After a best-selling memoir and a riveting Netflix documentary film follow-up, Michelle Obama continues the conversation on identity in a weekly format.
Michelle Obama has never been shy with sharing personal conversations. Ever since exiting the White House in 2017, she has built upon this sense of honesty to encourage others in self reflection. From the detailed retelling of her life in Becoming, to the personal interactions she shares in her book tour in the Netflix documentary, Obama’s conversation amplified to a wider audience. So it comes to no surprise that the natural progression of this conversation on the self continues in a new format.
The Michelle Obama Podcast, titled plainly and fittingly, is described as a podcast that, “discussing the relationships that make us who we are, sometimes that might be as personal as our relationship with ourselves. ” Setting the tone that this new medium will carry on Michelle’s signature of self reflective narrative. Going into detail on the focus of the first set of episodes, she shares that the “first season will be with people she is close with “some of the people I’m closest with,” specifically naming her mom, brother, friends, and colleagues.
In the premiere episode, Michelle had Barack on as her first guest where they discussed one’s relationship to their community and, on a grander scheme, to their country. A conversation that balances being casual and immensely informative on how one is shaped by their community and the constant conflict of pursuing one’s interest with the interest of the collective. What is striking in these conversations is as much as the context of the subject matter is rooted in American life and culture it can very much be applied elsewhere, even to our context here in the Philippines. The tension between fulfilling one’s personal progress and the progress of the nation as a whole is a very real anxiety that faces many ambitious Filipinos today. This is the real lesson that can be taken from Michelle’s conversations, as much as they are specific and personal, the core message is universal no matter what nation or creed.
In the newly released second episode, Obama speaks with journalist Michele Norris on thoughts on a more timely subject with the pandemic and the reckoning of the United States with racial tensions. Without delving into the details of the episode, it is made clear that the podcast will continue the tone of casual conversation with serious topics. Michelle balances accessible and substantial in her talks which make for engaging weekly episodes that anyone can pick up.
The Michelle Obama Podcast releases new episodes weekly and is available for free on Spotify.