Opal Lee, known as the “Grandmother of Juneteenth,” has received back her family’s land as a thoughtful gesture, reclaiming it from the damage inflicted and wrongful seizure by a racist mob in the past.

As reported by WFAA, Habitat for Humanity is presenting the 97-year-old with the land her family once owned in Fort Worth, Texas. A prominent civil rights activist who played a pivotal role in advocating for Juneteenth as a national holiday, Lee discovered that Trinity Habitat for Humanity owned the property. Initially expressing her intent to purchase the land, she approached Gage Yager, the CEO of Trinity Habitat for Humanity. However, Yager opted to gift the land to her instead.

“You know, it pulls up on my phone, I say, ‘Hey Opal, how are you doing?’” Yager said. “And she’s like, ‘You guys own my lot at 940 East Annie.’ She’s like, ‘Gage, can I buy that lot from you?’ And I say, ‘You know Opal, we’re not going to sell you that lot. But we’ll give you that lot.’”

In addition to returning the land, Habitat for Humanity has chosen to construct a home for Opal on the very same lot. As the organization embarks on the house-building project, local community members are actively contributing through both financial support and hands-on labor. The community united in September for a groundbreaking ceremony for the new home, coinciding with a celebration of Opal’s birthday.

Opal is renowned for spearheading the campaign to establish Juneteenth as a national holiday. The 97-year-old activist has been honored for her significant contributions to social justice, having been selected as an honorary guest at the White House. Additionally, her impactful work led to a Nobel Peace Prize nomination, further recognizing her dedication to advancing civil rights and commemorating the historical significance of Juneteenth.