Barbara Hudgins donated these papers to the Atlantic City Free Public Library in November 2013. They include personal papers, as well as papers created for her job as a councilmember. There are autobiographical statements, news clippings, photographs, minutes from City Council committees and other types of organizations.
Barbara Ann Lyon Hudgins, a native of Durham, North Carolina, was the first African American woman elected to the Atlantic City Council. She served as an at-large councilmember from 1990 to 2001. She was also the first female elected as a councilmember at-large. On the City Council, she chaired the Public Works Committee, the Planning and Development Committee, and the Cable Advisory Committee. She encouraged women to become politically involved, creating The Pink Brigade, political action committee in 1993. She also chaired the Atlantic City Democratic Committee and coordinated local efforts for state and national political campaigns. In addition she co-founded the African American Alliance of Atlantic County in 1998. The daughter of Leonard and Mable Lyon, she was born in 1937. Barbara attended public school in Durham and graduated from North Carolina Central University in 1959 with a Bachelor of Science in Math. After graduation she traveled to Atlantic City, New Jersey, where she met her future husband, Eugene “Gene” Hudgins, a city resident and Harlem Globetrotters basketball player. They had a daughter, Gena, and later divorced. Mrs. Hudgins taught high school math, first for one year in North Carolina, and then at Atlantic City High School from 1962 to 1992. She served on various local and statewide committees to evaluate and improve high school math education. As president of the Atlantic City Education Association, she negotiated salary increases for the teachers. She was recognized as an outstanding educator on multiple occasions, including as Teacher of the Year in 1989 by the Atlantic City Education Association. After her tenure on City Council, Mrs. Hudgins continued her community involvement. She lobbied for the expansion of the Dolphins football facility, supported the Brigantine-Connector project, and brought in specialists to ensure an accurate 2000 Census county of Atlantic City. She was awarded a Medal of Freedom by the New Jersey Conference of the NAACP in 2006 and a“Lifetime of Service” recognition from the Atlantic City Free Public Library in 2015.