This Tweet By Ava Duvernay Is An Ode To Michelle Obama’s Family And Its Long Journey To The White House  

Photo by Twitter/Ava Duvernay
Melvinia Shields was born a slave. Her great-great-great granddaughter became the First Lady of the United States.  

Director Ava Duvernay celebrated Michelle Obama and her ancestors in a recent tweet that also stands as a tribute to the journey of many African American families.

The A Wrinkle In Time director posted a photo of the former First Lady’s great-great-great grandmother's memorial in Rex, GA.  Melvinia Shields was a slave, and it was only five generations later that her direct descendant would become the nation’s first black First Lady.

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“Become your ancestor's wildest dream,” Duvernay captioned the photo.

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And it is the memorial's message that had many on Twitter in their feelings: “This memorial is dedicated to the remarkable life of Melvinia 'Mattie' Shields McGruder."

It continued: "She was born a slave in South Carolina in 1844. At age 6, she was brought to the nearby Shields Farm in what is now Rex, Clayton County, Georgia. Her family would endure a five-generation journey that began in oppression and would lead her descendant to become First Lady of the United States of America Michelle Obama.”

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“Theirs is a story of hope,” it finishes.

Many on Twitter found the tweet, and the memorial, profound:

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You can read more about Obama’s complex history in Rachel Swarns’ book “American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White and Multiracial ancestors of Michelle Obama.”


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