Michelle Obama: 'Angry black woman’ label hurt me

First lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaYouTube confirms it picked kids featured in Harris video Photos of the Week: Congressional Baseball Game, ashen trees and a beach horse The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Gears begin to shift in Congress on stalled Biden agenda 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 ObamaProgressives say go big and make life hard for GOP Biden giving stiff-arm to press interviews Jill Biden campaigns for McAuliffe in Virginia 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."