Nonfiction: Isabel Wilkerson on Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’ and the Great Migration

The former first lady’s long-awaited new memoir recounts with insight, candor and wit her family’s trajectory from the Jim Crow South to Chicago’s South Side and her own improbable journey from there to the White House.
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Michelle Obama’s Book Tour Includes a FLOTUS-Level Wardrobe

ESC: Michelle ObamaAlthough Michelle Obama has left her FLOTUS title in the past, she’s maintaining her feminine and sophisticated style.
In honor of the release of her book, Becoming, Barack…

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Thousands try to get tickets for Michelle Obama’s London talk

Tens of thousands are disappointed trying to get tickets for her talk at London’s South Bank.
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Michelle Obama’s Message To The New Royal Baby Is Oh So Cute

Pajama party!
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Obamas ‘in talks to make Netflix shows’

The former president and his wife would produce exclusive “uplifting” shows, the New York Times says.
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Are the Obamas the next Netflix reality stars?

Barack and Michelle Obama are reportedly negotiating a deal to produce shows for Netflix.
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Critic’s Notebook: Why the Obamas’ Portrait Choices Matter

The Obamas have chosen Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald: one established artist, one on her way.
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Yep, The Obamas Still Respond To Wedding Invites From Perfect Strangers

If you can’t have them in the White House, invite them to your wedding.
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Celebrities Use Obama’s Birthday To Tell Him How Much He’s Missed

It’s been a rough few months without Barack in the White House …
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Couple Recreates The Obamas’ Best Photos For Their Own Romantic Engagement Shoot

Double the love, double the feels!
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Michelle Obama’s Black ESPYs Dress Is Instantly Iconic

This look is absolutely jaw-dropping.
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The Obamas Went Rafting In Bali And They’re Clearly Having A Blast

Anything a member of the Obama family does is major news. So when the entire group is spotted together ― engaging in water sports and wearing matching rafting gear, no less ― you can consider the internet broken. 

Barack, Michelle, Malia and Sasha Obama were spotting on a rafting trip Monday during a vacation to Indonesia, and it is truly a delight for all the senses.

Just look how happy they are, rafting down the Ayung river in Bali.  

Check out the former president rafting into the future and away from the current state of U.S. politics: 

The activity surely fits into Michelle Obama’s summer fitness program. The former first family is currently enjoying a 10-day trip to Indonesia, where Obama spent some of his childhood. He moved there at age 6 when his mother married an Indonesian man, and stayed until he moved to Hawaii to live with his grandparents at age 10. 

The Obamas will also visit the ancient city Yogyakarta and President Obama will address the Indonesian Diaspora Congress in July, the Associated Press reports. 

On Sunday, the group visited Bali’s Jatiluwih rice terraces. 

Here’s hoping for even more family photo ops to come. 

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At This Point In His Presidency, Obama’s Biggest Scandal Was Using Dijon Mustard

As President Donald Trump continues to erode American democracy, you can at least take comfort in knowing he isn’t using Dijon mustard on his burgers.

In May 2009, Fox News host Sean Hannity devoted airtime on his show to a frank, honest conversation about whether then-President Barack Obama was capable of leading the country. His biggest issue was that America could not trust a president that uses Dijon mustard on his food.

“Take a look at [Obama] ordering his burger with a very special condiment,” Hannity said on his program at the time, before showing a clip of POTUS at a Virginia restaurant.

“I’m gonna have your very basic cheddar cheeseburger, medium-well,” Obama told the cashier. “I just want mustard, no ketchup. You got a spicy mustard or something like that? Dijon mustard or something?”

“I hope you enjoyed that fancy burger,” Hannity shot back.

Eight years later, the U.S. now has a president who has bragged about sexually assaulting women, is accused of colluding with Russia to help him win an election, golfs more than he leads, ignores climate change evidence, and petulantly shoves world leaders when he doesn’t get to be the center of attention.

Oh, he also eats his steaks well-done with ketchup.  

It’s unclear why Hannity’s investigation never led to the removal of President Obama, but at least the American people can finally rest assured that these types of scandals are finally over.

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Obama’s Post-POTUS Style Keeps Getting Better

The former president stepped out in Italy looking breezy.

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Michelle Obama’s Vacation Style Is Still Great

Michelle Obama wore two outfits on vacation in Tuscany and she is already setting the pace for summer vacation style
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A salon in Destin, Florida, gave a woman a dramatic hair makeover before she walks down the aisle this fall.
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What’s Next For The Obamas? Michelle Promises They’re ‘Not Gone’

Michelle Obama is still fighting the good fight when it comes to issues that matter to her. 

