Opal Lee and What It Means to Be Free: The True Story of the Grandmother of Juneteenth

“Black activist Opal Lee had a vision of Juneteenth as a holiday for everyone. This true story celebrates Black joy and inspires children to see their dreams blossom. Growing up in Texas, Opal knew the history of Juneteenth, but she soon discovered that many Americans had never heard of the holiday. Join Opal on her historic journey to recognize and celebrate freedom for all.” – publisher

Hardcover, 32 pages, Ages 5-8

$17.99

Description

“Every year, Opal looked forward to the Juneteenth picnic–a drumming, dancing, delicious party. She knew from Granddaddy Zak’s stories that Juneteenth celebrated the day the freedom news of President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation finally sailed into Texas in 1865–over two years after the president had declared it! But Opal didn’t always see freedom in her Texas town. Then one Juneteenth day when Opal was twelve years old, an angry crowd burned down her brand-new home. This wasn’t freedom at all. She had to do something! But could one person’s voice make a difference? Could Opal bring about national recognition of Juneteenth?

Follow Opal Lee as she fights to improve the future by honoring the past.

Opal Lee spent the rest of her life speaking up for equality and unity. She became a teacher, a charity worker, and a community leader. At the age of 89, she walked from Fort Worth, Texas to Washington, D.C., in an effort to gain national recognition for Juneteenth.

Through the story of Opal Lee’s determination and persistence, children ages 5 to 8 will learn:

  • all people are created equal
  • the power of bravery and using your voice for change
  • the history of Juneteenth, or Freedom Day, and what it means today
  • no one is free unless everyone is free
  • fighting for a dream is worth the difficulty experienced along the way

Featuring the illustrations of New York Times bestselling illustrator Keturah A. Bobo (I am Enough), Opal Lee and What It Means to Be Free by Alice Faye Duncan celebrates the life and legacy of a modern-day Black leader while sharing a message of hope, unity, joy, and strength.

Review Quotes:
Entertaining, informative, inspiring, beautifully illustrated and thoroughly ‘kid friendly’ in presentation, ‘Opal Lee and What It Means to Be Free’ is unequivocally and unreservedly recommended as a high priority addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Black History, American Biography, and Holiday Themed picture book collections.–Midwest Book Review

Entertaining, informative, inspiring, beautifully illustrated and thoroughly ‘kid friendly’ in presentation, ‘Opal Lee and What It Means to Be Free’ is unequivocally and unreservedly recommended as a high priority addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Black History, American Biography, and Holiday Themed picture book collections.–Midwest Book Review

Hardcover

32 pages

Ages 5-8

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