Prominent African-American Experts Discuss Juneteenth and Health Care Disparities in the Black Community

Fort Worth icon and Juneteenth activist Opal Lee and Velma P. Scantlebury, M.D., the nation's first African-American female transplant surgeon, discuss health care disparities in the black community and the importance of Juneteenth during a Facebook Live discussion on Wednesday, June 16, 2021.

By Prescotte Stokes III

FORT WORTH —  TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine’s FWMD LIVE chat welcomed two of America’s most prominent African-American women in activism and medicine to discuss the importance of Juneteenth and health care disparities facing African Americans.

The guest panelists were SOM visiting professor Velma P. Scantlebury, M.D., the nation’s first African-American female transplant surgeon, and Opal Lee, 94, Fort Worth’s Grandmother of Juneteenth. Her petition to U.S. lawmakers to make Juneteenth a national holiday has garnered more than 1.5 million signatures. Each year, she walks 2.5 miles, which represents the number of years it took before the Emancipation Proclamation was enforced in Texas.

They discussed the U.S. Senate’s resolution to unanimously establish June 19 Juneteenth National Independence Day as a U.S. holiday and steps African Americans can take to reduce health care disparities in their communities.

You can watch the full discussion below.

Here some links with more information on Opal Lee’s Juneteenth celebrations and information about health care disparities facing African Americans in the U.S.