In “Why We Love Michelle,” Mary C. Curtis writes about how the First Lady defies stereotypical standards of beauty, brains and family. “Truth be told,” Curtis says, “many of the African-American women who became Barack Obama’s most stalwart supporters at first trusted him, in part, because he so obviously valued his wife in a true partnership.”

Curtis, who has covered the Obamas extensively, is an award-winning multimedia journalist based in Charlotte, N.C. She appears weekly on TV’s Fox News Rising Charlotte and contributes to The Washington Post “She the People” blog,TheRoot.comtheGrio.comNPR and Creative Loafing. She was national correspondent for AOL’s, covering politics, race and culture. She has worked at The New York Times, Charlotte Observer, Baltimore Sun, Arizona Daily Star and Associated Press. A 2006 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, Curtis has contributed to the Nieman Watchdog Website and was chosen for the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs, journalism’s first social media fellowship, at Ohio State in 2011.

michiandmeHer work has also been featured in venues such as CNN, MSNBC, and Heart & Soul magazine. Her awards include: a 2012 and 2010 Clarion Award from the Association for Women in Communications for online columns, Green Eyeshade Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for political reporting and online commentary in 2012, political reporting in 2011, coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign and cultural criticism, two first-place awards from the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), the Thomas Wolfe Award for an examination of Confederate heritage groups, and honors from National Society of Newspaper Columnists, National Headliners, American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors and Southern Newspaper Publishers Association.

She was inducted into the Hall of Fame Region IV NABJ in 2004, and serves on the executive board of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ Academic Internship Program, the board of Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte and is active in Women’s Inter-Cultural Exchange and in ministries at St. Gabriel Catholic Church.