Michelle Obama: 'It matters' that black kids see the Obamas in the White House

Michelle Obama on her family's impact on black children
Michelle Obama on her family's impact on black children

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Story highlights

  • "I think that will be a lasting impact on our kids," she said
  • Michelle Obama is on the covers of Essence and InStyle magazines

Washington (CNN)First lady Michelle Obama says in a new interview that "it matters" African-American children are growing up seeing a black family in the White House.

"I think when it comes to black kids, it means something for them to have spent most of their life seeing the family in the White House look like them," Obama said in the October issue of Essence Magazine. "It matters."
    "And as a mother, I wouldn't underestimate how important that is, having that vision that you can really do anything -- not because somebody told you, but because you've seen and experienced it. I think that will be a lasting impact on our kids," the first lady added.
    The issue hits newsstands Friday.
    The Princeton University and Harvard Law School grad also recently discussed the importance of encouraging girls to focus on their education in an interview in InStyle Magazine.
    "Sixty-two million girls around the world aren't in school, and the first thing that comes to my mind is, 'That could've been me,' she said. "(I think about) how I would have felt at the age of 10 or 11 or 12 if somebody walked up and said, 'That's it. Your dreams are over! You're going to have to leave school and get married to somebody twice your age and start having kids'."
    Obama also said leaders must get with the times about how they go about putting issues of importance before younger generations.
    "We can fool ourselves into thinking that everybody is still watching the evening news, but I live with Generation Z, and I know that their habits, the way they take in information in, is so different," she said. "And they've changed ... We've got to meet our constituents where they are, and they're on Snapchat."
    InStyle comes to newsstands on September 16.