarters for “laundry lessons”.

Ground broke on the Obama Presidential Center last November and the doors are set to open in 2025.

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