Michelle Obama: ‘Hadiya Pendleton Was Me; And I Was Her’

Source: ABC 7 Chicago

CHICAGO — ”I’m here today because Chicago is my home,” first lady Michelle Obama said. ”My story would not be possible without this city.”

The first lady spoke at a conference at the Hilton Chicago hotel Wednesday afternoon put on by the City of Chicago and civic leaders who want Chicago businesses and executives to support community-based programs that help at-risk kids. The program hopes to raise $50 million.

“Thousands of children live in a neighborhood where a funeral for a teenager is unfortunate, but not unusual,” Obama said. She spoke about Hadiya Pendleton, and how she and the murdered teen shared a similar story growing up in Chicago.

WATCH! Michelle Obama’s Full Address On Chicago Violence

“Hadiya’s family was just like my family. Hadiya Pendleton was me. And I was her. But I got to grow up. . . And Hadiya, you know that story. Just a week after she performed at my husband’s inauguration, she went to a park and got shot in the back because some kid thought she was in a gang,” Mrs. Obama said. “Hadiya’s family did everything right, but she still didn’t have a chance.”

She said she wants to get Chicago’s young people off the streets, and back on the right track for successful lives.

To read this article in its entirety visit ABC 7 Chicago.

  • Jezreel

    This is my second attempt at commenting on this posting of Michelle Obama’s speech on ending gun violence in Chicago. 3 days ago I expressed my gratitude to Roland Martin Reports for posting this emotionally stirring presentation on the causes and responses to urban gun violence. It is refreshing to hear Michelle Obama address the public policy & economic implications behind the increase in gun violence and its impact on communities of color. She spoke with such candor and compassion and empathy for both the victims and the purveyors of urban gun violence. There was a “knowing” – an intimacy in her speech that has never come across in any speech given by her husband on this subject or most other Democrats for that matter.

    Michelle Obama did not approach this topic with the typical patronizing and blaming rhetoric so often employed by her husband. She did not rely on Republican talking points to excuse the government from any responsibility for crafting public and economic policies and providing community resources to address rising poverty, hopelessness, anger and utter disenfranchisement that

    typifies areas of urban violence. She didn’t blame absent fathers or unsupervised tv watching for the conditions plaguing urban neighborhoods.

    Instead, she emphasized the value and potential of every child including those of color and the responsibility of the entire community, including the business sector to ensure opportunities for growth to its residents.

    This was a beautiful and heartfelt speech that truly touched my heart.

    Thanks to this Website for posting the speech in its entirety.