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Introducing the Honorable Angela Tucker

  Mark Friday June 29, 2012 as the day Angela Tucker was sworn in to the 199th District Court to become the first African/American to be elected to a county wide position. Congratulations are in order.


  Despite a long and challenging campaign, her perseverance and the support of those she lovingly calls Team Tucker prevailed.
  With a full house that included a large contingent of family, friends, supporters, and black robes, the Honorable Angela Tucker showed her trademark wit and loving nature as she captivated the full house.
  If you were one of the 19,508 who voted for Angela Tucker, you too were a part of history!
  Following the welcome by Judges Jill Willis and the John Roach Jr a joyfully tearful introduction to the newly elected judge was provided by Judge Cynthia Wheless. The sage words of the Honorable Carolyn Wright were followed by the historic swearing in.


  The following is a story I wrote over two years ago. Angela's family story is one you should be proud to share and I am proud to have written.


History in the Making
By J.B. Blocker
In the nearly 170 year history of Collin County, Texas, there has never been
an African/ American who has been elected to a judge’s bench. I didn’t believe it myself.  I called the District Clerks office to confirm this. Other than Republican Chair Fred Moses, who is not a public servant, no African American has been elected to any office in Collin County!
The Colors of America
  Johnny Hill had blonde hair, hazel eyes, and light skin. In a family of 11 children, the mixture of colors was wide ranging. Of the 7 children in Johnny Hill’s family, 3 were dark, 3 were very light, and one was red headed and fair. There was obviously a lot of white and Native American mixed in with African American in Johnny Hill. In the pre-70’s, color was still a major barrier in North Texas. The Hills lived in a family of many colors in Sherman, Texas.
  North Texas made huge economic growth through cotton in the mid 1800’s. Until the Civil War, cotton was truly a King in North Texas.  Labor was needed from planting to harvest. After that, the cotton would need to be seeded and carded. With the advent of the cotton gin, much of the labor was replaced significantly. The very wealthy were used to slave labor and domestic servants.
  Johnny could often enter through the front door of establishments that had a rear door entry marked ‘Colored’. 
  “Once, recalls granddaughter Angela, my grandparents pulled up to a restaurant in Sherman, Texas and my mother was told to wait in the car. My grandfather went in the front door as he always did. Shortly after, my mother jumped out of the car and ran inside.  He was never allowed in through the front door again! He was one of those very light black men (now it’s African/American) that could ‘pass’ until his roots were revealed.”
  This was the life of Angela Tucker and her family in North Texas. Her grandfather Johnny was a laborer who often worked many jobs in order to provide. Her beloved grandmother was a ‘domestic’ who sewed, cleaned, and cooked for well heeled ‘white folks’. They were God fearing, honest, hard working, and committed to doing the right thing.
   Angela explains, “I don’t care what people want to call me! Colored, African/American, or Black. I am a proud American, a Christian, and Texas woman.”  Angela married a man who is a mixture of American Indian and African American. Their two children reflect this mixture of cultures.
Expectations?
  Angela recalls, “Once, in middle school I was called to the principals office during class. This had never happened to me before and I was a little nervous. I had never been in trouble. I always made excellent grades, participated in most sports, and worked toward my goal for an academic scholarship so I could be a lawyer one day.”
  “When I got to the office, my mother was there! She had been called from work by the school counselor. The purpose of the meeting was one I will never forget. He informed us that Sherman schools tracked grades from 6th grade and that I was the only colored student to always make honors grades!”
  What she remember is her mother’s response.  “You mean I had to leave work so you could tell me my daughter is doing what she is supposed to do?”
  “When I was 6 years old, my parents divorced. My father had money enough to hire a better attorney.  Due to the poor representation my mother, brother, and I ended up living in a two room apartment. Even at that young age, I knew I wanted to be a lawyer so that I could protect those like my mom. That was a motivating force for doing my very best in school. That and the example set by my mother and grandparents.”
Building a Resume
  Angela went on to be voted most likely to succeed and received an academic scholarship to the University of Texas.  She followed that with an SMU law degree before joining the D.A.’s staff. After four years as a prosecutor, she opened her own practice.
  Angela’s law practice rounded out her exposure to the defense side of a judicial bench. The years of private practice would provide the experience she would need to manage a court with efficiency and with fairness.
Black in America
 Q: When did you decide to run for a judge’s seat?
Tucker: I was watching the series ‘Black in America’. I was not only moved by some of the stories of greatness in overcoming racism but also just their doing the most with the gifts and opportunities God has laid before them.  My grandmother always taught us ‘when much is given, much is required. I was really motivated by that TV show. I sat up thinking over it and something inside me said, it is time for me to get off the side lines and live up to my beliefs of justice for all. When I approached my friends and my inner circle, I asked them if they thought I was ready. My support group is now an anchor and a whip. If I wasn’t motivated before, I am driven now. I know I can be a fair and competent judge.
Q: What motivates you to become a judge?
Tucker:  I never wanted to be a Politician. I was taught right is right and wrong is wrong. My family did not see grey. Some are in it for position; some are in it for power, and some because of politics. I take a stand point of a servant leader. When I was just a little girl, I was signed up to be an usher at my church. I am still an usher to this day and wouldn’t want to give that interaction up.
Q: You are called and over achiever and workaholic. How does that help you as a judge?
Tucker: That amuses me. At the D.A.’s office, they said I turned off the lights. My former partners said the same thing. In my opinion, what others call workaholic, I call being responsible. Why go to bed when you can’t sleep because there are things you need to do? I just call it working hard, just like my family has always done.  A judge should be motivated, respect the time and cost to the clients and their attorneys, and be active in their community. Being a judge does not exclude you from public service off the bench.
Q: Why do you feel you are the best candidate for District court?
Tucker: The District court handles civil cases over $100,000, all felony crimes, all family and CPS cases. The judge is part of the Juvenile Board for which I am very passionate. They make decisions that can save or cost the county hundreds of thousands of dollars. They try death penalty cases which is a huge financial obligation for the tax payers.  I am qualified having tried numerous capital murder cases.
  Angela Tucker's bio on is extensive with achievements, involvements, and associations. By all accounts, she is one of those who not only strives toward doing her very best, she does it.  With a family comprised of a dozen races, she is far from being racially motivated. She is human rights oriented.
  In our interview, she didn't bring up her public service involvements which are life long and many. Others had to do that. She never brought up the race card. That was me because I just couldn’t grasp the fact that she would be the 1st African/American judge in Collin County. Angela doesn’t see color. She sees human beings. If she is elected, she doesn’t want race to be the issue. She stands on her work and she stands for equal treatment under the law. Her color is American.



- J.B. Blocker is a media consultant based in Collin County in North Texas. Advertise with J.B. by calling 469-334-9962. Email: jbnorthtexas@gmail.com

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