Juanita J. Craft House
Backstory and Context
Craft was an African American civil rights organizer and public servant who is best known for her crucial role in integrating two universities and multiple public businesses. Craft's mother died in 1918 after being refused treatment for her tuberculosis because of her race. Seven years after this event, Juanita Craft moved to Dallas where she worked as both a maid and a dressmaker. In 1935, Craft joined the NAACP and later worked to create 182 rural NAACP chapters. She also joined in on numerous demonstrations at colleges in Texas, several of which led to successful lawsuits that chipped away at Jim Crow in higher education.
When she returned to Dallas, Craft opened a special program for adults who had not been able to complete their high school degrees. She later served as a delegate to the White House Conference on Children and Youth and took part in the governor's Human Race Relations Committee. In 1975 Craft was elected unto the Dallas City Council where she used her influence to improve the welfare of Native American and Hispanic citizens. "For the first half of my life," she declared, "they wouldn't let me in the parks. Now they're naming one after me."1 This quote from Juanita Craft reflects her profound impact on the American Civil Rights Movement. Her NAACP leadership and many achievements are broke many barriers which led to the creation of a historical marker that will be dedicated at this site in early 2018.
2. Ibid "Dallas: Juanita J. Craft Civil Rights House." Accessed March 24, 2015. Texas Lakes Trail. http://texaslakestrail.com/plan-your-adventure/historic-sites-and-cities/sites/juanita-j-craft-civil....
"Texas: Juanita J. Craft Civil Rights House." National Park Service. Accessed March 24, 2015. https://www.nps.gov/places/texas-juanita-j-craft-civil-rights-house.htm.