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S.A.’s First African American Federal Judge

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Courtesy of U.S. District Court (WD Texas) and Whitehouse Judicial Nominees websites.

Judge Jason Pulliam, TSU Thurgood Marshall Alum – First African American to Serve on U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas

Published on August 11, 2019

Jason K. Pulliam, a class of 2000 graduate of Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law, made history August 9, 2019, when he was sworn in by Chief U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia as the First African American to serve on U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, since it was established by Congress on February 21, 1857. It is one of ninety-four U.S. District Courtsthat presides over general trials in the United States federal courts. The court convenes in San Antonio but has divisions in Austin, Del Rio, El Paso, Midland, Pecos, and Waco.

Tom Reel, Staff / Staff photographer/SA Express-News

U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) recommended Judge Pulliam to President Donald Trump as a candidate to the fill a vacancy on the Western District of Texas Court. OnMarch 5, 2019, President Donald Trump (R) nominated Judge Pulliam and on April 3, 2019, the U.S. Senate voted 51-48 in favor of a change to chamber precedent lowering the maximum time allowed for debate on executive nominees to district court judgeships. Judge Pulliam was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy on July 31, 2019, by a vote of 54-36. He received his commission on August 5, 2019.

Federal Judge Nominee, Jason Pulliam at Senate Judiciary Committee Nomination Hearing

 Judge Pulliam’s legal career began immediately after graduating from law school. He honorably served as a Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Marines, as a Staff Judge Advocate from 2000-2004. Following his military service, Judge Pulliam worked as an attorney for William “Bill” Ford at the law firms of Ball & Weed, P.C. and Ford & Massey, P.C. His distinguished judicial career began in 2011, as Judge for the Bexar County Court at Law No. 5 (San Antonio), until 2015. In January 2015, former Governor Rick Perry appointed Judge Pulliam as the First African American man to serve as a Justice on the Texas Fourth District Court of Appeals (San Antonio), from 2015 to 2016. Most recently, he was Of Counsel with Prichard Young PLLC, a product liability and business/commercial litigation firm, from 2017 to 2019. He has represented clients before various Texas courts, U.S. District Court for Western District of Texas, Eastern District of Texas, and Southern District of Texas.

Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law (founder in 1946)

 Judge Pulliam earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from City University of New York and a Juris Doctor degree from Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law. He holds active memberships in various legal, civic, and professional organizations. Congratulations Judge Pulliam on your lifetime appointment to the federal bench.

Information provided in this article was compiled from San Antonio Express-News, Ballotpedia, U.S. District Court (WD Texas), and Whitehouse Judicial Nominees websites.

Dr. Reginal D. Harris, a Law Clerk for the Law Offices of Bell & White, PLLC, in San Antonio, Texas. He is a 2018 graduate (honors) of Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law. Dr. Harris completed two judicial externships at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas under Senior Federal Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt; an externship with the Innocence Project at the Earl Carl Institute of Legal & Social Policy Inc.; a criminal and civil clerkship at Roberts Markland PLLC law firm; and an public service internship at Lone Star Legal Aid of Houston Inc. (Military and Veterans Unit).

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Reginal D. Harris, JD, PharmD, RPh, CPh, cMTM

Reginal D. Harris, JD, PharmD, RPh, CPh, cMTM

“Education is the greatest equalizer to attaining success.” -My Grandma, Mrs. Judie A. Belvin

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Jason K. Pulliam, a class of 2000 graduate of Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law, made history August 9, 2019, when he was sworn in by Chief U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia as the First African American to serve on U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, since it was established by Congress on February 21, 1857.

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Downtown SA Lights Up for the Holidays

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Downtown San Antonio will sparkle this holiday season with an array of lights and holiday events. 

Set against the backdrop of one of the city’s most historic and charming walkways, five blocks of Houston Street will buzz with twinkling lights, decorations, entertainers, and vendors from Nov. 24 and runs through January 2. 

 Additionally, on Nov. 24, kick off the holiday festivities with the Annual H-E-B Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Travis Park. Festivities begin at 4 p.m. and include live entertainment, food trucks, letters to Santa, giveaways, holiday crafts, a special visit from Santa, and a movie screening of “The Grinch.” The tree-lighting ceremony begins at 6 p.m., followed by the movie at 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. 

Get front-row seats to the 42nd Annual Ford Holiday River Parade, which offers a spectacular one-hour parade along the San Antonio River Walk starting at 6 pm at the Tobin Center. This year’s theme, “Holiday Stories,” will kick off the San Antonio tradition. Always held the day after Thanksgiving, the parade and river lighting ceremony will feature 28 illuminated floats and over 100,000 lights (2,250 strands) illuminating the River Walk. The lights turn on from sundown to sunrise every day until the weekend following New Year’s Day. Seating ranges from $15 to $40. It is broadcast live at 7 p.m. at the Arneson River Theatre.

The Rotary Ice Rink, presented by Valero, will also return this fall at Travis Park in downtown San Antonio. Since 2019, nearly 200,000 people have enjoyed the rink and surrounding festivities. For more information, including hours of operation, pricing, and specials, visit (rotaryicerink.com).

For more events, go to (VisitSanAntonio.com).

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Black Life Texas

Carver Annual Fundraiser Dec. 2

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The Carver Development Board presents the Cavalcade of the Stars on Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Center. 

This annual fundraiser benefits the Carver’s School for Visual & Performing Arts’ Artist Residency/Master Class Program, summer camps, Youth Matinee Series, and supports the education programs of the Carver Community Cultural Center. The title fundraiser is Valero.

The night will start with a reception and silent auction at 5:30 pm. Dinner is served at 6:30 pm, and the show begins at 8 pm featuring Kiland Kyham, also known as Mr. Houston. Kyham is a gifted and powerful author, singer, and songwriter. He has performed and produced with such music legends as Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Johnathon Butler, and Smokey Robinson. He has written over 400 song jingles and has produced numerous projects. 

For over 75 years, The Carver Community Cultural Center (“The Carver”) has served as the San Antonio Eastside’s foremost gathering place of cultural exchange and performance arts. It was originally erected in 1918 as a community center for African-Americans. By the 1930s, the building was repurposed as the Colored Library and renamed the Carver Library and Auditorium in honor of Dr. George Washington Carver. From the 1940s through the Civil Rights Era, prominent African-American entertainers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Louis Armstrong played at the Carver. 

Individual tickets for the Cavalcade of the Stars are $250 or $2,500 per table. For more information, visit (TheCarver.org).

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Black Life Texas

Free Native American Festival at the Briscoe

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Highlighting the continued vibrancy and artistic traditions of Native American communities – and the local tribes who helped shape San Antonio – the Briscoe Western Art Museum invites everyone to enjoy its annual Yanaguana Indian Arts Festival on Saturday, Nov. 11, from 10 am to 4 pm. 

The event is free and includes admission to the Briscoe, making it a perfect way to celebrate the vital role Native Americans played in shaping the West while enjoying art and artifacts that highlight Native American history.

The community festival features live performances, storytelling, artist demonstrations, pottery and carving, as well as Native American-inspired food, including REZR’vation Only, a food truck featuring Native American-inspired cuisine that is owned and operated by a registered member of the Navajo Nation. The event starts with a Native American spiritual blessing, followed by a ceremonial drum circle that invites everyone to join. 

The annual event is named in honor of the Payaya people, who were indigenous to the San Antonio area. “Yanaguana” was the word they used to describe what is now known as the San Antonio River. The festival has been held annually since the museum opened, with 2020’s event taking place virtually. 

To learn more, visit (BriscoeMuseum.org). 

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