WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture (The Alliance) is debuting a traveling exhibition at MSU Texas in honor of Charlye O. 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 Reconstruction.
“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,” said Margie Reese, Senior Program Director for The Alliance. “There are countless people who are standing on her shoulders that she never met. That is a legacy.”
The Charlye Farris exhibition opens on January 27 at MSU Texas inside of the Clark Student Center.
An opening reception will take place on February 1 at 1 p.m. at the Atrium inside the student center. It will include remarks from Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom and former Wichita County District Attorney and friend of Farris Barry Macha.
“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.”
The traveling exhibition will be at MSU Texas until February 11. It will then travel to the Martin Luther King Center on Smith Street from February 17 to March 5. Finally, the Museum of North Texas History will host the exhibition from March 10 to March 17.
The exhibition is part of The Legends Project, a preservation project created by the Wichita Falls Alliance of Arts and Culture to highlight the contributions of African-American leaders in our community.