‘Journey To White House Took Multiple Lifetimes:’ Ava DuVernay Pays Homage To Michelle Obama
Director Ava DuVernay took to Twitter on Saturday to share a poignant image of a memorial dedicated to former first lady Michelle Obama’s ancestor Melvinia Shields, the Huffington Post reports.
The photo was accompanied with the caption “Become your ancestor’s wildest dream,” the outlet wrote. Shields was born into slavery in 1844. The memorial reads that her family would go on to “endure a five-generation journey that began in oppression.”
120 years after Shields was born, Michelle Obama was added to her family tree. The inscription reads that their family history serves as a “story of hope,” the outlet said.
The Post reported that Shields’ memorial stands in a town near Atlanta, but she was buried in another town in Georgia.
While in the White House, Michelle Obama never shied away from her family’s historical past. During a commencement speech at the City College of New York in 2016, she reflected on how far Blacks have come in America.
“I wake up in a house that was built by slaves,” she said. “And I watch my daughters, two beautiful Black young women, head off to school, waving goodbye to their father, the president of the United States, the son of a man from Kenya, who came here to America for the same reasons as many of you, to get an education and improve his prospects in life.”