In chapters six and seven of her book Becoming, what are four ways Michelle Obama's understanding of the structure of social change developed as she encountered new situations from the time she entered Princeton University to the time she graduated?

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In chapters six and seven of Michelle Obama’s Becoming, we see Michelle learning more and more about social structures and social change during her years at Princeton. Let’s explore some of the new situations that change her understanding and perspectives.

You might start with Michelle’s encounters with racism...

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In chapters six and seven of Michelle Obama’s Becoming, we see Michelle learning more and more about social structures and social change during her years at Princeton. Let’s explore some of the new situations that change her understanding and perspectives.

You might start with Michelle’s encounters with racism on campus. She has known racism before, of course, but think about how experiencing such at Princeton provides her with a different view, especially with regard to her white roommate who moves out.

Think, too, about Michelle’s work at the Third World Center. This opens her eyes to all kinds of new people and new ideas that she has not encountered in quite the same way before. She becomes active in the center and is encouraged by the director to branch out into service to Black children in the after-school program.

You might also explore Michelle’s experience of being one of the few or even the only Black student present in some situations. Think especially in terms of what she says about expectations to assimilate.

Finally, pay attention to Michelle’s growing knowledge about her family’s South Carolina roots and how this changes her understanding of social structures and urges her to work for social change.

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