University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Juanita Jewel Shanks Craft Collection, 1939-1983

Descriptive Summary

Creator Craft, Juanita Jewel, 1902-
Title Craft (Juanita Jewel Shanks) Collection,
Dates: 1939-1983
Abstract This collection compiled by Craft, a Dallas activist, documents NAACP political and social stands, Dallas Youth Council activities in challenging segregation in the Dallas area in the 1950s, and social problems in the Dallas area. Included are printed materials, correspondence, certificates, minute books, speeches, a scrapbook, and 44 photographs of unidentified NAACP leaders.
Extent 2ft., 6in.
Language English.
Repository Center for American History,The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Juanita Craft (1902-.) is known for her lifelong work in support of education, civil rights, and the NAACP. Born Juanita Jewel Shanks in Round Rock, Texas, on February 9, 1902, she grew up in Austin. She attended Prairie View State Normal and Industrial College, a Black school, where she earned a certificate in dressmaking and millinery in 1921. She arrived in Dallas in 1925 and worked as a bellmaid at the Adolphus Hotel. In 1935 she joined the NAACP and became increasingly involved in its civil rights activities. On October 2, 1937, she married Johnny Edward Craft, a union that lasted until has death on January 17, 1950. They had no children. During World War II, Craft was appointed Dallas NAACP membership chairman and, in 1946, became Texas field organizer and Dallas Youth Advisor. In addition, Juanita Craft served in the Dallas Democratic party for twenty-three years as precinct chairman beginning in 1952. She was the first Black woman deputized to sell poll tax certificates in Texas. She supported herself by means of a millinery shop in her home while working with Dallas young people. Through nonviolent demonstration, the Youth Council helped to successfully challenge segregation in restaurants, lunch counters, and theaters, at North Texas State University, and at the Texas State Fair in 1955. Other programs included the "Back to School" drive in the early 1960s, the Kids Kan Kampaign neighborhood cleanup in 1965, and annual NAACP convention trips since 1960 in which she accompanied a dozen teenagers. Craft received Dallas' highest civic honor, the Linz award, in 1967 for investigating, exposing, and legislating against fraudulent trade schools which had lured and cheated many unsuspecting young people in Texas. In 1975 at the age of seventy-two, Juanita Craft won a seat on the Dallas City Council for the District 6 post and was re-elected in 1977. Many civic and political honors have been bestowed upon her and three times she was summoned to the White House to receive recognition awards. The Juanita Jewel Craft Recreation Center and Park, constructed and christened in 1974 in the heart of Dallas, stands as a living testament to her lifelong work in aid of Dallas youth and residents. Instead of wishing to be known as a fighter for Black rights, Juanita Craft insists that her concern has always been with defending every American's civil rights.

Scope and Contents

This collection consists mainly of the accumulated pamphlets, newsletters, and reports issued by the NAACP and other agencies described in the series and includes a small amount of personal correspondence, papers, and Dallas NAACP activity documents. One particular item is a Dallas Youth Council scrapbook, prepared in the late 1950s. The members recorded civil rights activities with handbills, letters, and articles. The original scrapbook is mounted on highly acidic paper and has been stored for preservation and a copy has been placed in these papers. This has also been done for the newspaper clippings. NAACP printed materials supply information on official activities during these years, including the official monthly newsletter, The Crisis. The printed materials from other agencies follow. If only one or two printed documents exist for an agency, they are filed with like materials under a revelant subject, i.e., Black history, Dallas organizations, etc. Some interesting items worth noting are handwritten reports by Youth Council members concerning segregated amusements at the 1955 Texas State Fair, a voter registration workshop manual, specimens of Texas NAACP Freedom Bonds, an annual NAACP convention program from World War II with signed photographs, an issue of Bronze Woman from 1946, and several of Crafts membership certificates from the Dallas Negro Chamber of Commerce.



Organized by form of material


Arranged chronologically.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Craft, Juanita, 1902- --Archives.
Graggs, Charles R.
Subjects (Organizations)
Dallas Negro Chamber of Commerce.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People--Photographs.
South Dallas Inter-Racial Committee.
State Fair of Texas.
Texas State Conference of Branches of the NAACP.
Civil rights--United States.
Race relations.
Dallas, Texas

Related Material

Additional information available in Juanita Craft Collection, Dallas Public Library Texas/Dallas History and Archives Division

Administrative Information

Cite as

Juanita Jewel Shanks Craft Collection, 1939-1948, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Detailed Description of the Collection


Collection Inventory

3N321 Personal Papers:
1. Correspondence, 1941-1970
2. Certificates, cards, receipts and programs, 1939-1957
Dallas Youth Council:
3. Newsletter, notes and comments, 1954-1966
4. Scrapbook, 1957-1958
Dallas Chapter, NAACP:
5. Memorandums and manuals, 1954-1958
6. Programs, brochures, bonds, newsletters and press releases, 1947-1968
7. Charles R. Graggs, 1954-1955
8. Juanita Craft clippings, 1939-1969; 1983
NAACP Printed Materials:
9. Promotion and information pamphlets, 1948-1967; 1982
10. Printed statements and letters, 1951-1967
11. Convention programs and minutes, 1959-1969
12. Convention speeches, 1959-1966
3N322 NAACP Printed Materials:
1. Annual Reports, 1954, 1958, 1963, 1965
2. Reports for..., 1961-1964
3. Annual convention programs, 1944-1954
4. Annual convention programs, 1955-1964
5. Annual convention programs, 1965-1971
6. Newsletters, 1946-1968
3N323 NAACP Printed Materials:
1. The Crisis, 1946-1949
2. The Crisis, 1950-1954
3. The Crisis, 1955-1956
4. The Crisis, 1957
5. The Crisis, 1958-1960
6. The Crisis, 1961
3N324 NAACP Printed Materials:
1. The Crisis, 1962-1963
2. The Crisis, 1964
3. The Crisis, 1965-1966
4. The Crisis, 1967-1968
3N325 NAACP Printed Materials:
1. The Crisis, 1969-1972; 1983
2. Handbills, 1947-1964
Miscellaneous Printed Material:
3. U.S. government publications, 1950-1972
4. United Nations pamphlets, 1966
5. AFL-CIO pamphlets, 1964-1969
6. B'nai B'rith pamphlets, 1958-1959
7. Federal Nigeria, 1958-1959
8. The Workbasket, 1958
9. Dallas organizations pamphlets, 1950-1963
10. Black culture newsletters and magazines, 1946-1972
11. Black studies promotional catalogs and advertisements, 1946-1972
3N326 Miscellaneous Printed Material:
1. Black history pamphlets, 1941-1966
2. Political pamphlets, 1957-1970
3. Civil Rights pamphlets, 1960-1965
4. Open letters, announcements and mailers, 1944-1969
5. Miscellany
6. Oral History Transcript, 1979
2.325/D22a Dallas Youth Council scrapbook, 1957-1958
Photographs of NAACP leaders (unidentified)
3So34c Prints
3S105b Negatives