Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Peggy and Barbara read their letters to Michelle

In our latest videos, Peggy Brooks-Bertram and Barbara Seals Nevergold read their own letters to Michelle Obama. The videos weave together family photos with Peggy's and Barbara's poignant vignettes from their family histories. We'd love to hear your feelings on these personal letters; please share your thoughts in our comments section.

Peggy reads her letter to Michelle.

Barbara reads her letter to Michelle.


  1. Dear Peggy, just as i did several weeks ago on that Saturday morning when you called to tell me my poem had been selected to be included in GTM and during the course of our conversation you read your letter about Aunt Lillie . . . tears came to my eyes. . . as they do now. My Aunt Hazel was to our family what your Aunt Lillie was to yours. She loved us good. How blessed we have been to have these wonderful women in our lives.

  2. To my beautiful beloved Ms. Peggy.

    I have tears in my eyes as I hear you recount the memories of your Aunt Lillie. Reading the letter to First Lady Michelle Obama, did not evoke the same affect as hearing it in your voice. Your story is so compelling. It has inspired me to begin to recall the events of my life that are so very monumental in shaping the woman that I am today.

    All my love, Janice

  3. Dear Barbara, i was a daddy's girl too. Lately, waves of emotion have been rushing into my consciousness when i think about my father, Peter Joseph Mercier. He was a very active union man, he cooked, sewed, braided my hair, dyed my shoes, excised my in-grown toenails, repaired watches, and overhauled the car engine on our kitchen table in our sixth floor apartment in Harlem (no elevator)in preparation for our first trip to California . . .and so much more. Thank you for providing this opportunity for me to remember him out loud.

  4. Dear Queens,
    I am so happy that no one was in the office while I was watching the videos, lol. I found myself holding back tears. The sincerity in your voices brought life to the letters! The photographs seem like they were made for the letters. As if they were waiting to be chosen for a story. While I am sure Michelle (if she hasn’t already) will read the book…I hope she comes across these videos.

  5. Tracy Jordan-CardwellFebruary 12, 2009 at 11:58 AM

    Dr. Nevergold. What an incredible letter! Thank you for sharing this piece of your life. The pictures add so much to your writings. What a great history lesson too! I never knew those things about your father. I heard he was a great minister and man of God! Thank you for this awesome insight.

  6. Mommy- Although I already read your letter I was more choked up with the pictures added..made it more personal & meaningful. I loved it & you!!! Alanna

  7. What a treat to hear the words in your own voices, voices I miss hearing as often as I would wish. I am jealous of the young people who will be with you today to receive your book and hear you speak of its creation. Happy Valentine's Day to you both.

  8. The broad strokes of your powerfully spoken words restored wonderful images of the past on the canvas of my mind.

    Love and hugs to you both,

  9. Barbara, your letter was truly inspiring. I listened to each word very carefully and observed the photographs. Truly a genuine gesture and heartfelt letter that I'm sure will most diffenently move the entire Obama Family. It wouldn't surprise me if you receive a very complimentary response from the President, The First Lady and the Children. I feel an invitation coming your way. You are a credit to all those you touch. Keep up the good work and I'm sure Paul and your children and your children's children will look upon that letter just as I have today with nothing but awe. Posted with permission of Bernie DePasquale