The Plano African American Museum (PAAM) will reopen its doors this weekend with an exhibition titled “This is Douglass: Faith, Family, Forever” that will highlight longtime Douglass Community residents.
Having closed in 2011 just 7 years after it opened due to a lack of funding the museum is now set to open a couple of days before Juneteenth after more than a decade of being closed to the public.
According to the museum’s website, despite being closed for so many years “the community continued to collect and celebrate the rich history, heritage, and culture of African – Americans in the Douglass Community.”
The museum will now hold its official reopening from 2 pm until 7 pm this Saturday offering free admission to all who come.
Located inside the historical Thornton House at 900 13th Street, the museum resembles a home from the early 1900s and can be found in a residential area of Plano’s Douglass Community, a historically Black neighborhood.
Although the museum will open on Juneteenth weekend, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States, it will not center entirely around the enslavement of Black people according to Dollie Thomas, a member of the museum’s board of directors and the daughter of the museum’s founder, Ben Thomas.
Thomas hopes to focus on the area’s family histories, Black-made artwork, and Black-owned businesses as well as hold lecture series, financial literacy classes, and digital literacy workshops in the future.
With the right funding and support, Thomas believes it could grow into the biggest African American museum in North Texas.
Museum hours will be announced the official reopening this Saturday.
More information can be found at planoafricanamericanmuseum.org.
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