Indomitable, Undeterred and more focused than ever!
At 94, Ms. Opal Lee was still giving it all she’s had to keep the pressure on and the awareness high that Juneteenth should be recognized as a federal holiday. Earlier this year, she ramped up her efforts once again with a plea for 3 Million signatures before the end of February, observed as Black History Month. The passing of Juneteenth as the 12th federal holiday, proved “it’s not just one little old lady in tennis shoes who wants this.” It’s time to celebrate friends, we made this happen, for Ms. Opal and for the culture! Ms. Lee will join President Biden and Vice-President Harris today as they sign the bill into law.
Last year, many blacks opted out of the annual 4th of July cookout and kickback to celebrate Juneteenth. We have to make this happen and get legislation happening under the Biden/ Harris administration to prove to the United States and the watching world just how dedicated they are to impacting social change by recognizing and making Juneteenth a national holiday. What began as a walk from Fort Worth to DC became a formal petition and is now the law of the land! Happy Juneteenth, everyone.
The addition of Juneteenth as the 12th federal holiday is bittersweet. It comes on the heels of many states banning the conversation of Critical Race Theory. How can you celebrate a holiday and ban the conversation of its causes and effects? This problematic juxtaposition makes the announcement of Juneteenth as a federal holiday more of a placation than an achievement. America has plenty of work to do but rightfully so, we pause today to honor this singular bright spot and celebrate the hard work of Ms. Opal Lee and those who supported her cause. This was not achieved alone, but only Ms. Opal Lee took the drastic steps of drawing attention not to her, but to her cause.
Nobody’s free until everybody’s free!
-Fanny Lou Hamer
With the passage of voting laws that restrict voting access and privileges, the country seems to be experiencing a civil rights regression. Considering the passage of Juneteenth as a federal law, Americans have a glimmer of hope that the Biden/Harris administration may take states to task on this. As we celebrate the federal recognition of Juneteenth, we also celebrate the hard work, tenacity and wherewithal of Ms. Opal Lee to tackle what for years seemed to be an insurmountable issue.