Michelle Robinson Obama

The author and narrator of Becoming and the first Black First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS). As a child, Michelle is smart and driven to succeed. Her family lays a strong foundation of love and support that contribute to her success. As a student and young lawyer, Michelle is careful in plotting out her path and staying focused on her goals. As she grows, she is compelled to redefine what is important to her and what success looks like. Her role as FLOTUS presents her with unique opportunities to help improve people's lives and uplift minorities with messages of hope and perseverance. 

Barack Obama

Michelle’s husband and the first Black President of the United States (POTUS). Intelligent and ambitious, Barack also has an easy-going, laid-back attitude that sometimes clashes with Michelle’s more orderly lifestyle. Barack is an optimistic and compassionate president, a dedicated husband, and a loving father.

Malia and Sasha Obama

The children of Michelle and Barack, who grow up in the White House during their father’s eight-year presidency. Michelle and Sasha are bright and largely carefree though they learn to become cautious and protective of their privacy as they grow up in the public eye.

Marian Robinson

The devoted mother of Michelle and grandmother to Malia and Sasha. In Michelle’s childhood, Marian makes many sacrifices to ensure that her children have every possible opportunity. Her marriage to Michelle’s father, Fraser, serves as an example of steadfast companionship. Marian’s support is unending as she begrudgingly moves into the White House with the Obama family. 

Fraser Robinson

The loving father of Michelle and husband of Marian. Fraser’s twenty-six years of employment at a water filtration plant and dutiful service as a Democratic precinct chair make him an example of hard work and community dedication for his family. Fraser also models stoicism and calm acceptance as he lives with his MS diagnosis. 

Craig Robinson

A skilled basketball player and Michelle’s older brother. Craig is smart, kind, protective, and outgoing. He moves through life with an ease that his younger sister admires though cannot emulate. 

Aunt Robbie

A piano teacher and Michelle Obama’s maternal great-aunt. Aunt Robbie is prim and serious, and she believes in order, timeliness, and structured hard work. Though she is hard on Michelle as a piano student, she is ultimately supportive. Her love for her niece’s family prompts her to provide them with a home in her house on Euclid Avenue, which will be a point of home base for Michelle into her adult life.

Uncle Terry

A retired Pullman porter, husband of Aunt Robbie, and Michelle’s great-uncle. Terry is quiet and distinguished, and he regularly dresses formally even after retirement. Terry had once been a plumber but was compelled to switch careers when he couldn’t join a labor union in an attempt to create better circumstances for his life.

Purnell “Southside” Shields

A carpenter, the grandson of a Georgia slave, and Michelle’s maternal grandfather. Southside distrusts authority figures and, often, white people. He loves music and enriches his family’s life with jazz.

Fraser “Dandy” Robinson

A retired postal worker, the grandson of South Carolina slaves, and Michelle’s paternal grandfather. Dandy unwittingly fosters Michelle’s outspoken and argumentative nature as a child with his cranky demeanor and tendency to mistreat his wife.

LaVaughn Robinson

A Bible bookstore manager and Michelle’s paternal grandmother. LaVaughn is soft-spoken, sweet, and subservient to her husband.

Suzanne “Screwzy” Alele

Michelle’s college friend and roommate. Suzanne lives a chaotic, easygoing lifestyle that disconcerts Michelle but also later serves as an example of seeking joy versus being bound to duty. 

Sam Kass

A young cook for the Obamas who accompanies them to the White House. Sam teaches the Obamas about good nutrition and helps Michelle develop her children’s health initiative as First Lady. 

Santita Jackson

A teenage friend of Michelle’s and the eldest daughter of Reverend Jesse Jackson. Santita is beautiful, intelligent, and a powerful singer. She is politically active and supportive of her father’s causes, but as a teen, she also struggles for control over her own life.

Ann Dunham

An anthropologist and Barack’s mother. Though Ann spends much of Barack’s childhood in Indonesia while Barack attends private school in Hawaii, she is a loving mother and is dedicated to her son’s education and success. 

Madelyn “Toot” and Stanley “Gramps” Dunham

Barack’s maternal grandparents who raise him in Hawaii while his mother is away in Indonesia.