Tomorrow, Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States and celebrates African American freedom and achievement. What better time to listen, learn and reflect on African-American history and heritage.  Journalist Rachel Jones offers multigenerational insights into “Why Juneteenth is a Celebration of Hope” in National Geographic.


“OPAL LEE WAS 12 years old in 1939 when a mob burned down her family’s home in Fort Worth, Texas. “My mother had fallen and hurt herself on a public bus, and she got a little sum of money that she used to buy a house,” she remembers. “I guess they didn’t believe we deserved to have it.”

Her father, Otis Flake, grabbed his shotgun to protect his wife Mattie and three children from the angry crowd. But when the sheriffs arrived, they told him that if he fired, they would turn the mob loose. So Otis Flake and his family left the smoldering wreckage and never looked back.

But like so many African Americans before and since, Opal Lee wasn’t broken by the experience. After marrying at 16 and giving birth to four children, Lee earned a college degree, became a schoolteacher, social worker, food bank coordinator, and much beloved pillar of the Fort Worth community who, at age 93, still delivers meals to disabled and elderly residents. And as long as her health holds up, Lee hopes to walk her way into the history books by campaigning to have June 19 declared a national holiday known as “Juneteenth.”

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Cheryl Treleaven
Cheryl Treleaven


Engaging your customers is at the heart of successful marketing programs. For more than 20 years, Cheryl has been building and executing content and thought leadership strategies designed to do just that. She is excited to be applying that well-honed skill to a help companies like Microsoft, Cisco, 3M, Intel, Capital One and Barclaycard tap into their stakeholder communities and build sophisticated content strategies.

Her experience base spans a range of industries – from technology and financial services to retail, travel, consumer products and healthcare. Cheryl has served as an integral member of her clients’ marketing teams, providing counsel on marketing and brand strategy, thought leadership, media relations, product introductions, and event management.

Prior to joining ComBlu, Cheryl spent 10 years leading corporate marketing for large, complex organizations.