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For Mother’s Day, Michelle Obama announces a special honor for her mom Marian Robinson

This morning, former First Lady Michelle Obama shared the note below with our email subscribers announcing that the “Opening the White House” exhibit in the Obama Presidential Center Museum will be named in honor of her mother, Marian Robinson. Watch the reveal, then learn more about the Center.


I want to tell you a little bit about my mom, Marian Robinson.

Growing up with my mom always was an adventure.

It entailed trips to the library as a toddler to learn the alphabet; the entire family piling into our car to go to the local drive-in—homemade chicken in hand. It included Mom inviting family over for New Year’s Eve, raising a toast as the clock struck midnight.

In a room full of warm, dappled sunlight, former First Lady Michelle Obama leans down to hug her mother, Marian Robinson. Mrs. Robinson has her face against Mrs. Obama's, and embraces her with her hand.

Lawrence Jackson

But above all else, my mother gave me nonstop, unconditional love in so many ways. She fostered in me a deep sense of confidence in who I was and who I could be by teaching me how to think for myself, how to use my own voice, and how to understand my own worth.

I simply wouldn’t be who I am today without her.

A rendering of a museum exhibit shows a wall full of photos from the Obama White House alongside scale models of East Wing Rooms and the South Lawn. People of varying skin tones look at the photos and models, some taking photos, others pointing.

That’s why this Mother’s Day, I’m proud to announce that the exhibit “Opening the White House” in the Obama Presidential Center Museum will be named in honor of my mom, Marian Robinson.

In this exhibit, visitors will discover the many ways Barack and I—and also my mom—worked to make the White House an active place of inclusion, innovation, and culture.

It’ll be infused with so many of the values that my mother instilled in me: community, family, bringing people in— making them feel at home.

The exhibit will feature scale replicas of the East Room, where we held big dinners; the Blue Room, where we decorated a huge Christmas tree for the holidays; and the South Lawn, where we hosted Garden Tours, Easter Egg Rolls, state arrivals, and more.

When the Center opens, we want it to be a place parents and children can reflect and grow, connect and create, and discover the many ways we can all make change in the world.

—Michelle


Video Transcript:

Hi, everyone. I’m Michelle, otherwise known as Marian Robinson’s daughter. 

And this Mother’s Day, I want to tell you a little bit more about my mom. 

Growing up with my mom was always an adventure. It was trips to the library as a toddler to learn about ABCs, it was the entire family piling into our car to go to the local drive-in. Mom inviting family over for New Year’s Eve, passing around her special hors d’oeuvres and toasting in the new year. 

But above all else, my mother gave me that nonstop unconditional love that was so important for me to grow up. In so many ways, she fostered in me a deep sense of confidence in who I was and who I could be by teaching me to think for myself, how to use my own voice, and how to understand my own worth. 

I simply wouldn’t be who I am today without my mom. And that is why, this Mother’s Day, I am so excited to announce that we will be dedicating a space at the Obama Presidential Center in her honor. It’s an exhibit called “Opening the White House,” and it’s infused with so many of the values that my mother instilled in me: community, family, bringing people in, creating a warm, welcoming space where everyone feels at home. 

The exhibit will feature a scale replica of the East Room where we held big dinners, replicas of the Blue Room where we decorated a huge Christmas tree for theholidays, and also a replica of the South Lawn wehre we hosted garden tours and Easter egg rolls, where we did state arrivals, and so much more. 

This is just one part of the story we’re telling at the Obama Presidential Center. And in the years ahead, we want to welcome you to Chicago to see it as well—maybe even with your mom. 

So, happy Mother’s Day everyone. And especially to you, mommy. Love you. 

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