AUSTIN, Texas — A portrait of the "Grandmother of Juneteenth" was unveiled in the Texas Senate Wednesday morning.
The portrait of Opal Lee was commissioned to be permanently displayed in the Texas Senate chamber. The portrait acts as a recognition of Lee's efforts that resulted in Juneteenth becoming recognized as a national holiday.
The portrait unveiling occurred at 11 a.m. on Feb. 8.
Lee visited the Texas Senate and House in July 2021 during a special session of the 87th Texas Legislature to present resolutions to create the national holiday. Lee was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2022.
Lee's portrait will be the second piece of artwork in the Senate to honor an African American Texan. The other portrait is of former Texas state senator and U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Jordan. Jordan's portrait was authorized for placement in the Senate by a resolution in 1973.
"This will be a historic and significant day in the history of Texas and for the Texas Senate," State Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) said of Lee's portrait. "Ms. Lee will forever be an example of a person willing to work tirelessly for a cause they truly believed in. She shows also, that it’s never too late to pursue your dreams!"
Lee's portrait was suggested for commission by Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. West worked with Patrick's staff, the Secretary of the Senate's Office and former State Sen. Beverly Powell to coordinate Wednesday's unveiling event.