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Daytona Beach library to honor James Huger

The Friends of the Library will celebrate the life and accomplishments of Dr. James Huger Sr. at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 11, at the Daytona Beach Regional Library, 105 E. Magnolia Ave., Daytona Beach.

150402_dt_focus01Huger, a civil rights trailblazer and pillar of the African-American community, took part in the library’s “Harvesting History” oral history project, initiated in 2014 to capture the rich cultural stories of residents who grew up in Daytona Beach during the civil rights era.

Members of the Friends group will play the video of Huger’s oral history, then host a reception honoring him.

Impressive career
Huger, who turned 100 on Jan. 4, earned his high school diploma and associate degree from Bethune-Cookman University when Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune was still at the helm.

He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia State University and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan.

As a member of the Montford Point Marines in the 1940s, Huger was named a sergeant major, the highest rank a non-commissioned officer could earn. He and other members of the all-Black group received the Gold Congressional Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama in 2011.

In addition to serving on many local boards, Huger was the first African-American to serve as a member and chairperson of the Volusia County Council, and he held a seat on the Daytona Beach City Commission for many years. President Jimmy Carter asked him to coordinate his presidential campaign in Florida.

Huger remains committed to his community and to young African-Americans. He has become a local legend devoting countless hours to supporting community service organizations in Volusia County and across the United States.

There is no charge for this event, but reservations are required. To reserve a seat, contact Deborah Shafer at dshafer@volusia.org or 386-257-6036, ext. 16264.

This event is part of the library’s Connecting with the Community series, a two-year program funded in part by a partnership grant from the Florida Humanities Council. In 2014, programs focused on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This year’s programs address contemporary issues and continuing traditions. Connecting with the Community programs are co-funded by the Friends of the Daytona Beach Library.

Grimes to speak at ACLU dinner
150402_dt_focus02A retired judge who broke racial barriers during his career headlines the annual American Civil Liberties (ACLU) dinner meeting at 6 p.m. Friday, April 17.  Judge Hubert Grimes, an expert in family law, will speak on “Our Children, Our Future: A Former Judge’s View From Beyond the Bench.”

In addition, F.A.I.T.H (Fighting Against Injustice Towards Humanity), an interfaith congregation-based community organization that focuses on ending injustice in Volusia County, will be awarded the Bob Stevenson Award at the dinner in recognition of its dedication to help the homeless community and its work in area of juvenile justice.

Grimes, a graduate of Kentucky State University, the University of Georgia Law School and International Seminary, in 1988 became the first African-American county judge in Volusia County. In 1999, he became the first Black circuit judge in the Seventh Judicial Circuit.

He retired in 2014 after 25 years on the bench.

Grimes distilled information from more than the 100,000 cases he presided over into a book titled “How to Keep Your Child from Going to Jail.’’

The annual meeting and dinner is open to the public. It will be held at The Grant Bly House, 842 East Florida Ave., DeLand.

For additional information, contact Jeanne Tanke at 386-492-3898.

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