Opal Lee attends Black History Month celebration at White House

Local civil rights activist Opal Lee celebrated Black History Month on Monday at the White House.

The Fort Worth grandmother, known for her fight to create a Juneteenth federal holiday, got a special invitation to attend the event hosted by President Biden and the first lady. It included cabinet members, elected officials and civil rights leaders.

"I’m also proud to be joined by Opal Lee, we made the first federal holiday of the Juneteenth holiday in the last 40 years… good to see you Ms. Lee," President Joe Biden said.

"I’m just delighted that they invited me," Lee said in an interview with FOX4 before the event.

Lee says the invitation came with just a few days’ notice to get to Washington.

She was unclear of just how the event would unfold, but noted if she got the chance to speak to the president, she had an idea of what she’d say.

"I’d like to be able to say thank you for the holiday and to let the public know that this is not the end of it, but we’ve got work to do still. There’s still joblessness, homelessness, healthcare, climate change… All of these things have to be addressed. And education, education, education!"

Her sentiments seem to be shared by Biden, who mentioned some of the same topics during the event.

"Prescription drugs childcare, housing, make healthcare more affordable, make progress on Black maternal health, something that Kamala has been leading the effort on. To end cancer as we know it," he said, listing other important priorities.

Biden also included a call to action on one of his administration’s top priorities.

"We call on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, pass the Freedom To Vote Act! We can do this," he said.

Afterward, Lee shared pictures of her chatting with members of Congress and civil rights activists. 


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