Sunday, March 8, 2009

Clayton State to Hold Naming Ceremony for Lucy C. Huie Hall

Clayton State University will officially name its Jonesboro facility in honor of long-time Jonesboro resident and former Clayton State University Foundation trustee Lucy C. Huie on Thursday, Mar. 26.

The naming ceremony for Lucy C. Huie Hall will take place at Huie Hall at 11 a.m. Formerly the Clayton State University Aviation Training Center, Huie Hall is located on land donated by Huie adjacent to the Clayton County Justice Center, at 9157 Tara Blvd. in Jonesboro. The facility is currently used by Clayton State’s Division of Continuing Education.

One of the local pioneers of the Civil Rights movement through her participation in Help Our Public Education (HOPE), an organization formed to counter the threat to close down the public school system rather than allow any black child to attend school with whites, Huie has a history of public service that dates back to the days of Brown v. Board of Education.

“It [HOPE] was needed much more in outside counties than in Atlanta. One of the jobs was to influence public opinion,” Huie recalls. Of course, some public opinion was harder to influence than others. Huie and her husband Arthur had three crosses burned on their lawn in the late 50s and early 60s.

Huie originally studied to become a librarian, and at one point in her schooling, left the south to attend college in Colorado.

“In Colorado the public restrooms were not segregated by color. They were not [segregated] at the University of Denver, so I had seen another way of life,” she points out.

A social worker later in life, Huie also conducted a number or oral history interviews in Clayton County. Now a widow in her eighties, she still exhibits the self confidence and openness to new ideas that made her a leader in the Clayton County HOPE movement.

“Her sense of responsibility to her community still guides her life,” says Clayton State Associate Professor of History Dr. Kathryn Kemp, who has interviewed Huie extensively. “Lucy and Arthur Huie and the other HOPE supporters may not be equivalent to the great martyrs and famous heroes of the civil rights movement, but the willingness of people like these to lead their communities a step forward was also essential to the progress of the greatest American social movement of the century.”

The public is invited to the naming ceremony for Huie Hall, however, an RSVP is required. Please RSVP to Linda Castleberry at (678) 466-4470 by Monday, Mar. 23.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.
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