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Michelle Obama Opens Up to ESSENCE About What Mattered Most About Her Time in the White House

"I think when it comes to black kids, it means something for them to have spent most of their life seeing the family in the White House look like them," MAKER Michelle Obama told ESSENCE in an interview for its October issue.

"It matters," Obama continued. "I think over these last few years, we’ve kind of knocked the ceiling of limitation off the roofs of many young kids' imaginations of what’s possible for them."

Because in the wise words of Marian Wright Edelman, "You can't be what you can't see." And seeing others like oneself in positions of power— no matter your race or gender — can only be a positive thing, giving one something to aspire to.

"I can unequivocally say that America is better off now than we were when we came into office," President Obama concluded, and whether he means politically or socially, the fact that the Obamas' history-making presidency "mattered" for young black children is undeniable.

Pick up a copy of the special collector's issue of ESSENCE on stands now.

NEXT: 20 Photos of Michelle and Barack Obama That Will Melt Your Heart »

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Photo Credit: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images