A 21st Century Ambassador

Illustration for article titled A 21st Century Ambassador

In a very short time, Michelle Obama has made it clear that she is serious about making the White House a “people's house.” Internationally as well, the images of her visiting schools and talking to young women of diverse backgrounds reemphasized her image as a strong woman, committed to the cause of education and cultural diversity. She comes across as a woman who is not afraid to be strong and is comfortable in her own skin. She is clearly a first lady for the 21st century.


—Vishakha Desai, president, Asia Society

A Friendly Neighbor: Donna Brazile, Democratic strategist and CNN commentator

A-Plus: Congressman James Clyburn, Democrat of South Carolina, House Majority Whip


The Other Community Organizer: Lani Guinier, professor of law, Harvard University

Not About PR: Dorothy Height, chair and president emerita, National Council of Negro Women

Black Love Guru: Cathy Hughes, CEO, Radio One

An American Mother: Rep. John Lewis, Democrat of Georgia

Working It Out: Julianne Malveaux, president, Bennett College for Women

Carrying Her Own Head: Susan L. Taylor, former editor, Essence

Rock Star: Baratunde Thurston, editor, The Onion

Gardener in Chief: Alice Waters, restaurant owner and activist

Covers the White House and Washington for The Root. Follow her on Twitter.

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