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Michelle Obama Talks About Discrimination During Grad Speech

05/11/2015 01:47 EDT | Updated 05/11/2015 01:59 EDT

Michelle Obama gave a inspiring speech to the 2015 graduating class of Tuskegee University, Alabama, a historically black university, where she spoke about the issues facing African-Americans in the U.S. — and particularly, her experiences as being the first potential African-American First Lady.

“The road ahead is not going to be easy, it never is, especially for folks like you and me,” she said.

She explained that during her husband's 2008 election campaign, she believed she faced a different set of questions than other candidates' wives over the "fears and misconceptions" of others.

“They will make assumptions about who they think you are based on their limited notion of the world,” she told the graduates.

“I found that this journey has been incredibly freeing, because no matter what happened I had the piece of mind of knowing that all of the chatter, the name calling, the doubting, all of it was just noise.”

She told the graduates she had many sleepless nights, worried about what others thought of her, about a magazine cover that “knocked her back a bit,” and recounted stories where her and her husband experienced the "sting" of black stereotype.

“It did not define me, it did not change who I was and most importantly, it couldn’t hold me back,” she said.

To hear the full story, watch the video above.

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