DENVER, CO - JULY 25: Former First Lady Michelle Obama speaks, emphasizing that women must celebrate their strength, during a live conversation with The Women's Foundation of Colorado President and CEO Lauren Y. Casteel at Pepsi Center on July 25, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Jason Bahr/Getty Images for The Women's Foundation of Colorado)
Jason Bahr—Getty Images for The Women's Fou
July 26, 2017 11:02 AM EDT

Michelle Obama spoke candidly about the painful racism she endured as First Lady during one of her first public appearances since leaving the White House.

The former First Lady appeared at the Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s 30th anniversary event on Tuesday night, where she was interviewed by the organizations’ president and CEO Lauren Casteel.

Casteel noted that Obama shattered a glass ceiling when she became the first woman of color to hold the title of First Lady, and asked which of the “falling glass shards” cut the deepest, according to the Denver Post. Obama mentioned the racist attacks she endured while in office, including being called an “ape in heels” by a former West Virginia official, who was later fired for the controversial comments.

“The shards that cut me the deepest were the ones that intended to cut,” Obama said, according to the Post. “Knowing that after eight years of working really hard for this country, there are still people who won’t see me for what I am because of my skin color.”

Obama, who also reiterated that she has no plans to run for office, said that it wasn’t productive to pretend that those attacks didn’t hurt.

Instead, she said that it’s important that women embrace their scars and resilience. “Women, we endure those cuts in so many ways that we don’t even notice we’re cut,” she said. “We are living with small tiny cuts, and we are bleeding every single day. And we’re still getting up.”

[The Denver Post]

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