Fort Worth

Candid Conversation With Opal Lee, the ‘Grandmother of Juneteenth'

Opal Lee says in her 94 years, she has never seen anything quite like what we've seen so far this week

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As the last votes are tallied in the race for the White House this morning, we wanted to check in with a longtime advocate for change here in North Texas, Opal Lee. 

The 94-year old Fort Worth native has been very busy this election season. She says in her 94 years, she has never seen anything quite like what we've seen so far this week.

We touched on a number of things during our conversation, including her virtual awards ceremony she's co-hosting Friday night honoring Fort Worth community leaders. It’s the 3rd Annual Erma C. Johnson Hadley Honor Awards. That kicks off Friday night at 7.

We also talked about her never ending mission to make Juneteenth a national holiday, and the current state of our country. 

"I've never seen anything like it, and I am not going to get my blood pressure up behind what's happening,” said Lee.

Lee, best known around the country as the "Grandmother of Juneteeth," and her walks to Washington, D.C, hand-delivered 1.5 million signatures from her petition to Congress to make Juneteenth a national holiday in September. Lee says she's doing it again in January 2021, handing another 1.5 million signatures to Congress because she feels like Juneteeth is a unifier. 

Lee has been pushing to make it a national holiday for more than a decade now, and she has no plans of slowing down on that mission until that happens.

Lee maintained that message of unity during our conversation, especially as we wait to hear who will be the next president of the United States.

"We should work together to dispel the disparities that we have in healthcare, in jobs, in the schools, they need to tell the truth about what's happening so that we can heal and keep going,” said Lee. “There's so many things that need to be addressed and we can do it together, and get so much done, so much quicker.”

Lee stays busy. She runs a food bank in her neighborhood. And yes, at 94-years old, she takes boxes of food to 20 people every month.

Always a good conversation with Lee. She would love for you to join her tonight via livestream during her event by registering here.

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