A Reflection of Juneteenth on the Fourth of July

By Rev. Harriet Bradley, DFLA’s Director of African-American Outreach and President of DFLA Georgia

As an African-American, the very first time that I heard the word “Juneteenth” was the summer of 2014 when I worked at a Democratic booth in Cobb County, Georgia. That booth was at a festival for Juneteenth. I had no idea what Juneteenth was all about until shortly before President Biden made Juneteenth a national holiday in 2021. It was at that time that I learned about Opal Lee, affectionally called “the Grandmother of Juneteenth.”

Ms. Opal started at the age of 89 to walk 2.5 miles every June 19 to represent the 2.5 years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Lincoln that the slaves in Galveston, Texas were informed that they were free! That day was June 19, 1865. In doing that walk, Opal Lee, living in Texas, was advocating to make Juneteenth a national holiday. She saw her dream become a reality at the age of 94 and was in attendance when President Biden made Juneteenth as a National Holiday.

It really moves my heart that Juneteenth is now a National Holiday. I made a quality decision to celebrate this holiday. Why? Because I was celebrating freedom. I could only imagine how those slaves felt when they realized that they were free.

It made me think about the day that I accepted Jesus Christ into my heart as Lord and Savior. That day my sins were forgiven, and I was given a new life. I was liberated. Juneteenth gave those slaves a new life!

So, to celebrate Juneteenth, I bought a Juneteenth shirt and attended a Juneteenth Celebration in Norcross, GA. As I celebrated, I rejoiced that as a nation we were celebrating that slavery ended in this country. This officially made everyone free in this country.

As Director of African -American Outreach for DFLA, Ms. Opal Lee inspired me to keep fighting for the life of the unborn, as well as helping to provide assistance to the mother, especially in the African-American communities. I continue to fight for the total emancipation for the unborn child. My voice will continue to be the voice for the unborn. That is what TOTAL FREEDOM is all about.