Library Board of Trustees member, former Councilwoman Barbara Hudgins passes away

Barbara Hudgins editedAtlantic City Free Public Library Board of Trustees member and former Councilwoman Barbara Hudgins passed away this month at the age of 81.

Hudgins was appointed to the library board by Atlantic City Mayor Frank M. Gilliam, Jr., on Jan. 1, 2018.

“In Barbara's brief time serving on the Board of Trustees of the library, she was always passionate about the library and eager to work with other Board members and myself,” said Library Director Robert Rynkiewicz. “I appreciated her support of the staff, and I know that her love of this city will continue through all the many people that had the pleasure of working with her.”

Hudgins grew up in Durham, N.C., with her parents, seven sisters and one brother. She attended segregated public schools and went on an academic scholarship to nearby North Carolina Central, a predominantly black college where she studied math, English and science.

"I think it was in the back of my mind to be a teacher, but I wasn't really leaning that way when I entered," she recalled. (AC Press, June 9, 1990).

While going to school at North Carolina Central College, one professor's dedication and professionalism inspired her to become a teacher.

She began teaching in Chapel Hill, N.C., after graduating, but moved to Atlantic City after marrying city native Gene Hudgins, a basketball player with the Harlem Globetrotters, whom she met in the summer of 1957 while working as a waitress on Virginia Avenue.

She started working for Atlantic City High School in the early 1960s as a Mathematics teacher and worked there for more than 30 years before retiring.

In 1990, Hudgins ran for Atlantic City Council and won. She was the first African-American woman elected to council. After being elected at the first woman councilman-at-large she said, “That's what being a councilman at-large means - being a councilperson for all people.” (AC Press, June 13, 1990). Hudgins served on City Council from 1991-2001.