Join us at 9:30am & 11am SUNDAY, June 13th (the Sunday before Juneteenth!) as Opal Lee joins us for worship and to speak to our church about the importance and value of this beautiful holiday of freedom, liberty, and humanity.
Juneteenth is often called “Black Independence Day.” Why?
Because on this day 156 years ago—June 19, 1865—enslaved African-Americans in Galveston, Texas, were finally told they were freed. They’d been officially ‘freed’ 2 years earlier by President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. But, because the southern Confederacy persisted in armed rebellion against the Union, most slaves weren’t freed until the Union army defeated the Confederacy during the Civil War.
The last slaves to hear the news that they were free lived in Galveston, Texas. Juneteenth commemorates the day they realized their freedom and the day the United States began the long, unsteady march towards fulfilling its promise of “liberty and justice for all.”
Yet, despite the importance of this day, so many Americans still remain unaware about its meaning or existence.
That’s why Opal Lee—a civil rights activist based in Fort Worth known as the “Grandmother of Juneteenth”—has made it her life’s work to make Juneteenth a nationally recognized holiday.
She gained national fame in 2017 when, at the age of 90, she spent four months touring various cities around America walking over 100 miles. She personally met President Obama and handed him a letter, on his Inauguration Day, asking for Juneteenth to be made a federal holiday.
Though her dream of an officially national Juneteenth remains unrealized, Opal Lee’s activism and tireless work has raised awareness among millions of Americans about the importance of this holiday. AND her work reminds us about how far this country needs to go to fulfill its promise that we recognize “all are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”