Today Those Nerdy Girls honor Ms. Opal Lee, the Grandmother of Juneteenth.
Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. It is named for June 19th, the day in 1865 that enslaved people in Texas found out they were free.
Ms. Lee, who refers to herself as “just a little old lady in tennis shoes getting in everybody’s business,” has effected lasting change in our country. At age 89, she made it her mission to have Juneteenth declared a federal holiday, something she accomplished on June 17, 2021, when President Biden signed the legislation with Ms. Lee at his side.
In 2016, Ms. Opal Lee walked 1,600 miles from her home in Ft. Worth, TX, to Washington, DC, to draw attention to the importance of Juneteenth. She walked 2.5 miles per day to reflect the 2.5 years that passed after the Emancipation Proclamation before enslaved people in Texas found out they were free.
At the age of 96, she continues to fight tirelessly for justice for all and walks 2.5 miles every year at Opal’s Walk for Freedom. In her words, ” If people can be taught to hate, they can be taught to love, And changing minds can actually be done. It’s not going to happen in a day. You’ve got to work at it.”
Learn more about Juneteenth and Ms. Opal Lee: