Civil Rights Pioneer Opal Lee Reclaims Family Land Taken By Racist Mob In Texas: ‘I’m So Happy’

by Gee NY

Opal Lee, a prominent civil rights pioneer, has reclaimed a piece of her family’s history. In a heartwarming turn of events, Lee recently received the keys to a new home built on the property in Fort Worth, TX, that was forcibly taken from her family by a racist white mob in 1939.

As a 12-year-old, Lee and her family were driven from their home, but she never lost hope of reclaiming the land. Her dream was realized in January 2024 when she officially acquired ownership of the property.

A newly constructed home now stands on the land, thanks to the efforts of North Texas organizations such as Trinity Habitat for Humanity and Texas Capital, which provided the property for $10.

HistoryMaker Homes built the home free of charge, and JCPenney furnished it.

“I’m so happy I don’t know what to do,” Lee said, expressing her joy.

Nelson Mitchell, CEO of HistoryMaker Homes, highlighted the significance of this moment, stating:

“Dr. Lee’s contribution to our nation through her work for racial justice cannot be understated, and we are deeply honored to have built her new home that now proudly stands where great injustices once occurred.”

Gage Yager, CEO of Trinity Habitat for Humanity, added:

“With tears of sadness for past atrocities and tears of joy for this momentous occasion, we are humbled and honored to welcome our friend Opal home. There truly is no place like home!”

Lee plans to create a welcoming environment in her new home, saying:

“Everybody will know that this is going to be a happy place.”

This milestone comes just days before Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19, which marks the end of slavery in the United States.

The holiday became nationally recognized on June 17, 2021, thanks in large part to Lee’s activism. She is affectionately known as the “Grandmother of Juneteenth.”

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