Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele
Tika Sumpter as Michelle Robinson and Parker Sawyers as Barack Obama in Southside With You
Matt Dinerstein, courtesy of Miramax and Roadside Attractions

A young Michelle Obama, then Michelle Robinson, was anxious about her standing as a young African-American female attorney working at a white-shoe law firm in 1989 Chicago.

Most particularly, she was concerned about how her higher-ups would perceive it if she started to date another African-American summer associate at the firm. This is what is depicted in a new scene released from Southside With You, which portrays how Barack Obama courted the future first lady back in 1989. The movie premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 24.


"So now I'm working double time just to be seen for who I am and what I'm capable of," Robinson, played by Tika Sumpter, says in the clip. 

"Now, how's it gonna look to a guy like Thompson if I swoop in and start dating the first cute black guy who walks through the firm's doors?" Robinson asked a young Obama, who is played by Parker Sawyers.

"The liberal-minded people will think it's precious and the close-minded people will think it's pathetic," she continued.

"You think I'm cute?" Obama asked, grinning, taking advantage of how Robinson slipped up and mentioned that she found him cute.


Obama had to walk a fine line convincing Robinson to go out with him without exactly describing the outing as a date.

"Listen, we're a few blocks away. Why don't we go in and check out the exhibit?" he asked.


"OK, it's not a date—" he continued, to which Michelle replied, "Fine."

Then Obama finished with, "—until you say it is."

Ha. Nice to watch a power couple in the making.

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Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele is a staff writer at The Root and the founder and executive producer of Lectures to Beats, a Web series that features video interviews with scarily insightful people. Follow Lectures to Beats on Facebook and Twitter.

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