Craft Kids

Juanita J. Craft helped organize the Dallas Youth Council, which would become the model for youth organizations in NAACP chapters around the country. The young adults who were members of the Dallas Youth Council were called the Craft Kids.

(Pictured in photo from left to right: Rolando Medrano, Bessie Slider Moody, Diane Ragsdale, Pauline Medrano, Bob Lydia, Ricardo Medrano Sr., and Adam Medrano representing his Uncle, Pancho Medrano)

Juanita Craft as the NAACP Youth Council advisor for the Dallas branch, spearheaded a movement to end discrimination at the fair so that any person of any race could participate on any day they chose. Craft and members of the Youth Council decided to stage a boycott of the fair to draw attention to discriminatory practices. Teenagers, equipped with signs proclaiming “TODAY IS NEGRO APPEASEMENT DAY AT THE FAIR,” picketed the parade that began at the local black high school. While the Youth Council did not succeed in ending Negro Achievement Day, they were able to draw attention to the discrimination African Americans faced.

The Youth Council was given an award by the NAACP for their well organized and peaceful demonstration. In later years, adults took over picketing the fair. Achievement Day (fair planners dropped the “Negro” in 1957) officially ended in 1961, followed by the full desegregation of the fair later in the ’60s.

Learn more about the Juanita J. Craft Civil Rights House & Museum