By Post Staff
During the week of Juneteenth observances, a holiday that celebrates Texas for being the last state to officially be notified that slavery had ended, Belle Lee, a Texan and a daughter of a former slave, wanted everyone to be the first to hear that she had reached her 105th birthday.
Lee was born Belle Garland, in Paris, Texas June 24, 1903, to James Garland and Evelyn Morgan Garland.
During her birthday bash she was surrounded by friends, family and caretakers at the Fruitvale Health care Center as well-wishers marveled at her longevity.
She credited her age and health to her belief in God and following her parents’ advice.
Her father was a Baptist minister. Her mother worked her way up to a head chef in Boston hotels before moving to Oakland during the 40’s where she met and married Harry Lee.
She also traces her family tree to the Blackfoot, Chacatoe Cree and Cherokee Indian Nations.
Lee attended Havenscourt Community Church and the Church of the Nazarene.
She told stories of being the daughter of a former slave whose slave master owned Morgantown, Texas.