“It is my hope that after I am gone, people of all background will visit my house and come to understand that individuals can make a difference, and to appreciate the importance of service to community and nation . . . you don’t have to be rich to make an impact but you have to work and to care.”

– Juanita Craft, March 1985

The mission of the Friends of Juanita Craft Civil Rights House is to inspire bold civic engagement globally by preserving and amplifying her life and legacy of human rights through transformational education.  We, the Friends collaborated with the City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture (OAC), the Junior League of Dallas (JLD), to restore Ms. Craft’s home with the goal of achieving museum accreditation and getting her home registered on the Civil Rights Trail for the state of Texas. 

The house stands as a historic landmark where significant people and events important to the collective fabric of the Civil Rights Movement were discussed, hosted, and launched.  As a woman of ordinary means who made an extraordinary contribution to racial and social justice, Mrs. Craft story and legacy has yet to be fully realized.  Through the restoration of her home, her story will be curated and interpreted in a public national museum setting for visitors near and far. 

Juanita J. Craft moved to Dallas in 1925. She joined the NAACP and became increasingly involved in its civil rights activities, establishing 182 branches. However, instead of wishing to be known as a fighter for Black rights, she insisted that her concern was always defending every American’s civil rights. She was the first Black woman in Dallas County to vote in a public election. She served two terms on the Dallas City Council. Mrs. Craft received the city’s highest civic award, the Linz Award, as well as being summoned to the White House three times to receive recognition awards. She fought for the rights for all.

Juanita J. Craft died in 1985 and the house was gifted to the City of Dallas in 1992. The house is in the Fair Park neighborhood at 2618 Warren Street in the Wheatley Place Historic District. It consists of a 1,300 sq. ft. house and adjoining garden. The Craft house is designated as a Dallas City Landmark Commission site, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and a recorded Texas Historic Landmark property. 

Mrs. Craft’s home served as a focal point for an extensive array of civil rights activities. It often was ground zero for planning campaigns, writing speeches, launching initiatives and community organizing of desegregation movements of restaurants, movie theaters, public conveyances, and the State Fair of Texas. The house also served as a community center for NAACP Youth Councils, which she organized and advised. Children in the neighborhood came to be known as “Craft Kids” were educated and provided experiential opportunities by Mrs. Craft with hopes they would be inspired to help shape the future of the civil rights struggle.

The house museum will be interpreted to the community and the nation as a reflection of the Civil Rights Movement through education, advocacy, government and civil discourse. It will serve as a bridge between the past and present celebrating and honoring the legacy and visionary ideas of Mrs. Craft to create valued and sustainable results. There is no more important time for this history to be told than now.

Many untold stories will be brought to light by the launch of the Juanita Craft House Museum. With the extraordinarily rich archives of both personal effects and public documents and materials from which her life and the history of the 20th century African American freedom movements will be curated.

Your on-going financial support will support our on-going efforts to highlight the Civil Rights Movement, programming, and building civically engaged leaders of the present and future.


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Communities Foundation of Texas