In lieu of the traditional Juneteenth parade this year, Fort Worth residents have an opportunity to participate in a historic event: a 2.5-mile caravan through downtown Fort Worth to commemorate freedom from slavery.
Community activist Opal Lee will lead the event at 9 a.m. June 19. At 93 years old, Lee will continue her walking campaign to make Juneteenth a national day of observance. With 47 states officially recognizing Juneteenth as a holiday, Lee believes now is the time for national recognition to occur.
Residents can follow behind Lee from the Fort Worth Convention Center, 1201 Houston St., to Will Rogers Coliseum. Participants are encouraged to decorate their vehicles to show support.
“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,” Lee said.
Walking to raise awareness is not new to Lee. She started a campaign to walk to Washington, D.C., in 2016 and relaunched it in 2019 to bring awareness to the fact that there is support for the Juneteenth holiday all across this nation.