Michelle Obama spent Mother’s Day with a sold out crowd at the Ryman Auditorium on May 12. Her stop at the Mother Church was the last of a 34-city book tour for her memoir Becoming, which has sold more than 10 million copies since it was released in November of last year.
The former first lady was in discussion with The Late Show host Stephen Colbert, who also moderated her London tour stop.
She walked the audience through her early life in the South Side of Chicago — her family was black and working class. And she discussed what it was like to work alongside Barack Obama on his way to the White House, as well as what it was like to live in the home.
Michelle Obama’s mother and her two daughters flew into Nashville to join her for Mother’s Day, and the audience was full of local celebrities like Alice Randall and her daughter Caroline Randall Williams and politicians like Mayor David Briley and District 19 Councilmember Freddie O’Connell.
The night was focused on what we are “becoming,” as people and as a nation. Obama seemed hopeful, telling the audience that often the people she meets are nothing like what television news would have her believe.
“I’ve just had to stop watching,” she said, adding that she gets her news from print media rather than broadcast networks. She took a few jabs at the current president — of course without saying his name, mentioning President Donald Trump’s role in spreading the rumor that her husband wasn’t born in the United States.
“I just wanted to tell some people this isn’t a joke and when you make stuff up and you know you’re making stuff up … it can cost my children their life,” Obama told the audience.
At the beginning of the program, Nashville women took the the stage to tell the audience who they were becoming. One was the mother of a child with special needs, another was Trisha Yearwood, another CeCe Winans.
Though folks in the crowd chanted president with Colbert asked Obama what she was planning post book tour, she reiterated what she had written in the memoir, which is that she thought political dynasties were unhealthy for a democracy.
“We can’t afford to be cynical,” she said. “We have a chance to change things and I’m waiting to see what we do, but I remain hopeful.”
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