||Juanita Jewel (Shanks) Craft (1902-1985) was born in Round Rock and attended
schools there and in Austin before earning certificates from Prairie View and
Samuel Huston Colleges. She joined the Dallas Branch of the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1935 and became a
pivotal NAACP civil rights organizer, childrens advocate, public servant and
humanitarian. From 1950 until her death, she lived here, hosting
nationally-known politicians and civil rights leaders, including Thurgood
Marshall and Roy Wilkins. In the 1950s, artists such as Duke Ellington and
Marian Anderson stayed in her home when touring Jim Crow Dallas.
This craftsman-style bungalow was built in 1925 in Wheatley Place Addition,
just south of Wheatley Place, one of Dallas first residential subdivisions
developed exclusively for African American families. This area has been home to
a remarkable community of educators, political reformers, musicians, artists
and entrepreneurs. This house was a nexus for community mobilizations, social
justice activism and political campaigns on local, state and national levels.
As advisor to the South Dallas NAACP Youth Council, Juanita Craft shaped
generations of youth from this house and on annual summer trips across the
nation. Her backyard was the setting for countless barbeques bringing citizens
from all communities together to address the issues of the day.
The ability to surmount cultural, ethnic and social barriers and gather people
together on the common field of their humanity was Juanita Crafts special
gift. One of Dallas most beloved public figures, she bequeathed this home and
an extensive historical estate to the public, so that future generations could
come to understand the importance of service to community and nation.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2010
SUPPLEMENTAL PLAQUE: "I had no children, so I adopted the world."