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Monument for Michelle Obama's Great-Great-Great-Grandmother

Field review by the editors.

Rex, Georgia

In 2009 a New York Times story about Michelle Obama's ancestors identified Melvinia "Mattie" Shields, enslaved on a farm in the tiny town of Rex, as the First Lady's great-great-great-grandmother. Rex decided to seize the opportunity, and in 2012 erected a tall, black granite slab in honor of Melvinia. Many of her descendants attended its dedication, as did one protester with a holstered revolver, riding a lawnmower with a flapping Confederate flag. Michelle Obama's name is as big as Mattie's on the monument, but Michelle did not show up.

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Monument for Michelle Obama's Great-Great-Great-Grandmother

Homestead Rd, Rex, GA
From Rex Rd, west of the bridge, turn north onto Colonnade Drive, then immediately turn right onto Mill Walk. Follow Mill Walk over the little bridge and the train tracks. You'll see the monument straight ahead.
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