Michelle Obama speaks at Oslo Spectrum

Michelle Obama in OsloMichelle Obama in Oslo.Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix

In Oslo Spectrum, former first lady Michelle Obama urged the audience to seek out people of different backgrounds than their own.

Michelle Obama spoke at an almost full Oslo Spectrum on Thursday night in connection with the release of her autobiography, “Becoming”.

In Oslo, America’s first African-American first lady spoke about xenophobia and a more divided society. She emphasized the importance of education, and encouraged young people to take a year off to go out into the world to meet different people.

‘’Change does not come from the castle or from the White House. It happens between people every single day’’ Obama said.

Don’t be afraid of your neighbour

The last time she was in Oslo was when her husband received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009. This time she used the chance to tell about growing up in a working class environment in Chicago.

With the help of old pictures, she showed how half the class disappeared in a so-called “white flight” within a few years. The white people moved from the neighbourhood when more African Americans arrived. In this connection, she urged the audience not to be afraid of the unknown.

“Put yourself in someone else’s place and don’t be afraid of your neighbour” Obama said.

She also asked young people to be curious, and she came up with a little Trump-bait.

‘’Desire to learn something, do it using a book and not in the form of a tweet. You really can’t express yourself well in 13 or 36 characters. Stop doing that’’ she said to great cheers from the hall.

Three children?

The lecture, “Becoming” has the same title as her memoirs, which have sold more than ten million copies.

In the book, she writes among other things, about the frustration she knew when she set aside her own law career to let her husband aim for the top.

The former first lady also devoted much of the conversation on Thursday night to talking about her time with Barack Obama as boyfriend and spouse, and as first lady.

She said that in the middle of the election campaign, when her husband suggested that they have a third child. It was not relevant for the upcoming first lady.

‘’The politics is your third child’’ was the answer she gave to Barack.

It has been speculated whether or not she wanted to become president. In Oslo, she rejected this again and said that she would rather focus on the next generation of politicians.

Norwegian design

In connection with the book tour, she has already held shows in both Copenhagen and Stockholm, and she has been dressed in designs from the respective countries. In Oslo, Obama wore a black suit from the Norwegian designer, Peter Dundas.

The organizers did not want to say how much money Obama had received for her performance in Oslo Spectrum, nor hadthey wanted to say how many tickets had been sold for the event.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today