Michelle Obama’s senior thesis at Princeton was on the attitudes of black Princeton alumni and attempted to examine the following issues:
>Extent to which black alumni are comfortable interacting with black and whites
>Extent to which black alumni are motivated to benefit black communities in comparison to other things, such as themselves, their families, etc.
>The ideologies black alumni hold with respect to race relations between blacks and whites
>Feelings black alumni have toward the black lower class, such as feelings of obligation that they should help improve the lives of this particular group of blacks.
On Page 2 of her thesis, Michelle Obama states that regardless of her education, integration, assimilation into white culture, she will always be on the periphery of society, never becoming a full participant.
Michelle goes on to say she has acquired some white conservative values, namely getting accepted at a prestigious graduate school and getting a high paying corporate job.
Further along in her thesis, Michelle Obama argues for the Stokely Carmichael, or Black Power position that black must first close ranks, take pride in their blackness and black value system, before entering society as a whole.
Carmichael, Malcolm X and the Black Power Movement espoused a black first doctrine. They wanted nothing less than a black nation within a nation. This was seen as the means to gain political and economic power equal to that of whites.
Michelle Obama then goes on to bemoan the separation of black studies from white studies.
The way black studies were handled by Princeton in the mid-80’s may well have been a function of how the liberal Princeton professors and administrators buying into, and promoting the values of Carmichael and the Black Power Movement.
On Page 26, Michelle Obama draws the conclusion that the more blacks interact with whites on an intellectual level, the less likely those blacks will value helping poor blacks.
Does this mean white values corrupt black values?
Michelle goes on in her thesis to say that the more blacks become integrated or assimilated into society as a whole, the less motivated those blacks are to benefit the black community and the less positive their attitudes toward lower class blacks. She goes on to state that as blacks have become more integrated into white society, the more blacks have lost touch with black culture, with some blacks becoming so removed from their culture that they feel ashamed of that culture.
Michelle Obama had hoped that her findings would conclude that as a result of black’s time at Princeton, and despite a high degree of identification with white society, black Princeton alumni would maintain a level of identification with the black community and values. Her findings did not support this possibility.
Michelle Obama’s senior thesis would have come at a time in her life when her attitudes, values and view of the world would mostly be fixed. Is her thesis a reflection of why she was attracted to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Trinity Church. Does her thesis reflect deep seated feelings about whites and society as a whole. And is this the basis for Michelle Obama not being proud of her country, until now?