We all know Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey separately. Both are beautiful, humorous, well-spoken and iconic women. However, on Netflix’s newly released TV special, the two come together to form a dynamic duo as they discuss the contents of Obama’s new book, “The Light We Carry.”
The show opens with Obama narrating her journey to where she is now. She recollects the memories from her first book, titled “Becoming,” reminiscing on the book tour and the joy she experienced from meeting fans. Of course, this glory was short-lived as the world quickly shut down near the end of her tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The experiences Obama faced throughout the course of the pandemic encouraged the creation of “The Light We Carry” as much of its content reveals what Obama reflected upon during quarantine.
This TV special showcases the final show of “The Light We Carry” tour where Winfrey moderates a discussion with Obama. Their first topic of conversation relates to Obama’s reactions to the pandemic. Obama answers uniquely by describing herself as feeling “comfortably afraid.” She elaborates by explaining how she felt blessed living with her husband, former U.S. President Barack Obama, who sought to educate himself through facts and science. With his knowledge and understanding of what scientists were making out of these events, Obama felt a strange sense of minimal certainty during such a chaotic time.
On the other hand, she — like the rest of the world — also faced an overwhelming sense of fear. Her fear sprouted from the second pandemic of disinformation. She felt afraid after watching the world fall victim to confusion with little understanding of how to get out of it. While Obama and her family tried to promote the right practices, she felt helpless by the incapability to change people’s beliefs.
The conversation then transitions to Obama’s parents, where Winfrey continuously emphasizes that Obama was raised extremely well. While “The Light We Carry” has a chapter titled “Meet My Mom,” Obama actually focuses the conversation with Winfrey on her father. She highlights her father’s physical and mental strength that he pursued up until the very moment of his death. She recounts how she never saw her father show physical, mental or emotional weakness. Her father’s health quickly declined before his family’s eyes, but he never allowed his children to fear for his well-being. Obama describes how this strength empowers her today and how his presence has never fully disappeared from her mind.
Soon, Winfrey brings up the topic of Obama’s marriage. The country glorifies the pair as embodying the “perfect couple.” However, when Obama publicized that their partnership isn’t always as rosy as the country perceives it to be, citizens went mad.
Obama later takes advantage of this conversation to emphasize the fact that yes, their partnership isn’t perfect for everyone, but it’s perfect for themselves. Obama explains that she and her husband grew up in environments where they learned to love in very different ways. Having to navigate their differing backgrounds in order to make their family function and their marriage succeed actually makes their relationship stronger.
Obama explains how the contents of her book ultimately make up the light she carries within herself. She said she hopes this book will encourage others to reflect and recognize their own light and encourage them to seek out ways not to lose it.