We Want the City to Wake Up Celebrating Freedom
Visit Fort Worth, the tourism marketing organization for the nation’s 12th largest city, will partner with civil rights leader Ms. Opal Lee on June 18 for the Walk for Freedom Kickoff Breakfast at the historic Evans Avenue Plaza from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
In 2020 Lee realized a lifelong dream and collected 1.5 million signatures on a petition to create a national holiday for Juneteenth, the day the Civil War-era Emancipation Proclamation was announced in Texas. Lee’s efforts drew national attention from celebrities including Pharrell Williams, Usher, Diddy and Lupita Nyong’o as well as media coverage from The New York Times and Associated Press. In 2021, President Joe Biden honored Lee at the White House as he signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, declaring a new national holiday.
On Saturday, June 18, Lee will embark on her annual 2.5 mile walk to recognize the 2.5 years it took for the news of freedom to reach Texas. The route this year will be from Evans Avenue Plaza to the new City Hall (formerly Pier 1 Building).
“Ms. Opal Lee has been a champion for the Fort Worth community for decades,” said Bob Jameson, president and CEO of Visit Fort Worth. “Our organization is honored to partner with her to celebrate this momentous occasion.”
The Walk for Freedom Kickoff Breakfast will feature live music performances from First Saint John Cathedral Choir, Samaria Baptist Church Choir, and SANNI.. Guest speakers scheduled to appear include FOX 4’s Dionne Anglin, Mayor Mattie Parker, Councilman Chris Nettles and an invocation from Samaria Baptist Church’s Pastor McKinley Jackson.
Attendees can enjoy breakfast tastings from local restaurants like Carpenter’s Cafe & Catering, Mama E’s BBQ & Home Cooking, reBirth of Food, Black Coffee, Creative Cuisines, Lucky G’s Bistro, Loft22 Cakes, and Chadra Mezza Grill. Breakfast tasting tickets are available for purchase in advance or on-site for $20 and include samples from each of the featured restaurants.
“We want the city to wake up celebrating freedom with Ms. Opal and enjoy the whole day commemorating the accomplishments of all who worked for freedom,” said Dione Sims, Executive Director of Unity Unlimited, Inc.
To register for the Walk For Freedom or to purchase Kickoff Breakfast tickets, visit juneteenthftw.com/
There are over 20 events and things to do related to Juneteenth and African American-led events during the weekend of Juneteenth. Fort Worth Juneteenth celebrations span June 4-26 with a full calendar of events.