After 85 years, Opal Lee, often referred to as the “Grandmother of Juneteenth,” is finally returning to her childhood home.

The story of her journey back home is both heart-wrenching and inspiring, reflecting her lifelong resilience and hope.

A Painful Past

On June 19, 1939, the home where Lee lived as a child was tragically burned down by hundreds of white rioters who sought to terrorize and displace her family.

Opal Lee was just 12 years old at the time.

Despite the trauma, she never gave up on the dream of reclaiming her family’s lot on the south side of Fort Worth.

“Just to know that there might be children that we could have played with, that we might have known their families,” Lee told CBS News Texas. “We just wanted to be good neighbors, that’s all.”

Opal Lee’s Joyful Return

Today, that dream has come true.

With the help of several North Texas organizations, including Trinity Habitat for Humanity and Texas Capital, Opal Lee was gifted the property for $10.

HistoryMaker Homes built her a new house on the property for free, and JCPenney furnished it.

“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,” said Nelson Mitchell, CEO of HistoryMaker Homes.

Lee actively participated in the construction process, selecting everything from flooring to fixtures and lighting.

Gage Yager, CEO of Trinity Habitat for Humanity, expressed profound emotion during the homecoming celebration.

“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,” he said. “There truly is no place like home!”

Watch the “Good Morning America” coverage below.

A Symbol of Hope and Justice

Opal Lee’s return to her rebuilt childhood home is not just a personal victory but also a powerful symbol of hope and justice.

Her story serves as a reminder of the progress that can be made when communities come together to right the wrongs of the past.

As Ms. Lee steps into her new home, she carries with her the legacy of Juneteenth and the ongoing fight for racial equality.

Her presence in the home that once symbolized hate and destruction now stands as a testament to resilience and the power of community.

Happy Juneteenth!

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Source: CBS News

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