Monument to Michelle Obama's ancestor knocked down
June 11th, 2013
12:15 PM ET
1 year ago

Monument to Michelle Obama's ancestor knocked down

(CNN) – A stone monument in Rex, Georgia, celebrating first lady Michelle Obama's great-great-great grandmother Melvinia Shields was knocked over from its pedestal onto a concrete slab Saturday night.

"It was done purposely. If I had to speculate some people may think it was a prank; not realizing what a serious matter it is. I really believe we have gone beyond any other motives," Clayton County Commissioner Sonna Singleton told CNN Tuesday during a phone conversation.

Clayton County has an open investigation into the incident, but has no leads, Singleton said.

A new monument was expected to be installed Tuesday, almost a year after the original stone was erected on June 26, 2012.

Born into slavery, Melvinia Shields was listed on an 1870 census document as a farm laborer, washwoman and maid, according to a historical website run by the State of Georgia. She was later described as a midwife.

After a New York Times article linked Shields to Michelle Obama in 2009, the town of Rex decided to dedicate a monument in her honor. The now-annual Melvinia Shields celebration is slated to take place later this month.


Filed under: Georgia • Michelle Obama
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Data Driven

    Georgia. Black lady's grave.

    "Same as it ever was" - David Byrne

    June 11, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    This is nothing but a racially motivated act. The hatefulness of some in this country is beyond me. But thank goodness that they will eventually die off and we'll live in a country of diversity with respect for one another. Grow up America!

    June 11, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. Get Real

    This is TOTALLY unacceptable. Even if you do not like her, this is VERY disrespectful.

    June 11, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    The work of the devil.

    June 11, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  5. MaryM

    And the disgracful racists in this contry continues.

    June 11, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  6. anonymous

    Who cares? Some stupid kid knocks a rock over and it's national news? Give me a break.

    June 11, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  7. gg

    Is it part of freedom of speech? stupid.

    June 11, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    The monument WAS NOT to honor Melvinia Shields, it was to give glory to Michelle Obama.

    June 11, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    The most racially divisive thing Obama has done: get elected POTUS while black.

    It's that simple. Enjoy your demographic Armageddon, Teatrolls. Rest assured, I've got especially delicious popcorn all picked out for the show. Please proceed with your "outreach."

    June 11, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. Ed1

    And you have proof if so why don't you bring it forward.

    This is what's wrong with so many people they accuse people before they have any proof kind of like big Al does and when they are proved wrong they would never go back and say sorry just keep the kettle stirred up.

    June 11, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  11. Fair is Fair

    Completely unacceptable.

    June 11, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    anonymous

    Who cares? Some stupid kid knocks a rock over and it's national news? Give me a break.
    -------------
    For starters, it's a crime known as vandalism, the willful destruction of someone else's property. Two, it might have been paid for with public funds to attract tourism to the little town.

    June 11, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  13. M1

    Just asking what was the reason that they had this monument? Not saying it was right at all to descrate it...just saying what was the importance of Mrs. Shields? Is it that she was a former slave? Is the accomplishment of Michele Obama in marrying Barack seriously the foundation of this monument?...If thats the case shouldn't Jackie Kennedy and every single first lady have a monument? Ha Lady Bird does doesn't she?

    June 11, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  14. lolo

    Obviously the GOP/TP Klan is very happy about this. Having a black presidebt in the white house is making them lose their minds even more. Please keep it up though, because the rest of us are voting you out come 2014. That you can take to the bank.

    June 11, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  15. Tabeth

    Then don't please condemn the Honorable Minister Louis Farakhan,
    He is all the way right!

    Thank you

    June 11, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  16. California Gary

    Seems as though not everyone has progressed into the 21st century.......some are still mired in our past......and in a dark place of our past at that. I would count "anonymous" in that group.

    June 11, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  17. Tabeth

    A country that should be a beacon a model to the world
    What a disgrace!

    June 11, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  18. NEVER to VOTE REPUBLICAN again

    Hate filled teapubs. I special place in hell waits for you.

    June 11, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Disrespectful to the dead, her living descendants, and to the First lady of the United States.
    Georgia, just as backwards as you wanna be, but like Dutch said: soon, very soon the leftover dregs of our society will join Ms. Mattie.

    June 11, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  20. Bob

    Racism – Alive and well in the south

    June 11, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  21. Malory Archer

    anonymous

    Who cares? Some stupid kid knocks a rock over and it's national news? Give me a break.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    And this, ladies & gentlemen is a prime example of that old adage "t'is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth (or in this case, exercise one's fingers) and remove all doubt.

    June 11, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  22. Lynda/Minnesota

    "The hatefulness of some in this country is beyond me. But thank goodness that they will eventually die off and we'll live in a country of diversity with respect for one another. Grow up America!"

    It is beyond me as well. And completely unacceptable.

    June 11, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  23. ryche

    Just like Hitlary says.. What difference does it make.. BTW, i think they should go and knock it down again after its put back up.. than maybe our first scmbag lady will be proud of the country she lives in... or maybe she'll continue to be the classless, unhinged, man beast we've all known..

    June 11, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    Sad that somebody did this, regardless about how one feels about the first lady and her husband. However, I'd like to note that it is kind of dumb that Michelle Obama's name is displayed so much more prominently on the monument than that of her ancestor, even though it is a monument to the latter.

    June 11, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  25. it must be said

    After a New York Times article linked Shields to Michelle Obama in 2009, the town of Rex decided to dedicate a monument in her honor. The now-annual Melvinia Shields celebration is slated to take place later this month.
    ------

    Sounds like some podunk Georgia town trying to get their name on the map and make some money for the locals. And now al this publicity benefits them mightily. What a coincidence! Racism my foot.

    June 11, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
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