REX, Ga. -- "Become your ancestor's wildest dream."
It's a simple message, etched in stone of a Rex, Georgia monument to a former slave. A woman whose descendent would one day become the first lady of the United States.
The monument to honor Melvina "Mattie" Shields McGruder grabbed national attention then, when it was erected in the unincorporated southeast metro town in 2012.
It's making its way around the world, again, thanks to a tweet by famed filmmaker Ava DuVernay.
Become your ancestor's wildest dream. pic.twitter.com/4xvyBZauwY— Ava DuVernay (@ava) August 5, 2017
It's clearly resonated with a wide audience, this time around. It's been re-tweeted and liked and interacted with millions of times.
That's how I live!! Without them there would be no me. They sacrificed so I can— Omeaka Jackson (@Omeakiasmiles) August 5, 2017
IKR we are their hopes and dreams, I am the 4th gen born in freedom #becauseofthemwecan— Renee Ferguson (@ReeAnders) August 5, 2017
It's easy to see why the tweet has drawn such an overwhelming response. The story behind the monument is certainly inspiring.
According to accounts, McGruder was born a slave in South Carolina in 1844 before being brought to the near-by shields farm, in what is now Rex, Georgia, at the age of 6.
Five generations later, a "journey that began in oppression" gave way to the country's first black First Lady, Michelle Obama, who later went on to speak in awe of watching her own daughters play with their dogs on the lawn of the White House, "a house that was built by slaves."
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