BECOMING BY MICHELLE OBAMA Review & Discussion | Left On Read Pod Ep1

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Left On Read Podcast Episode 1 | Is Michelle Obama Problematic?

In our First Episode of the podcast we discuss and review Becoming By Michelle Obama which is a NY Times Best Seller, and on the top of the charts currently. In Michelle Obama’s Memoir she discusses her life and how she became the woman she is today. Becoming me, Becoming Us, Becoming More.

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Left On Read Podcast Featuring the works of people of color behind and in front of the screen, on the cover of books and the ones who hold the Pen. Email us at


Reenie Nomwe says:

Subscribing to the podcast right now!!!

Alisha Jones says:

Very excited about this podcast ! So I’m reading this book called black liberation by keeanga Taylor and I hate to say this because I love the Obamas and what they stand for . ( you know how I feel about revealing sorority secret society things ). But , there are some things like how during the riots for fergerson Obama did the ‘ we black ppl need to do better’ gas lighting rather than taking a deeper look in WHY we are rioting . Also, the author called a lot of what Obama did was an informed observer regarding racial things . And I had to close the book because it was too close to home and I said not today SATAN you not going to make me sideeye MY FOREVER PRESIDENT.
Okay. I’m going to pause the podcast and listen while I’m cooking in the kitchen . But I have a lot of thoughts .

Dee says:

The wright scandal was a huge controversy and almost derailed their campaign, so I’m not surprised she addressed it. The preacher did say some pretty outlandish things but I think it’s normalized for a lot of black people, therefore not surprising. I’ve always been disappointed in Barack and Michelle’s connection to the black community so I am not surprised by the comments.

Melanated Wanderlust says:

I am so excited for this podcast!

Alisha Jones says:

I didn’t appreciate how we had to dissect everything due to race in this book and everything else was clear cut . Like you Jen I would have missed a lot of points . Come through dewayne with reading between the lines . If you do more of this let us know before and we can engage more ! Some of us will read the book * no shade dewayne lol

Breeze says:

Nothing more exciting to me than seeing people go from “we should do this” to “I can’t believe we’re finally doing this.” Best to you both!

SemiSweetQuietType says:

Have been watching your videos recently and you’ve instantly become my favorite booktuber. I love podcasts! Especially for my commute to work. Will this also be on iPodcasts (Apple)?

Blue Violets says:

I just finished the audiobook. Those excerpts you mentioned and a few others were so cringeworthy to hear. I pretty much have the same opinion. I enjoyed the book but expected more.

Amber Rechellè Polk says:

I’m so Glad that y’all dissected this book. I thought I was the only one finding the challenges in this book.

Pa Smurf says:

After the whole media debacle with the Jeremiah Wright nonsense, Michelle Obama refused to disavow Rev. Wright – even after her hubby did.

But after Rev. Wright went around taking petty digs at the Obamas, mocking and demeaning them – and worse, putting out unflattering stories/innuendo, and even betraying their trust, and sharing stuff they’d shared with him in confidence as their pastor, I think that was when Michelle Obama finally wrote Rev Wright off.

The passage on Rev. Wright did not sound quite like Michelle Obama, though – and stuck out from the rest of the book which was mostly authentically her. It sounds more like her hubby (who had a bit of an input on the book – and steered her when he thought she needed it, according to Michelle); I suspect Barack added that part. And the comparison between Dandy and Tut was Barack’s input too.

I think Michelle was so over it that she didn’t quite care enough to finesse that Jeremiah Wright bit – and so we ended up with Barack’s and the (white) editors’ version in the final cut.

I agree that it could have been left out entirely. But after the media fallout, Rev. Wright did not in fact handle any of it nearly as well as would’ve been expected from an intelligent, mature man of God who understood politics and being black in America as well as – if not better than most. It was shocking therefore to see Rev Wright immediately start lashing out, and publicly act out in the most petty, immature and unbecoming ways.

With the disappointing way Rev. Wright reacted and subsequently carried on, it’s easy to understand the loss of respect for a man they once saw as a mentor and father figure and confided in and held up as a role model.

The white Princeton roommate (a mostly nonentity as Michelle rightly treats her), never registered or rated as far as Michelle was concerned and rightly so – And I doubt Michelle even thought about her or remembered her until the opportunistic confessional interviews to the media to claim they knew Michelle Obama – after the Obamas blew up and became huge and on the cusp of making history.

I think Michelle only included the roommate and racist mother’s story in her memoir, only as part of a larger narrative and as an example of racism. The story had prominently played out in the media – and there wasn’t much more to add to it. Or any need to breathe any new life into these people – which would’ve happened if Michelle had gone out of her way to dissect it beyond the obvious.

There’s so much racial subtext in much of Michelle’s memoir; And much of it all the more powerful – especially because she simply puts it out there, and moves on and does not feel the need to dissect it – because it’s as glaring as it’s raw – and there for anyone with eyes to see.

Her memoir would’ve sharply deviated if she’d decided to dissect everything. I can understand why she only picked and highlighted particular examples of things. Just like she chose to discuss Maureen Dowd as just an example of dubious media/professional feminism –

I think this is merely a necessary biographical foundation and literary precursor to the 2 or 3 other books still left in Michelle Obama’s head and heart. We haven’t yet heard the last from her – And I suspect that her future books will be even more candid and more scathing and more instructive..

If you haven’t already, do watch Michelle Obama’s interview with Oprah about Becoming. It sheds more light on things. Here’s the link:

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