Obama sat down with Sam Kass, the former White House chef and senior advisor for nutrition policy, in Washington, D.C., on Friday for the Partnership for a Healthier America summit to address childhood obesity. And she took aim at President Donald Trump’s policies

“This is where you really have to look at motives,” she said. “You really have to stop and think, ‘Why don’t you want our kids to have good food at school? What is wrong with you and why is that a partisan issue?’ Why would that be political? What is going on?” 

Access to healthy school lunches was the former first lady’s focus while in the White House, and Trump’s administration has been rolling back those efforts

The Obamas took some time for themselves after Trump’s inauguration in January, inking book deals, vacationing and just generally living their best lives

But they’re back and they’re not going anywhere. 

“We’re not gone, we’re just breathing, y’all. Let us breathe,” Obama insisted, per People magazine. “We’ve got to get our new lives set up.”

“When you hear me getting riled up in this chair, it’s not politics, it’s parenting that’s really moving me,” she said, adding that everyone needs to “put aside our politics … to not be cynical … to not give up.”

She’s certainly not.

“You’ve got me as a partner as long as I can be of use,” she said. “So the question for you is, where do you want me? Just let me know and I’ll be here.”

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Books of The Times: A Long, Long Look at Obama’s Life, Mostly Before the White House

David J. Garrow’s door-stopper of a biography contains a cascade of details that, our critic says, “never connect to form an illuminating portrait.”
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Critic’s Notebook: Obama’s Secret to Surviving the White House Years: Books

In an interview seven days before leaving office, Mr. Obama talked about the role books have played during his presidency and throughout his life.
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Cartoon Donald Trump Live Tweeted Barack Obama’s Farewell Speech

Donald Trump surprisingly didn’t tweet about President Barack Obama’s powerful farewell speech Tuesday night.

But what if he had?

Luckily, “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” was on hand to imagine the president-elect’s reaction, via a live-tweeting cartoon version of the man himself.

Mimicking the often offensive tone that Trump uses on the micro-blogging site, the @toonDonaldTrump account responded in real time to Obama’s words.

When the outgoing POTUS cried, the cartoon Trump blasted him for being “weak” ― and he also criticized the first lady Michelle Obama for not standing for her applause. It’s as if Trump really was tweeting himself.

Watch the cartoon Trump tweeting above, read all the tweets here and see Obama’s full speech here.

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One Tear-Jerking Last Look At Michelle Obama’s Best Outfits Of 2016

We spent a large part of 2016 celebrating Michelle Obama’s legacy and trying our best to ignore the imminent end of her tenure as first lady. She has done a great deal to help distract us from the latter, blessing the masses with arguably her best dressed year yet.

Sure, FLOTUS has had too many incredible style moments to count over the past eight years, but she really turned it out for the farewell tour. This rose gold Atelier Versace moment serves as proof. 

Nothing can prepare us for the dark day looming in the distance when she passes along her title and the slew of best-dressed opportunities that come with itto the incoming first lady. But as they say, it’s better to smile because it happened than to cry because it’s over.

It’s in that spirit that we present 11 of Michelle’s best looks of 2016, which we intend to scroll up and down over and over again for the remainder of this year.

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Comparing Michelle Obama’s 3 DNC Looks From 2008, 2012 and 2016

Michelle Obama, DNC 2008, 2012, 2016Michelle Obama made plenty of fashion statements during her eight-year stay in the White House. Whether she attended a gala in a gorgeous gown or stood by her husband’s side during a press…

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Historians Assess Obama’s Legacy Under Trump’s Shadow

Political scholars offering the “first historical assessment” of the Obama presidency gather to make revisions after the stunning election.
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Michelle Obama’s U.K. Tour Outfits Will Make You Fall in Love With Her Style All Over Again

Last week Michelle Obama, with daughters Malia and Sasha and mother Marian Robinson, set off on a goodwill cultural tour of England and Italy. On the six-day trip, which the First Lady used to promote the Let Girls Learn and Let’s Move initiatives, Obama wore European and American designers, reminding us of why we can’t get enough of her personal style. It was like 2008 all over again, when Obama first hit the scene and major fashion crushes ensued.

michelle-obama-preen
For the first stop on her global tour the First Lady arrived at Stanstead airport, wearing a yellow-and-blue lace Preen by Thornton Bregazzi dress. You can find a similar style on sale at avenue32.com for $ 960.

michelle-obama-mary-katrantzou
During the visit to London, Obama met with students and educators at the Mulberry School for Girls to discuss how the two countries are working together to enable access to education for young girls around the world. Her multicolor Mary Kantrantzou dress popped against the girls’ uniforms.

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Obama wore U.K. designer Christopher Kane for a visit to 10 Downing Street. She teamed the black and floral embroidered dress with black Jimmy Choo kitten heels.

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After her time in the U.K., Obama and family jetted off to Milan, where she discussed her Let’s Move initiative. She arrived in a fit-and-flare custom Duro Oluwu dress, with Sasha in a seersucker American Apparel dress, and Malia in heather gray.

michelle-obama-missoni
On her second day in Milan, Obama wore a Missoni knit dress as she toured the U.S. Pavilion at the Milan Expo. “It was a beautiful surprise,” Angela Missoni told WWD upon learning the FLOTUS chose the striped dress for the trip. “It’s a beautiful thing; it’s the first time she has been photographed wearing a dress from an Italian brand,” added Missoni.

michelle-obama-michale-kors
After receiving some flak for wearing only European designers on her tour, Obama chose a red shirtdress by American designer Michael Kors. The patriotic look, paired with simple black flats, was perfect for the baby shower Obama threw for moms-to-be who were stationed at the U.S. and NATO military base in Venice.

michelle-obama-florals
Later, Obama toured Venice, visiting the U.S. Pavillon of the Venice Biennale venue, wearing a V-neck sleeveless floral-print dress. She teamed the bold number with black gladiator sandals.

michelle-obama-kimono-dress
On the last day of the trip, Obama went with a kimono-sleeve dress and metallic sandals. Malia and Sasha chose wide-strap shift dresses, dainty necklaces, and simple flats.

Read more about Michelle Obama’s trip, including a snippet of the speech she gave at the Mulberry School for Girls.





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So That Happened: Obama’s Cuba Plan Turned Some Folks Into Wind-Up-Toys Of Outrage

So, that happened: This week, President Barack Obama announced that the United States would make an effort to normalize relations with Cuba, ending a decades-long policy of distance that had been surprisingly effective in doing nothing in particular. We’ll talk about the new plan, and the people who are hopping mad about it.

Listen to this week’s “So That Happened” below:

* * *

Some highlights from this week:

“Those two, when they got the news, I don’t know. It was like they became weird wind-up-toys of outrage.” — Jason Linkins

Meanwhile, a Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy has been canceled, because North Korea apparently now dictates what movies we watch in our spare time? How did something so simple get so out of hand?

“Films that relate to things in North Korea will not be made now and that is just outrageous. Something has got to give.” — Arthur Delaney

And finally, we’re taking a look back at 2014 — a great year for garbage monsters. What are our least-favorite things about the past year? Well, this is going to take a while.

“2014 has been f*cking terrible and at least in the world of public affairs, there have been almost no redeeming aspects to this terrible year.” — Zach Carter

* * *

We’re very happy to let you know that “So, That Happened” is now available on iTunes. We’ve been working to create an eclectic and informative panel show that’s constantly evolving and as in touch with the top stories of the week as it is with important stories that go underreported. We’ll be here on a weekly basis, bringing you the goods.

Never miss an episode by subscribing to “So, That Happened” on iTunes, and if you like what you hear, please leave a review. We’d also encourage you to check out other HuffPost Podcasts: HuffPost Comedy’s “Too Long; Didn’t Listen,” HuffPost Weird News Podcast, HuffPost Politics’ “Drinking and Talking,” HuffPost Live’s “Fine Print,” and HuffPost Entertainment’s Podcast.

This podcast was edited by Ibrahim Balkhy and sound engineered by Brad Shannon, with assistance from Christine Conetta, Chris Gentilviso and Adriana Usero.

Have a story you’d like to hear discussed on the “So That Happened” podcast? Email us at your convenience!
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Michelle Obama’s Second Inauguration Dress Headed To Smithsonian

WASHINGTON (AP) — Michelle Obama’s fashion is making history again, at least for the next year, as her second inaugural gown will be displayed at the Smithsonian Institution.

Before it’s stowed away for a future presidential library, Obama’s ruby-colored chiffon gown made by designer Jason Wu is being lent to the National Museum of American History for a year to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Smithsonian’s first ladies exhibition. The dress will be paired with Obama’s shoes designed by Jimmy Choo and will go on display beginning Tuesday. While the Smithsonian traditionally collects each first lady’s first inaugural gown, second gowns are usually shown only in presidential libraries. This is the first time the museum has displayed a second inaugural gown.

The dress was transferred to the National Archives but is being lent to the Smithsonian with the White House’s blessing. Smithsonian Curator Lisa Kathleen Graddy said it seemed like a nice time to start a new tradition in the ever-evolving First Ladies exhibit for those who serve two terms in the White House.

