Hello, I am Opal Lee from Fort Worth, TX and I am 94 years old. I want Juneteenth to be recognized as a National Holiday. Yes, Juneteenth originated in TX, but 47 states now have it as a state day of observance to commemorate the ending of slavery and more are making it a paid day off including Virginia, New York, and Texas. I believe Juneteenth can be a unifier because it recognizes that slaves didn't free themselves and that they had help, from Quakers along the Underground Railroad, abolitionists both black and white like Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison, soldiers and many others who gave their lives for the freedom of the enslaved.
I started a walking campaign to Washington, DC 2016 and have continued it to bring awareness to the fact that there is support for it all across this nation. There is legislation in the Senate S.4019 and in the House H.R.7232 - Juneteenth National Independence Day Act - that just needs to be passed into law.
It is not lost on me that the summer of 2020 saw the largest support of Juneteenth to be a national holiday because of the death of George Floyd highlighted the systemic racism that still exists because of the residual effects of slavery. We can't let the swell of support just simply disappear until the summer rolls around again. We have make sure Congress follows through with their committment to honor the lives of those who came before us.
My goal with this petition and my walk is to show the Congress and the President that I am not alone in my desire to see national recognition of a day to celebrate “Freedom for All”. Will you please sign my petition to let them know as well? You can get more information at www.opalswalk2dc.com