February 27, 2022
Dr. Peggy M. Wilson STEM Center
1515 W Belt Line Rd
Cedar Hill, TX 75104
Sunday, February 27, 2022
Join us for a special tribute to the life and legacy of Dr. King.
**UPDATE 2/26** Due to unforeseen circumstances, Ms. Opal Lee will not be joining us at this event. We will have a dynamic panel of statewide African American leaders to include State Representative Carl Sherman, Senator Royce West, and Cedar Hill Mayor Stephen Mason. We look forward to honoring the life and legacy of Dr. King with you!
Join us for a special tribute to the life and legacy of Dr. King featuring keynote speaker Mrs. Opal Lee. For details visit cedarhilltx.com/mlk.
Opal Lee is an American retired teacher, counselor, and activist in the movement to make Juneteenth a federally-recognized holiday. She is often described as the "grandmother of Juneteenth". On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed Senate Bill S. 475, making Juneteenth the eleventh federal holiday. Lee was born in Marshall, Texas on October 7, 1926. She was the oldest of three children of Mattie (Broadous) and Otis Flake. When she was 10 years old, she and her family moved to Fort Worth, Texas. The Flakes later moved to the 7th Ward of Fort Worth, Texas (also known as Terrell Heights).
In June 1939, her parents bought a house in the 900 block of East Annie Street, then a mostly white area. On June 19, 1939, 500 white rioters vandalized and burned down her home. Lee was twelve years old at the time. Recalling it years later, she said, "The fact that it happened on the 19th day of June has spurred me to make people understand that Juneteenth is not just a festival."
Opal Lee attended I.M. Terrell High School, Fort Worth's first black high school. She graduated high school in 1943 at the age of 16. She married and the couple had four children; they divorced after five years.