On Tuesday 13th and Thursday 15 October, the Senior School commemorated Black History month by reading from Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming. Published in 2018, it has been described as an intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir.
The assembly began with the song ‘We Gotta Pray’ by Alicia Keys, which pleads for strength and peaceful protest, and the accompanying music video that shows photos of civil rights protests from the past and present along with quotes from the Reverend Dr Martin Luther King Jr and Gandhi.
Mrs Fletcher (on Tuesday) and the Prefects (on Thursday) then read from a chapter of the book that was set in the days before Michelle Obama became First Lady of the United States ─ during her time at Princeton University, which she attended from 1981-85. During the reading, photos of Mrs Obama’s time at Princeton were shown.
Mrs Obama describes her experiences during this time as someone very much in a minority, saying ‘Your world shifts, but you’re asked to adjust and overcome, to play your music the same as everyone else. This is doable, of course ─ minority and underprivileged students rise to the challenge all the time ─ but it takes energy. It takes energy to be the only black person in a lecture hall or one of a few nonwhite people trying out for a play or joining an intramural team. It requires effort, an extra level of confidence, to speak in those settings and own your presence in the room.’