U. S. News
National Juneteenth Museum appoints a Fort Worth native as CEO
Dallas, Texas – Jarred Howard, Chief Executive Officer of the National Juneteenth Museum, fondly recalls his family and neighbors’ annual celebrations of the holiday. Today, his responsibility is to educate the public on the significance of Juneteenth. As a fifth-generation resident of Fort Worth, Howard asserts that his role transcends the confines of the museum and extends into the community, serving as a catalyst for the city’s growth and improvement in the quality of life, according to a Dallas County local news outlet, Dallas Metro News.
Situated at the intersection of Evans Avenue and Rosedale Street in Fort Worth’s Historic Southside neighborhood, the National Juneteenth Museum is a 50,000-square-foot facility dedicated to showcasing the vitality and essence of Black culture, history, and commerce. The museum will also feature a food hall for local chefs, a business incubator, a theater for live performances, a versatile event space, and various other amenities. The Juneteenth Museum seeks to raise $70 million, with plans to open its doors in June 2025.
The project’s mission holds great importance for Howard, who stresses the need to create economic opportunities in a long-neglected neighborhood. He contends that the Historic Southside embodies the heart of Black culture, history, and commerce, supporting mainstream businesses even before the arrival of African Americans.
Executive strategist Lauren Cross, board chair Gleniece Robinson, civil rights icon Opal Lee, her granddaughter, and Unity Unlimited, Inc. founder Dione Sims all join Howard in this endeavor. At a news conference in March, Cross expressed that the importance of Juneteenth goes beyond her identity as a Texas native and descendant of enslaved people—it holds significance for her as a global citizen.
Juneteenth commemorates the day when slaves in Galveston, Texas, learned of their freedom. Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in the city on June 19, 1865, two months after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s surrender and two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. Though celebrated for over 150 years, Juneteenth became a federal holiday only in 2021, largely due to Lee’s efforts in walking from Fort Worth to Washington D.C. to advocate for its recognition.
The importance of a National Juneteenth Museum cannot be understated. Cross articulates that the impact of the Juneteenth story resonates with everyone, not just the African diaspora. It serves as a vital and relevant testament to American history and culture, preserving the essence of Black history in Fort Worth and reflecting the dynamic cultural landscape of the United States.