First Lady Michelle Obama graces the cover of ESSENCE’s October 2011 issue with a revealing interview highlighting ESSENCE and the First Lady’s shared commitment to women and girls around the world. 

In the article, “The Leading Lady,” she reflects on what she calls the “big, bright light” of her power as First Lady -- and she shares her mission to impart her critical message to young women: that where she is now is attainable with hard work. 

She recounts her emotional trip to Africa, providing exclusive images for ESSENCE readers which document her various stops and what they meant to her personally. Click HERE for more.