In a beautiful essay published by Lenny Letter, “Black-ish” star Tracee Ellis Ross praised our forever first lady, Michelle Obama, for shattering stereotypes and allowing her to do the same on television.

Ross claimed that her character, Rainbow Johnson, couldn’t have been possible without Mrs. Obama, writing: “She validated a Rainbow Johnson for people who had never met a Black woman with the revolutionary experience of being joyful. A Black woman who is not only surviving but thriving. A Black woman who is actually in love with her husband—not an image we usually see in American pop culture. A Black woman who can be goofy and sexy, who can be smart and empowered and soft and lovable and vulnerable.”

–Tracee Ellis Ross’ take us into her home with Vogue’s ’73 Questions’–

Ross continued, “Eight years of watching Michelle Obama as a personnot just relegated to doing ‘woman things,’ provided an antidote to all the false representations of Black women that have inundated us for centuries—images that don’t represent the reality, or the humanity, of who we are as Black people. Of who we are as people.”

“And then to have her name prefaced by two things that are rarely associated with Black women—’First’ and ‘Lady’—well, it shattered everything,” Ross added.

You can read the full essay, in which Ross also praised Obama for her speeches calling out slavery and sexual assault, here, at LennyLetter.com.