On March 28, 2015, Mrs. Obama spoke at Black girls rock! , an annual awards show that honored several prominent African-American women: Jada Pinkett Smith, Erykah Badu, Cicely Tyson, Ava DuVernay, Nadia Lopez, and Helene Gayle. Addressing an audience that included many young black girls, Obama said : "I am so excited to be here at 'Black Girls Rock!' To all the young women here tonight and all across the country, let me say those words again: Black girls rock! We rock! We rock! No matter who you are, no matter where you come from, you are beautiful, you are powerful, you are brilliant, you are funny. Let me tell you, I am so proud of you. My husband, your president, is so proud of you. And we have such big hopes and dreams for every single one of you. Now, I know that's not always the message that you get from the world. I know there are voices that tell you that you're not good enough. That you have to look a certain way, act a certain way. That if you speak up, you're too loud. If you step up to lead, you're being bossy.... I need you to understand that we are the women who marched from cotton fields into fields of medicine ... politics ... entertainment. We have found a way to march into a White House."
In a speech she delivered at the opening of the new $420 million Whitney Museum in New York City on May 7, 2015, Mrs. Obama asserted that too many nonwhite minorities do not feel "welcome" in America's museums and cultural centers:
Since the 1980s, the revisionist narrative continues, experts have determined that powder and crack show more pharmacological “similarities than differences,” in the Times ’s words, and that crack is no more damaging to fetuses than alcohol. The belief that crack was an inner-city scourge was thus a racist illusion, and the sentencing structure to quell it a racist assault. Or, as . District Judge Clyde Cahill put it, in what one hopes is not a representative sample of the federal judicial temperament: “Legislators’ unconscious racial aversion towards blacks, sparked by unsubstantiated reports of the effects of crack, reactionary media prodding, and an agitated constituency, motivated the legislators . . to produce a dual system of punishment.”
"To avoid being mistaken for a sellout,I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Marxist Professors and the structural feminists and punk-rock performance smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets. At night,in the dorms,we discussed neocolonialism, [the socialist, anti-colonialist revolutionary] Franz Fanon,Eurocentrism,and patriarchy. When we ground out our cigarettes in the hallway carpet or set our stereos so loud that the walls began to shake, we were resisting bourgeois society's stifling constraints. We weren't indifferent or careless or insecure. We were alienated."