Michelle Obama's Family History Revealed, Great-Great-Great-Grandmother Was A Slave

It is an amazing time to be an American. In 1844, a young African-American girl was born into slavery. 'Selma' director Ava DuVernay shared a poignant post with a picture of the woman's memorial. You have to wonder what that child would have thought if she were told then that her descendant would be one of the most influential and beloved women in the world.

DuVernay honored the progress African-Americans have made with a moving post of a memorial dedicated to the memory of an ancestor of Michelle Obama. "Become your ancestor's wildest dream," the tweet from DuVernay read.

The memorial for Melvinia Shields, 1844 - 1938, reads, "This memorial is dedicated to the remarkable life of Melvinia 'Mattie' Shields McGruder. 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."

"Theirs is a story of hope," the memorial adds.

Shields is buried elsewhere, but the memorial was planted on the farm where she worked and struggled as a slave.

Michelle Obama was born in 1964, 120 years after her great-great-great-grandmother Shields. Even as Michelle was born, the civil rights movement was gearing up for massive battles to bring rights to the disenfranchised African-Americans.

Great strides were taken through Mrs. Obama's lifetime, and Michelle was told by her high school teachers that she was 'setting [her] sights too high' in high school by applying to Princeton, University.

Mrs. Obama, then Michelle Robinson, made it, though, and went on to earn a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Harvard Law School. Even that progress would have probably astounded Shields. Imagine how the great-great-great grandmother would have felt knowing that Michelle made it all the way to the White House.

Despite all the strides African Americans have made, it seems like the struggle never ends. Mrs. Obama spoke at the Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s 30th anniversary event in Denver about her experience as America's first black first lady.

“Knowing that after eight years of working really hard for this country, there are still people who won’t see me for what I am because of my skin color,” said Michelle.

People referred to her as an 'ape', made disparaging comments about her body and even perpetuated a myth that she was really a man.

Shields would indeed be proud of Michelle, but the former FLOTUS isn’t going anywhere yet. She’s still heavily involved in many projects and is a young, fit woman with a lot of life ahead of her.

There are many people would love to see the former FLOTUS take it one step further, and pull a 'Hillary' by running for office herself. Nothing would make a lot of people in this country happier than to see the Obamas go back to the White House.

And of course, who knows what kind of breakthroughs daughters Malia and Sasha will make. Shields' legacy is not over yet; not by a longshot.

Source: Yahoo
Photos: YouTube, Twitter

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