The Obama Foundation Summit is taking over Chicago for two days this week with the help of former president Barack Obama and first lady Michelle, along with high-profile activist names like Ava DuVernay and Mavis Staples.
The former president caused quite the stir on Tuesday for sneaking in to hear his wife take the stage at the third annual event (you can see the sweet picture here). However, it was Michelle's hair that took over much of Twitter -- and for a very good reason.
Obama, who opted for an off-the-shoulder gray dress and gold jewelry for the occasion, sported her natural curls, a look that was praised and celebrated by the internet. "Michelle Obama’s natural hair gives me LIFE... i have been waiting for this era for YEARS," shared one fan. Wrote another, "I am also here for this hair, this skin, this line up of goodness. All the things."
michelle obama’s natural hair gives me LIFE i stg i have been waiting for this era for YEARS. pic.twitter.com/aQQzQrqFnW— h.r. (@yagrlhannahrose) October 29, 2019
It also never gets old to see @MichelleObama look out into a crowd and wave so sincerely when she sees faces she recognizes. Yup. (I am also here for this hair, this skin, this line up of goodness. All the things #ObamaSummit— Zee_like_zorro (@Zjlord) October 29, 2019
Michelle Obama, rocking natural hair, and Craig Robinson in an insightful talk at @ObamaFoundation summit. Live stream on fb.— Maryan Abdulkarim (@FlyAbdulkarim) October 29, 2019
The former first lady has been photographed with her natural curls before (she most recently rocked the cover of Essence with her natural locks), although she really only started stepping out in public without a blowout after leaving the White House.
The mom-of-two opened up about her intensive hair strategy during her time in the White House in a recent 2 Dope Queens podcast, saying her time as FLOTUS required "a whole strategy for hair that I'm sure a lot of white women are sitting over there going, 'Man, I didn't know all that was going on.'"
"My whole goal was I want to end this with hair on my head. ... And so now you've got to think about how do you do that, you know? What are you doing? And are you swimming? Are you working out? But this wasn't just a first lady journey. This is a black professional women's journey," she said.
The 55-year-old joined her brother Craig Robinson on stage at Tuesday's event to open up about their experiences living in the South Side of Chicago and witnessing "white flight," a topic of discussion in her memoir "Becoming."
“We were doing everything we were supposed to do...and better,” she said. “But when we moved in, white families moved out. I want to remind white folks that y’all were running from us. And you’re still running."
Updated plans for the Barack Obama Presidential Center, which will open in 2020 on the South Side's Jackson Park, were unveiled at Tuesday's event. With a children's area, athletic facilities and Chicago Public Library branch, it will act as more of a community center than a traditional presidential library.