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Stories of Juneteenth: A Conversation with Ms. Opal Lee

June 17th, 2021 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

In 2016, at the age of 89, former teacher and lifelong activist Opal Lee walked 1,400 miles from her home in Fort Worth, Texas, to Washington, D.C., in an effort to get Juneteenth recognized as a national holiday. Two years later, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution recognizing the holiday, which originated in Galveston, Texas, and honors the June 19 anniversary of the announcement by Union Army general Gordon Granger proclaiming freedom from slavery in Texas. Though the day is now celebrated annually throughout the United States, Ms. Opal does not consider her work complete: “We have simply got to make people aware that none of us are free until we’re all free, and we aren’t free yet,” she told the New York Times last June.

Please join us for a webinar discussion with Ms. Opal that centers the history of Juneteenth in her life and focuses on her personal journey to establish Juneteenth as a national holiday. Ms. Opal will be joined by Harvard University professors Evelynn Hammonds and Annette Gordon-Reed; Gordon-Reed is also the author of the new book, On Juneteenth.



Michelle A. Williams, Dean of the Faculty, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Angelopoulos Professor in Public Health and International Development, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Kennedy School (@HarvardChanDean)


Opal Lee, Activist

Annette Gordon-Reed, Carl M. Loeb University Professor, Harvard University; author, On Juneteenth(@agordonreed)

Evelynn Hammonds, Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz Professor of the History of Science and Professor of African and African-American Studies, Harvard University


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Date: June 17th, 2021
Time: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Calendars: Public Events