Opal Lee, 1926

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Grandmother of Juneteenth, Opal Lee, Shares the Importance of this Historic Holiday | Southern Icons

Opal Lee, known in Fort Worth as the "Grandmother of Juneteenth", is a 94-year-old trailblazer on a mission to generate greater recognition for Juneteenth across the United States. Opal has dedicated her life to educating others about the history of Juneteenth, while also encouraging them to celebrate this historic holiday each year. The Emancipation Proclamation outlawed slavery on September 22, 1862, but slaves in Texas did not know that they had been freed. So, Juneteenth was first celebrated on June 19th, 1865, when General Gordon Granger and 7,000 black troops journeyed to tell 250,000 black enslaved people in Galveston, TX that they were free. Opal Lee leads a 2.5-mile march from Downtown Fort Worth, TX to signify the remaining length of time that these slaves in Texas were left in bondage. Today, Juneteenth symbolizes freedom, and it is a call to action for unity. Therefore, Opal Lee is currently advocating for Juneteenth’s consideration as a paid federal holiday! Tune in to learn more about this historic day, and how Opal Lee encourages others to work together to eradicate the racial disparity experienced in this country.

"None of us are free until we are all free, and freedom is what we still have to work towards." - Opal Lee

#Juneteenth #History #BlackHistory #Holiday #OpalLee

0:00 Introduction
0:17 What is Juneteenth?
1:28 How Dr. Ronald Myers impacted Juneteenth celebrations
2:15 Opal Lee's plans for Juneteenth 2021
2:48 Opal Lee's experience with racism on Juneteenth as a child
4:02 Miss Opal has hope for the next generation
4:40 Plans to make Juneteenth a National Federal Holiday
5:21 Opal Lee's Final Thoughts for freedom

Learn more about Opal Lee's mission here: https://www.southernliving.com/culture/opal-lee-grandmother-of-juneteenth

Follow Opal Lee on Instagram @TheRealOpalLee

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