Michelle Obama: 'Angry black woman’ label hurt me

First lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama on 'Becoming': 'Sasha still hasn't read it' Michelle Obama seeks volunteers for local campaigns: There are 'no "off" years' Obama condemns 'hatred in all its forms' after New Zealand shooting MORE says in a new interview that she was wounded by critics who portrayed her as an “angry black woman.”

“That was one of those things where you just sort of think, ‘Dang, you don’t even know me,’ ” she told Oprah Winfrey in a CBS interview out Monday. "You just sort of feel like, ‘Wow, where’d that come from?'

“That’s the first blowback because you think, ‘That is so not me,’ ” Obama added. "But then you sort of think, ‘This isn’t about me.' This is about the person or people who write it, you know? That’s just the truth.”

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Obama also said she believes racially tinged stereotypes are inspired by fear.

“You start thinking, ‘Oh wow, we’re so afraid of each other,’ ” she said, noting she initially encountered the phrase "angry black woman" in 2007, when her husband started his first presidential campaign.

“Color, wealth, these things that don’t really matter still play too much of a role in how we see one another. And it’s sad, because the thing that least defines us is the color of our skin.”

Obama added that she hopes people judge her and her husband on their character rather than their race.

“It’s our values; it’s how we live our lives,” she said. "You can’t tell that from somebody’s race or their religion. They have to act it out. So that was the blowback, and so then I thought, ‘OK, well let me live my life out loud so that people can then see and then judge for themselves.' "

The Obamas have at times encountered racism since Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaJennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez's engagement win Obama's endorsement Pence lobbies anti-Trump donors to support reelection: report The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump attacks on McCain rattle GOP senators MORE became the nation’s first African-American president in 2008.

A West Virginia government employee, for example, was fired in November for a Facebook post referring to Michelle Obama as an “ape in heels."