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WFAAC to debut exhibition on life of Civil Rights icon

Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 5:13 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - The Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture is debuting a traveling exhibition in honor of Charlye Farris.

Farris was the first African American woman licensed to practice law in Texas, the first African-American attorney in Wichita County and the first African-American to serve as a judge in the South since the Reconstruction era.

The exhibition will open on Thursday, Jan. 27 at MSU Texas inside of the Clark Student Center, and will remain there until Feb. 11.

“It’s not often we have the chance to honor someone that is so close to us and so close to our community. This is our chance,” Margie Reese, senior program director for The Alliance, said. “There are countless people who are standing on her shoulders that she never met. That is a legacy. "

An opening reception will take place on Feb. 1 at 1 p.m. at the Atrium inside of the student center. Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom and former Wichita County District Attorney Barry Macha will provide remarks.

“It was my good fortune to have known Charlye Ola Farris for over 30 years,” Macha said. “The years did not diminish her elegance, and the prejudice she endured did not make her bitter or resentful. She remained soft-spoken and humble and represented all that is good and honorable about the legal profession. She was a hero to me and a role model to emulate.”

After its time at MSU Texas, the exhibit is scheduled to move to the Martin Luther King Center on Smith Street from Feb. 17 to March 5, and then to the Museum of North Texas History from March 10 to March 17.

The exhibition is part of The Legends Project, which a preservation project created by The Alliance to highlight the contributions of African American leaders in the community.

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