Jump in your car on Juneteenth, Friday, June 19, and caravan behind Ms. Opal Lee as she walks for Juneteenth! Ms. Opal will be leading the walk and she is asking supporters to follow behind her in a caravan of cars. You can learn more and register your car at www.juneteenthftw.com.
The Annual Juneteenth Celebration in Fort Worth will be commemorated by Ms. Opal Lee conducting her Opal’s Walks 2 DC walk, in which she walks 2.5 miles to symbolize the 2.5 years that it took for slaves in Texas to know that they were freed.
"Oh, you know I've been walking all over the country trying to make people aware that Juneteenth should be a national holiday. And the fact we have 46, 47 states that observe Juneteenth, I can't see why it shouldn't be a national holiday," said the former educator.
"It doesn't just belong in Texas and it's not a black thing. Nobody is free until we're all free. And, I've been advocating for the longest that we celebrate from Juneteenth from the 19th of June to the Fourth of July. You know, slaves weren't free on the Fourth of July."
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Ms. Opal has been staying indoors to protect herself during the coronavirus pandemic and while at home, she's been busy getting ready to lead the caravan on foot.
" I walk around my house. I've measured it, and I walk 10 times around my house and on the front porch, and it's better than a mile," she said. "And I do that every day, getting ready to do the walk."
Line up for cars starts at 9 a.m. and Ms. Opal will start the walk at 10 a.m. at the Fort Worth Convention Center and will conclude at the Will Rodgers Coliseum.
For more information visit www.juneteenthftw.com where registration is $25 per car. The event’s purpose is to garner the support of over 100,000 signatures in support of making Juneteenth a National Day of Observance, essentially establishing formal acceptance of June 19t as a national holiday. Sign the petition at www.juneteenth.us TODAY!
The event will also be broadcast via television and virtual streaming sites. By streaming Opal’s Walk Live, Juneteenth Fort Worth plans to attract online viewers worldwide, thus increasing tourism for the region and boost the economy.
The Juneteenth Fort Worth 2020 events have been revised dramatically to fit the confines and social distancing safety standards for COVID-19 yet they are set to be even bigger than they have been in recent years. Viewers will witness the combined efforts of 15 other cities that celebrate Juneteenth and have officially committed to conducting a caravan where they are.
For a complete schedule of events, to register your car or donate visit www.juneteenthftw.com.
More than anything, Ms. Opal hopes that this event can unite the city for a national spotlight in support of Juneteenth’s importance in our nation’s history.
With the current racial unrest over blacks dying in police custody, Ms. Opal believes a national celebration and understanding of Juneteenth could bring healing.
"And we need to acknowledge that it's just not a Texas thing. So, we got the news late, but we got it. And, I keep saying, none of us are free until we are all free. There are too many disparities even now to say we are free. We need some decent housing. We need a job that pays a decent wage. We need good healthcare, good schools. We've got so much, that we need to unite and do something about," she said.
"It's like a kettle that's boiling and nobody watching it, nobody doing anything about it and it boils over. And, it doesn't just affect black people. And it's just not black people who are protesting. People are understanding that you can't treat one class of people one way and another way. We simply have to understand that unity, and I keep repeating it, unity is what's needed."
Follow her journey on Facebook @opalswalk2dc, Twitter & Instagram @opalsw2dc #opalswalk2dc.
Opal’s Walk 2 DC
Juneteenth, Friday, June 19
9:00 a.m. – Cars Line Up at Fort Worth Convention Center
10:00 a.m. – Walk Begins
Walk and Caravan Route: Fort Worth Convention Center to Will Rogers Memorial Center