REVOLT x Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama Gets Emotional Describing Lessons Learned from Her Late Father

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In an exclusive clip from REVOLT x Michelle Obama: The Cross Generational Conversation, the former first lady tears up reflecting on how her dad continues to impact her more than 30 years after his death

Michelle Obama wants every Black father to know the immense power they hold in shaping their kids’ lives.

In REVOLT x Michelle Obama: The Cross Generational Conversation — a panel-style chat streaming on REVOLT platforms Wednesday — the former first lady opens up about the impact her own father, Fraser Robinson III, had on her growing up.

“When I think about what my dad, as a Black man with M.S., could’ve done — he could have never worked a day in his life, he could have collected benefits, he could have succumbed to his disease and be depressed about it, but he didn’t,” she says in an exclusive clip obtained by PEOPLE, reflecting on the strength he displayed by continuing to live his life and care for his family in the face of a relentless disease.

Obama continues: “He never felt sorry for himself, he never expected others to do for him, and just the sheer act of him getting up every day and going to work was a statement that — ugh, now I’m going to cry — that stays with me every day of my life.”

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MICHELLE OBAMA/INSTAGRAM

Fraser was a pump worker at the Chicago water plant and also served as a precinct captain for the Democratic Party. He died from complications of multiple sclerosis at the age of 55, when Obama was 27 years old.

“There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about the lessons he taught us and how he is not here to see any of it, and so much of it is because of him,” she adds in the clip.

“That is the power of what a working-class Black man can do in the world, which is why I don’t want any Black man out here to think that they don’t have something to offer their kids.

“What my dad did was beyond money, title, influence, nothing. I would trade it all for what my father provided us in that little bitty apartment on 74th and Euclid.”

The REVOLT x Michelle Obama special event, where the former first lady speaks about her father’s influence, was organized as a conversation among Black women of various ages about what it means to be a woman of color in America.

“When we share our stories and open ourselves up, we not only build connections with other people, we bring out the best in ourselves,” Obama tells PEOPLE of her candid remarks.

The two-hour special, moderated by radio host Angie Martinez, features discussion between H.E.R., 25; Winnie Harlow, 28; Kelly Rowland, 41; Michelle Obama, 58; and Tina Knowles-Lawson, 68.

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