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You are here News Human Rights Opal Lee helped make Juneteenth a national holiday. At 95, she's still got work to do.

Opal Lee helped make Juneteenth a national holiday. At 95, she's still got work to do.

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JuneteenthAfter spending a morning in April at her 13-acre farm, a food bank and a fundraiser for a Juneteenth museum, Opal Lee, 95, kicked off her shoes at her home in Fort Worth, Texas, and sat down to relax.

She joked that the house looks like a museum with nearly every inch of wall space adorned with family photos, awards and plaques she has won for her work turning Juneteenth from a backyard celebration into a nationally recognized holiday.

Lee, known as the Grandmother of Juneteenth, may have achieved her goal of making Juneteenth a federal holiday, but that doesn’t mean she is slowing down — as many who know her can attest to. There’s more work to be done, she said, to use Juneteenth as an opportunity to educate, heal and solve many of the socioeconomic problems that disproportionately affect the Black community.


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