Sunday, June 19, marks the second time in history that Juneteenth will be celebrated as a national holiday. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Fort Worth’s Opal Lee, Juneteenth became a federal holiday on June 17, 2021. At age 89, she received the gift she’d wanted for decades.
During her years of activism and yearning see it recognized as a federal holiday, she would walk from Fort Worth to Washington, D.C. This year, at age 90, she will continue her tradition of walking 2.5 miles to represent the 2.5 years it took the news of freedom to travel.
Ways to participate
Join the 2022 Opal’s Walk for Freedom, which begins at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Attend Breakfast with Dr. Opal Lee, which is held prior to the walk and begins at 8 a.m. Saturday at Evans Plaza.
Visit the I AM JUNETEENTH Festival, which runs 2-10 p.m. Saturday at Panther Island Pavilion.
Celebrate culture at Juneteenth at the Kimbell Art Museum, which features a special exhibit on The Language of Beauty in African Art. Admission is free 12-5 p.m. Sunday.
Explore various Juneteenth events across the DFW Metroplex.
The history of Juneteenth
Juneteenth is an annual commemoration of African-American freedom that is celebrated with community gatherings, parades, festivals and other special events. The date of June 19 marks the date in 1865 when word reached Texas that slavery had ended. President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in January 1863, but the information didn’t make it to enslaved African Americans until 1865.
Texas was the first state to recognize Juneteenth as a holiday.