ESSENCE Magazine's White House Exclusive!


NEW YORK, April 7 /PRNewswire/ -- ESSENCE's May issue celebrates Mother's Day in a special way -- with two of the most popular mothers in the world! In their first interview together, First Lady Michelle Obama and her mother, Marian Robinson, 71, did a sit down interview in the White House during their first photo shoot together to speak to ESSENCE editor-in-chief Angela Burt-Murray about retaining their family values, what it takes to raise good kids and being role models for the Black community. They were photographed exclusively for ESSENCE at the White House on February 24th.

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In the article, A Mother's Love, Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Robinson also share their personal thoughts on some of the challenges facing families today and provide practical tips for parents everywhere. In addition, the issue features a special Mother's Day message from President Barack Obama on why he is thankful for his wife and mother-in-law.

"We wanted our ESSENCE readers to see first-hand the dynamic bond between First Lady Michelle Obama and Mrs. Robinson. Both of these ladies are phenomenal women in their own right, and are each others' greatest fans. Their relationship is inspiring -- and they are a wonderful example for mothers and daughters everywhere," said Burt-Murray.

Some of the quotes from the cover story include...


  • ADVANCING THE ROLE OF WOMEN WORLDWIDE: "We have to talk about flex hours and exercise and nutrition and health and what that means. And we have to talk about values, and about our relationships with men. All of those are part of the conversation that I think we need to have, not just in this country but around the world."

  • COMBATING STEREOTYPICAL IMAGES OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMEN: "The women in videos and the stereotypes are just not the truth of who we are as a community. We already know that because we are living these lives every single day. It's nice to have this reminder in the White House, but I would say we don't need it...all you need to do is look around your own community and you will see this same family in churches and in schools."


  • ADVICE ON RAISING CHILDREN: "The main thing that I think needs to be taught to children is the ability to think and make decisions. You don't have to have a lot of information, but you have to know how to get through the process. If you make mistakes you don't [just] decide I will never do that again."

  • ENJOYING LIFE IN THE WHITE HOUSE: "...I really am. You want to know why? Because my children are good parents. It makes it very easy to be a grandmother when your children are good parents."

Visit for more on this story and behind-the-scenes images from this photo shoot, and pick up the May 2009 issue of ESSENCE on newsstands now.


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