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‘It means freedom.’ Piscataway Library hosts ‘Grandmother of Juneteenth’ Dr. Opal Lee

A packed crowd listened in as Lee shared stories of her childhood and activism with a local scholarship recipient.

Tom Krosnowski

Jun 9, 2024, 9:25 PM

Updated 13 days ago

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An American activist critical in making Juneteenth a national holiday was an honored guest Sunday at the Piscataway Library.
Dr. Opal Lee is referred to as the “Grandmother of Juneteenth” – a holiday celebrated on June 19, the anniversary of the date in 1865 when the last enslaved people in the United States were set free in Texas.
Dr. Lee is most famous for her 1,400-mile walk from Texas to Washington, D.C., which she began in her 80’s to spread awareness.
A packed crowd listened in as Lee shared stories of her childhood and activism with a local scholarship recipient. Her parting lesson to the crowd - people that are taught to hate, can be taught to love.
“It’s not just a festival, it means freedom,” Dr. Lee said. “Not just for Black people, not just for people in Texas, but for all people. Freedom - and we aren’t free yet.”
News 12 spoke with Dr. Lee to learn more about her journey and hopes for the future. Viewers will be able to see that on Juneteenth.


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