Craft Reconsidered: A Life in the Wind

Craft Reconsidered: A Life in the Wind will be conducted in spring, 2019 at The Adolphus Hotel/Dallas where Juanita Craft was employed as a bell maid from 1925-1934.  There she befriended First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt who played an instrumental role in the ascendancy of Craft’s social activist career, introducing her to William F. White, Mary McLeod Bethune and other national figures. The relationship between these two women from profoundly contrasting backgrounds continued for thirty years and is just part and parcel of the many relationships Juanita Craft nurtured and maintained with national, regional and local figures of her era.

Outside of academia, the Craft legacy with the broader public is fragile. Just as literary figures live on through the capacity of their work to engage successive generations of readers, so it is with social justice figures whose public memory lives on through the instructive authority and example of their courage in the face of daunting obstacles. However, in order to inspire their lives must be remembered.

In convening this broad mix of participants within the context of a daylong symposium, Craft Reconsidered seeks to reimagine the scope, context, and implications of Craft’s work and in so doing, enrich the primary historical record and inspire more scholarship in 20th century Texas Freedom Movements. Special focus will be placed on the testimonies of members of Craft’s NAACP youth councils, and those of public servants and younger activists who worked with her. Proceedings of Craft Reconsidered will be filmed and made available at Because of space limitations, this event is by invitation. Check back here beginning February 1, 2019 for further details or contact G Chandler Vaughan at

We look forward to your joining us at The Adolphus as we journey together through this inspiring history.


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