Transcript for Michelle Obama sends powerful message for next generation of leaders
Former first lady -- I love these two -- former first lady Michele Obama with over 15 million copies of her memoir sold worldwide, blockbuster book tour, well, she is now bringing "Becoming" to young readers. I talked with Mrs. Obama. Her first interview since the inauguration and asked her who she is becoming now. I'm becoming more free and I hope I'm becoming smarter and wiser and more patient. I hope I'm becoming someone that is comfortable getting out of the way so that the next generation can take the seat that I'm sitting in. Michelle Obama is making room. Lifting up the nation's future leaders. Oh. It's her longtime mission as former first lady and now with her best-selling memoir adapted for young readers. You know two young women very well. Malia and Sasha. Oh, those two? Yes. What have they learned from your story, do you think? What I hope they learn is that, you know, who they are right now is enough. I says have wanted them to start practicing the power of their voices very early on. Look, if you sit around the dinner table, me and Barack, we can't get a word in edgewise and we like it like that. We want to hear their thoughts and opinions and that's where it begin. Mrs. Obama says it continues with embracing all of life's bumps and bruises along with its triumphs. That message resonating as the country enters a new chapter. What was it like for you to be there, to witness this historic swearing in? Well, it was a glorious day, the sun was shining, the mood was wonderful but it was also I think everyone was concerned about more riots but we were assured that things were under control. When you see fellow Americans storming the capitol, that sits with you. That reality was with us on that stage. But to watch our friend Joe Biden and Jill stand there with their beautiful family to see kamala and her family standing there brave and bold knowing that they were taking on a massive amount of responsibility to get this country back on track. Being American is more than a pride we inherit. It's the past we step into and how we repair it. Another moment, Amanda Gorman. Your first reaction hearing her poem? I was proud and moved almost to tears to hear not just her words but the confidence with which she delivered. I know there are many, many Amanda gormans. I'm just proud when one of them gets a chance to be seen and the rest of the nation and the world gets to see, yep, a lot of black folks contribute to this country. A lot of black folks have made this country what it is today. A rising generation not afraid to call out injustices and demand change. A lot of people were watching those taking to the street following the deaths of George Floyd, breonna Taylor, say their names and unfortunately there are too many names to mention. Is it different this time. I hope so. It feels different. And, you know, what gives me even more hope is what happened at the polls in November. We got to March. We got to protest. And we have to vote. We have toeducated. We have to be informed. Young people are putting those pieces together and understand it's not either/or. It's all of it. And they have had many examples. And Vernon Jordan who recently passed, a civil rights icon, you have any thoughts that you'd like to share about Vernon Jordan? He was a dear friend. He and his family. It is just a reminder that we've got to continue to fill those seats, not just in politics, but Vernon was a powerhouse in business. He worked in civil rights. He did it all. And that's the thick I want young people to know. There are many ways to make change. We need a lot more decent people who have humility and compassion and are ready to be out in the world showing that off in whatever occupation they choose. I remember being in Chicago with you and talking about "Becoming." As soon as you walked into your old high school, you light up around young people. What is it about them? They are our hope. They are -- they are not jaded yet. They are not beaten down by what they're supposed to be. They are still wide open. That's the point of becoming. If you are lucky, you will never become something and that's the end. If you are lucky you will constantly grow and evolve until the day you cannot breathe anymore, you know. We are all learning and becoming something better and greater. She really believes that becoming is an evolving process and it is being adapted for young readers out now. You can see her reaction. When I asked her at the beginning, so who are you now? Who are you becoming now? She was like more relaxed. You can see it. You can sense that and so many projects that she's working on and very excited about but oftentimes comes back to the young'uns with her. Great to hear her description of what was happening on that inauguration day as well. You know, and you wondered even though, you know, everybody was -- it was festive in many ways, the feeling and she did say that was in the back of the mind but also you remember all they had to do was look around and see all the barricades and that but they were not going to let the moment pass them by, what they were seeing there on the stage.
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