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Michelle Obama attends Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival in a summery white dress

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Michelle Obama showed off her summery style during a special appearance at the film festival yesterday.

The former First Lady attended the opening night of the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival (MVAAFF) last night alongside former President Barack Obama. The couple presented a screening of their upcoming Netflix documentary Descending, which follows the descendants of Clotilda’s last known slave ship to illegally bring captives from Africa to the United States, by Variety.

The Become The author chose a casual, sophisticated dress for the summer soiree: a floaty white V-neck dress with loose three-quarter sleeves, a gathered tasselled waist, a thigh-high slit, and a ruffled hem. She accessorized the floor piece with gold hoop earrings and layered white and gold jewelry, while wearing her hair in a half-up, half-down style.

martha's vineyard african american film festival premiere of descendant

The former First Lady arrives on stage.

Arthur HolmesGetty Images

martha's vineyard african american film festival premiere of descendant

The former First Lady with Questlove, Descending director Margaret Brown, MVAAFF founders Floyd and Stephanie T. Rance, and the former president.

Arthur HolmesGetty Images

Descending, which was picked up by the Obamas’ Higher Ground Productions after its premiere at Sundance 2022, is set to premiere on Netflix later this year. The duo founded the production company in 2018, which has released projects including the docuseries Our major national parks and the food series Waffles + Mochi.

During the Friday night screening at the Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown, Massachusetts, the two Obamas spoke about the importance of sharing cultural and community history with younger generations.

“What Descending reminds us that we need to tell our stories to our young people,” the former First Lady said. “We have to be those. We cannot follow this tradition of keeping our pain silent. Because what this film shows us is that our stories are the power that makes us see.”

The former president added that one of the couple’s goals after the presidency was to emphasize “the importance of stories and who tells stories and which stories are valid and which stories are actual.” One of the powers of this festival and the work that the Rances have done is to bring back stories that have too often been lost in time. Because we believe everyone’s stories matter.


Quinci LeGardye is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer who covers culture, politics, and mental health through a black feminist lens.

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