Last year, Juneteenth became an official holiday — the first national holiday to be signed into law since MLK Day (today) in 1983. The law is in no small part thanks to Fort Worth’s Opal Lee, who worked for decades to commemorate Juneteenth (June 19), the day slavery in the US was abolished following the Civil War. But Opal’s other dream is about to become a reality, too: A National Juneteenth Museum will be built in her hometown. Here’s what we know so far.
📝 The facts
- What: A brand-new museum with national designation, dedicated to the history of Juneteenth + the abolition of slavery in the United States.
- Where: The new museum will be built where Lee’s current Juneteenth Museum resides at 901 E. Rosedale St. in the Historic Southside, but it will be a completely new development.
- When: There are plans to break ground this year — detailed designs were promised for after Jan. 1, so keep an eye out for those soon. Project completion is estimated for summer 2024.
- How: The museum will begin a national fundraising campaign this spring to raise $30 million, though a third was already donated in the campaign’s silent phase.
🍽️ The special features
The 50,000-sqft museum will feature historical galleries, a 250-seat theater, food hall, business incubator, and outdoor plaza.
The project will also include 55 residential units, designed to infuse residents back into the Southside neighborhood.
Organizers plan to break ground in the first quarter of 2023 with an opening date scheduled for June 19, 2025.
💼 The business incubator
While Juneteenth is rooted in history, the museum will extend beyond the past to fortify Fort Worth’s Black community in Historic Southside. Plans for a business incubator will strengthen entrepreneurship and economic security in the neighborhood.
🖋️ The little details
One confirmed artifact the museum will house is the pen President Biden used to sign the law making Juneteenth a national holiday. We can’t wait to see what else the museum — one of many exciting local developments happening in 2022 — will bring to our city.