DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A South Dallas historical home that once belonged to one of North Texas’ most influential civil rights leaders is in dire need of repair.
Recently, a pipe burst inside the Juanita Craft Civil Rights House. Nearly $200,000 is needed to fix the damages.
Craft lived in the home off Warren Avenue from 1950 to 1985, when she died.
“She had a tremendous influence,” South Dallas Cultural Center Manager John Spriggins said. “Ms. Craft was the first African-American female voter for the city of Dallas. She was the first African-American woman to serve on Dallas City Council.”
Craft organized local and state chapters on the NAACP and fought to integrate the Dallas Independent School District, the University of Texas’ Law School, North Texas State College and the State Fair of Texas.
“She was really, really a proponet of making sure that everyone had civil rights,” Spriggins said.
Most of Craft’s planning took place in home. She met with members of the community and some pretty big names.
“This table is where Thurgood Marshall wrote one of his many speeches,” Spriggins said as he points to a table in the kitchen. “Duke Ellington spent time in this house, Martin Luther King spent time in this house.”
The home, so rich in history is struggling.The floors and walls are water logged.
“Some of the sheet rock came apart from the roof of the house,” Spriggins said.
The Juanita Craft Civil Rights Home got became a historical landmark in 2010. It is one of six cultural centers owned and operated by the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs.
A “Juanita Craft Fund” has been set up through the Dallas Parks Foundations for anyone who’d like to donate. So far, $18,000 has been raised.
Checks can also be made out to the Dallas Parks Foundation at 9540 Garland Road, Suite 381-117, Dallas, TX 75218.
After repairs are made, the goal is to turn it into a museum. It will serve as a space to increase the public’s awareness about Craft and the work that she did.