With Two New Editions and a Personal Message, Michelle Obama Introduces a New Chapter of Becoming

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Maiysha Kai
·3 min read
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We can’t think of a better way to spend the first week of Women’s History Month—or “Black HerStory Month,” as it’s known here at The Root—than with our forever first lady, Michelle Obama. Indeed, Obama made history herself with her 2018 memoir, Becoming, which was not only an instant international bestseller, with more than 15 million copies in all formats sold worldwide, but has been on the New York Times bestseller list for over 100 weeks!

“I carried a history with me, and it wasn’t that of presidents or first ladies,” Obama wrote in Becoming. “I’d never related to the story of John Quincy Adams the way I did to that of Sojourner Truth, or been moved by Woodrow Wilson the way I was by Harriet Tubman. The struggles of Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King were more familiar to me than those of Eleanor Roosevelt or Mamie Eisenhower. I carried their histories, along with those of my mother and grandmothers...I wanted to show up in the world in a way that honored who they were.”

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Fitting then, that Becoming would reach new audiences this Women’s History Month, with the simultaneous release of two new editions on Tuesday: the Becoming Young Reader Edition and a paperback format of Becoming (so we can more easily take that Obama wisdom on the go). Penguin Random House made the announcement Tuesday, accompanied by the release of a video message from Obama herself for young girls around the world to hear—though frankly, we think some of us big girls could benefit from the reminder, too.

During her years in the White House, Obama was fondly known as the “Mom in Chief,” so it’s only appropriate that Penguin Random House and Scary Mommy have partnered in celebration of her two new editions, additionally announcing the launch of a special book club program. Obama will kick off the Scary Mommy Book Club’s virtual book club event series on April 12, discussing Becoming with parents and children in their online community.

But wait—there’s more! Because too much Michelle is never enough, this month also marks the release of Michelle Obama: In Her Own Words from Agate Publishing. Described in a press release as “a collection of more than 300 quotes from the author, lawyer, humanitarian, and the first Black woman to serve as first lady of the United States of America, curated from public statements, interviews, books, social media posts, television appearances, and more,” the pocket-sized book hits shelves on March 9.

More from the release provided to The Root:

Since emerging on the global stage, Michelle has become a source of inspiration for young women all over the world, largely due to her engaging authenticity and candor. She was named “most admired” woman in the U.S. in a Gallup poll three years in a row, and her debut memoir, Becoming, sold 1.4 million copies in its first week and is now one of the bestselling books of the last decade. While Michelle’s remarkable post-White House career is still in its early stages, one thing is already clear: she is a beloved role model who will inspire generations to come. In Michelle Obama: In Her Own Words, readers will find a direct and intimate look into the mind of one of the most recognizable and influential women of our era.

Inside Michelle Obama: In Her Own Words, one will find other quotes from Becoming among the hundreds from our favorite first lady, but perhaps the following best illustrates why she’s a role model for all time.

“I’m an ordinary person who found herself on an extraordinary journey,” she writes. “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.”