“The more I started thinking about it, it’s such a long time before the presidential library is built,” she said. “There’s such interest in the dress, I thought maybe it would be interesting if we could borrow the dress and do a special display, a special limited-time display here so that people would get a chance to see it.”

This dress drew headlines when Obama unveiled her selection one year ago. It was the second custom-made Jason Wu gown Obama had chosen, following the white gown Wu designed for the first lady when she arrived in Washington and on the fashion scene. Since then, Obama has become a trendsetter.

The red gown is embellished with cut velvet that carries a unique shimmer, Graddy said. It features a cross-halter strap neckline, and the ring at the top is adorned with small diamonds.

“It’s certainly a change, isn’t it, from the white dress with the train,” Graddy said, recalling Obama’s first gown in the museum’s collection. “It’s this amazing, vivid red. No train. So it’s a much slimmer dress — still flowing — but a much slimmer-lined dress. It’s an incredible change of color from that beautiful sparkly white.”

It’s unusual for a first lady to use the same designer twice, at least in recent decades. Wu has said it’s been the experience of his life to help dress the first lady, taking him from fashion insider to a household name since the first inauguration in 2009. Mrs. Obama also has turned to designer Thom Browne for special outfits, including her coat and dress for inauguration day in 2013.

Even her outfits from J. Crew draw notice, and some of Obama’s apparel choices sell out quickly online. For 2014, Pantone Inc.’s color of the year — orchid, a shade of purple — was introduced with a nod to the fact it’s a color Mrs. Obama often wears. Pantone sets color standards for the design industry.

From time to time, the people want to copy the fashion of a first lady, Graddy said, noting Jacqueline Kennedy as an example.

“People look at what she is wearing. They admire it,” she said of Obama. “I don’t think that fashion is Michelle Obama’s first priority. I think that obviously she’s interested in what she wears, and she puts a lot of thought into it — and that’s what people see and respond to is a very put-together look that they would like to emulate.”

The Jimmy Choo shoes paired with Obama’s second gown had a much shorter heel, seemingly more comfortable than her heels for the first inaugural, Graddy said. The first lady knew how long she would be on her feet for the second inaugural.

___

National Museum of American History: http://americanhistory.si.edu/

___

Follow Brett Zongker on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DCArtBeat .
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Michelle Obama’s Hawaii Birthday Present

HONOLULU (AP) — First lady Michelle Obama is getting a few extra days of Hawaiian sun.

President Barack Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha returned to the White House on Sunday after a two-week vacation. Mrs. Obama stayed behind to spend time with friends ahead of her upcoming 50th birthday party. The White House says the extra time in the islands is part of Mrs. Obama’s birthday gift from the president.

The first lady turns 50 on Jan. 17. The White House did not say when she planned to return to Washington.
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Obamas Attend Christmas Benefit Concert For Children’s National Health System

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obamas got into the holiday spirit Sunday evening with a little help from Hugh Jackman, Sheryl Crow and Janelle Monae.

President Barack Obama and his family attended the 32nd annual “Christmas in Washington” concert, a benefit for the Children’s National Health System. After an evening of Christmas carols at the National Building Museum, the president said Americans should remember Jesus Christ’s lessons of charity and compassion.

“Through his example, he taught us that we should love the Lord, love our neighbors, as we love ourselves. It’s a teaching that has endured for generations. And today, it lies at the heart of my faith and that of millions of Americans, and billions around the globe,” Obama said.

“No matter who we are, or where we come from, or how we worship, it’s a message of hope and devotion that can unite all of us this holiday season,” he added.

Before the concert began, the president, his wife, Michelle, and daughters, Sasha and Malia, helped collect presents for patients at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington. Mrs. Obama’s mother, Marian Robinson, watched from nearby.

The Obamas met five of the hospital’s young patients, who were dressed as elves.

“Hey, you guys, you going to help us?” Mrs. Obama asked.

“Good job, elves,” the president said. “Nice job.”

Jackman, who hosted the concert, also urged the audience to remember those less fortunate.

“It is the season of compassion. Let us not forget those who are down and out, who are suffering and who have little hope: the Washington Redskins fans,” Jackman said. “I can say it, I’m a Giants fan.”

The Redskins lost to the Atlanta Falcons earlier Sunday and fell to 3-11 for the season. The New York Giants also lost, though, getting shut out by the Seattle Seahawks as their record fell to 5-9.

Other performers at the concert included the Backstreet Boys, Anna Kendrick and Pat Monahan, the singer from the band Train. Retired NBA star Charles Barkley also was on hand to talk about programs at Children’s National.

The concert will be broadcast Friday evening on TNT.

___

Follow Philip Elliott on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/philip_elliott

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