Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke showed solidarity with African American communities in Texas by participating in the celebration of Juneteenth and getting together with Black activists and advocates to continue the conversation regarding race discrimination.
June 19th is the day to celebrate the abolition of slavery in the United States. It is considered the longest-running African American Holiday, dating back to 1865, but it was just recently added as an official federal holiday in 2021.
O’Rourke had several meetings last weekend with Black communities to celebrate the 19th. He also met with who is known as the Grandmother of Juneteenth, 95-year-old Opal Lee, one of the main activists who put the holiday on the official federal list. Like every year, she went out on June 18th and made a two-and-a-half-mile walk for freedom to honor this date, joined by O’Rourke and supporters.
“We are with you, and we are going to be with you on this walk, I am honored”, O’Rourke said to Lee when they sat down for a chat minutes before the walk for freedom.
He also expressed the admiration he feels for the Black community and for Opal Lee, a woman who stood up for what was right and fought until she was seen and recognized. After the walk, he got together with those present for a conference where he spoke about equal rights and the need to recognize the path still left towards real equality.
On June 19th, O’Rourke also joined the worship and prayer service led by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson. They got together at the historic Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Downtown Houston for collective prayer and celebration. He also gave a speech stating his solidarity and compromise with the community.
What seems to work for Beto is that he is willing to listen to those who suffer from different issues in the state. From meeting up with parents of transgender kids, and teachers working in public schools, to talking with important activists for the Black community, he allows them to take protagonism in their own realities and makes the promise to do what is in his power to help them.