In celebration of Black History Month, Tyler Junior College will welcome Judge Morris Overstreet as featured speaker for its Distinguished Lecture Series.
Overstreet is the first African American elected to statewide office in the history of the state of Texas. He served as Texas State Court of Criminal Appeals, the state’s highest criminal appellate court, from 1990 to 1998. As a member of the court, he authored more than 500 opinions.
The lecture will be held 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22, in Jean Browne Theatre on the TJC main campus. Admission is free, but seating is limited and registration is required. To register for free tickets, go to www.tjc.edu/events and click on the Feb. 22 Distinguished Lecture Series link.
The TJC Distinguished Lecture Series was established to promote cultural awareness, tolerance and understanding through enlightened education and authentic discussion.
Overstreet is a graduate of Amarillo High School and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology, with minors in biology and chemistry, from Angelo State University in San Angelo.
He earned his Juris Doctor degree from Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston, in 1975. He returned to Amarillo to practice law and raise his family.
Before taking the bench, Overstreet served for five years as a prosecutor in the 47th Judicial District at the District Attorney’s Office in Amarillo, where he advanced to First Assistant District Attorney.
He also presided over the Potter County Court at Law Number 1 in Amarillo for four years.
In the community, he served as Sunday school superintendent and member of Mount Zion Baptist Church and general counsel to the Texas Baptist Convention. He has been a frequent lecturer for the State Bar of Texas, Texas District and County Association, Texas Municipal Court Education Center and the NAACP.