Michelle Obama's Surprise Visit to HU

#PerksofGoingtoHoward

I dragged myself out of my dorm to go to a co-curricular event yesterday, September 1, 2016. I didn't want to go, but I needed the credit and there were limited opportunities to earn it. So I got up, out of my bed, and made the trek across campus (and I mean all the way across campus) to the event in the School of Business auditorium.

All I knew about the session was that it'd be hosted by Seth Meyers of NBC's Late Night with Seth Meyers. The informational email mentioned a "special guest," which I assumed would be an author or researcher whose work tied into the work we'd been doing in seminar, regarding Daniel Black's The Coming.

Well, I was wrong.

Nick Cannon--my classmate (lol)--took the empty seat next to Meyers and began to discuss his excitement about joining HU20 and attaining his world class education here at The Mecca. And then, Meyers said there was another guest, casually adding that it was First Lady Michelle Obama.

If you know me, you know I love FLOTUS. I was shocked nearly to tears and have never been so happy to have picked myself up out of bed. Literal lesson: Don't sleep on your opportunities. Hardly anyone knew about Obama's arrival, so the entire lecture hall of about 200 students was surprised (understatement).

Since the event was a huge secret, no student media was aware of the First Lady's campus visit. I covered the event for The Hilltop in this article.

Here's an excerpt:

Ending the discussion, Obama and Cannon answered a tough question: “How do we, as students of color, stay enthusiastic about learning and focused on education, when so much racial injustice serves as a distraction?”

It was empowering to be a part of a session in which Michelle Obama, the first African-American First Lady, could tell young students of color to “be encouraged,” in spite of the racism and prejudice, which seems to dominate the news cycle and the current political narrative.

While acknowledging the undeniable social and systemic issues with America, Obama shared that she still loved this country, and that Bison students were part of the reason she faith has in America’s continuous progress forward.

“Be encouraged,” she stated, to which was the defining statement of the event, as Bison left the session with inspiration for a successful semester.