Nowadays the United States has first African American first family. In Taiwan, some people think Barack Obama won the President election, that representing a breakthrough in African American history. In the United States, some people think Michelle Obama is the first African American first lady, who is more meaningful than Barack as President. No matter President Obama or first lady Michelle who is turn over the new page of African American history. The African American study and racial issue not only revive again, but also many people concern about it.
The main purpose of this thesis is to explore the role and function of US first lady’s attitude toward the African American history. Actually, there has no official job description about First Lady in any country in any law. Unlike the presidency, which parameters of the office are discussed in Article 2 of the US Constitution, the first ladyship lacks constitutional guidelines because first ladies are unelected and unappointed, even the existence of the institution as an office, much less the scope and duties of that office, remains a point of debate. However, President Roosevelt’s wife Eleanor Roosevelt transformed the function of first lady from national hostess into activist successfully, which is also the reason why this thesis focus on how Eleanor served as first lady to play the function and action to develop African American’s issue.
The structure of the thesis is divided into five chapters. The introduction chapter explains lack of first lady’s attitude and position in African American study. The second chapter describes how first ladies develop social function and civil right function in national political system before Eleanor Roosevelt become first lady. The third chapter discusses how Eleanor Roosevelt to break traditional functions of first lady to be activist. The fourth chapter analyzes how Eleanor Roosevelt to play the role of first lady to fight for civil right during the New Deal and the World War II.
The thesis concludes that Eleanor Roosevelt had positive attitude to convert first lady lacks normal definition of duty, legal protection, and sort of instabilities into the advantage. Furthermore, she not only worked harder than other politicians to promote African American civil right movement, but also explored the potential function of first lady. She has the contribution in African American and first lady history.