After releasing girl power anthem “This Is For My Girls,” produced by AOL Makers to promote the Let Girls Learn initiative and the #62MillionGirls campaign, Michelle Obama sat down with Queen Latifah and Missy Elliot for her opening keynote at SXSW.
During the event, which also featured actress Sophia Bush, the women talked about what empowers them and who their influences have been. Missy Elliot revealed,
“People like Queen Latifah, who is sitting on this stage, her album, MC Lyte, Salt-N-Pepa. These women are the reason I am an MC. I became an artist because of their music. Queen Latifah taught us ‘U-N-I-T-Y,’ she taught us ‘Ladies First.’ Her music has done so much for me.”
Queen Latifah, the host of the event, also asked the ladies to share the moment they decided to take action and inspire girls and women around the world.
“When I was younger, it was always the doubters. Growing up as a black girl on the south side of Chicago where the expectations for me were limited as I was trying to make my way to do good in school and attend college, there were people telling me what I couldn’t do and how far I should dream,” said Obama, “Now that I’m First Lady, I still see the affects of that doubting on so many young people, particularly young girls.”
The First Lady also shot down any ideas that she might one day occupy the White House as president, instead she wants to focus on her daughters, who have handled being in the spotlight “with grace and poise.” She’s had enough, adding,
“There are so many ways to impact the world. You don’t have to be the president of the United States to do wonderful things.”
WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.