“Grandmother of Juneteenth” Opal Lee reflects on her journey to secure a National Holiday

At 95 years old, Opal Lee is showing no sign of stopping. Her life’s story — including her famous trek from Fort Worth, Texas, to Washington, D.C., to call on lawmakers to make Juneteenth a national holiday — has since become legendary, earning her the name “Grandmother of Juneteenth.”

“I decided that maybe if a little old lady, 89 years old, in tennis shoes walking from Fort Worth to Washington, somebody would pay attention,” she told CBS News of her decision to undertake the walk.

Lee would trek two and a half miles at a time, a callback to the two and a half years it took General Gordon Granger to arrive in Texas and inform enslaved Black people of their freedom after the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865.

She eventually delivered 1.5 million signatures to Congress, and clinched victory when legislation passed last year. It was then signed by President Biden in the White House, establishing Juneteenth as a federal holiday.

But Juneteenth was a… READ MORE HERE

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