Michelle Obama confounded by Angry Black Woman image

From MSNBC and found on The International Herald Tribune:

The caricatures of Obama as the Angry Black Woman confound her, friends say. Her own family crosses racial boundaries — her mother-in-law and a sister-in-law are white — and she has spent much of her adult life trying to address racial resentment.

Well, I’ll have to admit Michelle Obama’s comments confound me. Her mother-in-law – Barack’s mom, Stanley – is indeed white. She died in 1992. Her sister-in-law – Barack’s half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng – is half Indonesian and half American.

If Obama, who is half Kenyan and half white American calls himself an African American, how is Maya just “white?”


I found Michelle LaVaughn Robinson’s Princeton thesis on the internet today. I’ve got some reading to do, but I have a pretty strong notion that paper is where her “Angry Black Woman” image originates – in her own words.


  1. Maybe her brother, former Brown University Basketball Coach (now at Oregon State i think), has a white wife. Maya isn’t half-American, she’s half-white. But I understand the typo.

  2. I’ll clarify – she’s half white-American and half Indonesian. She was born in Indonesia of a white-American mother. Maybe she’s Indonesian and not American at all? (But her skin is still lighter in color and therefore “white” to Mrs. Obama.)

  3. Not white to Mrs. Obama, white to this article’s author. And again, maybe they aren’t even talking about Maya.