Originally published 06/11/2013
REX, Ga. – Police in Georgia are investigating after a monument dedicated to one of first lady Michelle Obama's relatives was knocked over in suburban Atlanta.Clayton County Commissioner Sonna Singleton tells WSB-TV that a stone monument to Michelle Obama's great-great-great-grandmother, Melvinia Shields, was pushed over and will need to be inspected for cracks. The report was aired Monday.Officials say Shields was born into slavery in the mid-1800s and later settled in Rex, Ga., -- about 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta....
Originally published 06/06/2013
Jim Downs is an associate professor of history and American Studies at Connecticut College, specializing in African-American studies and nineteenth-century American history. His book, Sick from Freedom: African-American Illness and Suffering during the Civil War and Reconstruction, was just published by Oxford University Press.On June 4, 2013, Ellen Sturtz, a gay rights activist, heckled first lady Michelle Obama at a meeting of the Democratic National Convention. Ms. Obama allegedly responded by saying that she would leave if the heckler did not stop. The audience, however, cajoled the first lady to stay and the gay rights activist was purportedly escorted out of the venue. Mrs. Obama continued her speech by talking about the future of children.
Originally published 05/23/2013
WASHINGTON — Michelle Obama said Wednesday that stories of toil and sweat by slaves once held at a historic home within sight of the White House are an important part of U.S. history, including her own personal story, and are “as vital to our national memory as any other.”The first lady commented as American Express announced its donation of $1 million to the White House Historical Association to preserve Decatur House and pay for education programs for children. The nearly 200-year-old house is owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and operated by the association.Most of the money will be spent to preserve the building’s former slave quarters, where about 20 men and women “spent their days serving those who came and went from this house” and their nights “jammed together on the second floor of the slave quarters, all the while holding onto a quiet hope, a quiet prayer that they, too, and perhaps their children, would someday be free,” Mrs. Obama said....
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