Monument to Michelle Obama's ancestor knocked down
June 11th, 2013
12:15 PM ET
9 years 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. Two Party "System"

    Can you imagine spending public money on such a stupid thing?

    June 11, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  2. just askin

    interesting monument to melvinia shields. her name is in very small type and the very large name is michelle obama. this wasn't so much a monument to melvinia shields as it was a commercial enterprise for the town.

    June 11, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  3. Name lynn

    Thats let the people is stupid an cant spell, because michell obama is a great wife mother, an friends, people michelle is still smiling an taking care of her business. An michelle needs to pray for the none brain person who done it.

    June 11, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ M1
    The monument clearly states that she was a slave and one of her descendants went on to become First Lady of the U.S.
    But even if the monument did NOT state that, are you telling me that you can't see how remarkable it is that the descendant of a Black slave, people who were not allowed to read or write much less cast a vote, people who were OWNED by other people and treated like things not human beings, became the First Lady of the very country that enslaved her ancestors?

    June 11, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC


    Just asking what was the reason that they had this monument?
    Try reading the article.

    June 11, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  6. Cephus

    That's childish and whoever did that need to be ashamed of him or herself.

    June 11, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  7. JohnPeel

    Until someone does something like this and the true motive has been established, their no way of finding out whether it was racially motivated or not.Racism exist, I believe, in the hearts and minds. For those that profess to be righteous they simply have to remember that it is the very heart and mind that will be examined when they come before their maker.

    June 11, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  8. anonymous

    Yeah... theirs is a story of Hope. Hope & Change. Isn;t that what we were promised and didn't get? Just more of the same Bush policies, but on steroids. And almost 5 years later, stil no jobs, there is no more hope. Just sad realization we have been had.

    June 11, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  9. Thomas

    @Two Party "System"
    Can you imagine spending public money on such a stupid thing?

    Can you imagine spending trillions of dollars looking for WMD's in Iraq , then not finding them , because they were never there in the first place ?

    A stone monument costs nothing compared !

    June 11, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  10. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    I don't like to comment on post like these generally because it inflames feelings of hate and CNN is not responsible enough of a news organization anymore to censor those who clearly type hateful speech. I've been censored by the moderators of this Ticker for saying things no where near remotely as divisive as some of the speech on this article.

    June 11, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  11. Data Driven

    @ryche (Reich?)

    The Aryan Nation website is thataway.

    June 11, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    Yes, the town was clearly attempting to benefit from the connection to Michelle Obama, which is probably why the FLOTUS' name is so prominantly displayed on the monument; so what? My hometown makes money off of the fact its the place where the Book of Mormon was first printed, and where Winston Churchill's American grandmother, Clarissa Hall, was born and where his American grandfather, Leonard Jerome, practiced law. Every town tries to make a buck off its history. Its unfortunate that some tasteless, thoughtless fool commited vandalism because of politics.

    June 11, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  13. Tony

    It is sad that these same bigots on here and around the country are the biggest bible thumpers,one thing though i don't think they can read that book.

    June 11, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
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