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Plano African American Museum To Reopen

Juneteenth celebrations will also be held on June 17, 2023
Photo: Plano African American Museum

On June 17, 2023, the Plano African American Museum (PAAM) will reopen. It is the only museum dedicated to Black history in Collin County.

The museum is located at 900 13th Street in the Douglass Community — Plano’s historically Black neighborhood, founded in the mid-1800s. The museum will host exhibitions that celebrate and educate visitors about the rich African American culture that’s part of Plano history. The museum is located inside the historic Thornton House, built in the early 1900s, and shows how a home like this would be furnished at the beginning of the 20th century.

“This is a place where people can come in and learn more about their own family genealogy and

personal history,” said Dollie Thomas, a member of the PAAM board of directors and daughter

of the museum’s original champion, Ben Thomas.

After its initial opening in 2006, PAAM welcomed the public for several years. But, the museum faced closure when its primary funding ceased. However, the formation of a new board of directors assisted in a reopening. Their collective efforts aim to restore the museum and reestablish it as a vital cultural institution.

Over the past couple of years, the board members and dedicated volunteers worked to restore the interior of PAAM. They also expanded the museum's permanent collection, which now includes an array of photographs, books and artifacts that depict life in Plano's Black community spanning the last century. In addition to the displays, the museum will regularly host temporary exhibitions, and the board has plans to initiate an enlightening lecture series in the near future.

The museum's reopening on June 17th coincides with Juneteenth festivities. The museum invites the public to visit between 2-7 p.m. and experience the exhibition titled "This is Douglass: Faith, Family, Forever." 

This display will showcase a collection of photographs contributed by longtime residents of the neighborhood, providing an intimate glimpse into their lives. The museum also created a dedicated children's area where young visitors can engage in arts and crafts. 

Juneteenth activities will also be hosted just down the street at the Douglass Community Center (1111 H Avenue), and a parade will pass through the neighborhood. More information on all of the Juneteenth activities can be found at