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The original item was published from 6/6/2023 2:45:48 PM to 6/24/2023 12:00:07 AM.

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Cedar Hill News

Posted on: June 6, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Juneteenth Celebration: A Conversation with Mrs. Opal Lee

We invite you to join us for an inspiring presentation from Ms. Opal Lee, a renowned civil rights activist, and Grandmother of the March on Washington! She will be sharing her wisdom and experience about how we can all work together to create lasting change in our communities. This is sure to be a powerful FREE community event that you won't want to miss!

Opal Lee is an American retired teacher, counselor, and activist in the movement to make Juneteenth a federally-recognized holiday. She is often described as the "grandmother of Juneteenth". On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed Senate Bill S. 475, making Juneteenth the eleventh federal holiday. Lee was born in Marshall, Texas on October 7, 1926. She was the oldest of three children of Mattie (Broadous) and Otis Flake. When she was 10 years old, she and her family moved to Fort Worth, Texas. The Flakes later moved to the 7th Ward of Fort Worth, Texas (also known as Terrell Heights).

 In June 1939, her parents bought a house in the 900 block of East Annie Street, then a mostly white area. On June 19, 1939, 500 white rioters vandalized and burned down her home. Lee was twelve years old at the time. Recalling it years later, she said, "The fact that it happened on the 19th day of June has spurred me to make people understand that Juneteenth is not just a festival."
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