“May the work I have done speak for me.”
Mrs. Lillian J. Huff was my friend, and I’m so delighted to have served on the renaming committee over the past two years. The idea of naming the Lamond-Riggs Library in Mrs. Huff’s honor began at her funeral, when one of her longtime friends, Rocky Twyman, spoke prior to his musical selection, saying, “We ought to rename the Lamond-Riggs Library in honor of Mrs. Lillian J. Huff.”
Soon after, the founder of the Friends of the Carter Barron Amphitheater organized a committee with honorary chair Twyman and former D.C. Mayor Sharon Pratt, to begin the renaming process by putting together the history of how Mrs. Huff had helped to birth the original Lamond-Riggs Library.
I’m pleased to have served on the first committee, working closely with Ms. Hightower, and later, the group reorganized under the leadership of Ward 4 resident Rodney Foxworth, Frank Wilds, Ward 5 community activist and Ms. Gloria Hightower as co-chairs. This committee did indeed finish the job!
To celebrate this great win, Foxworth, Wilds and Hightower have organized a committee celebration near the library. It will be held at Culture Coffee, located at Riggs Road and South Dakota Avenue in Northeast from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 11.
The committee will honor Mrs. Huff’s tireless efforts over 35 years to not only get the original library built but also to get funds set aside to rebuild it!
A brief program has been planned to honor Mrs. Huff and her efforts to get the library built. The group will acknowledge the committee members for working on this for nearly two years, and memories will be shared by Mrs. Huff’s daughter Diane Huff-Lyons.
Further, the committee has invited will acknowledge those elected officials who represent Lamond-Riggs.
Key officials who supported this effort includes Pratt, who testified and sent a letter of support to the Library Board, and current Mayor Muriel Bowser. Other invited guests include D.C. Council members, ANC commissioners and two U.S. congresswomen. Organizations adjacent to Lamond-Riggs plus others across the city who sent in letters of support at our request have also been invited, including DC Democratic Women’s Club President Jeannette Mobley.
Here is the approved resolution:
Whereas, Lillian J. Huff was an activist and organizer who, for nearly 20 years led the quest to attain a library in the Lamond-Riggs neighborhood;
Whereas, Lillian Huff was a tireless volunteer in the Lamond-Riggs community, devoting thousands of hours to improve education, health care, correctional institutions, community relations with the police force, services to young and elder individuals, and school lunch and food stamp programs, among other things;
Whereas, Lillian Huff served as the first President of the Friends of the Lamond-Riggs Library, Vice President of the Federation of Friends of DC Public Library, and President of the Lamond-Riggs Civic Association;
Whereas, Lillian Huff was instrumental in securing the funding from Congress to build the Lamond-Riggs Library, funding that was authorized in 1979, and the new library opened in 1983;
Whereas, she was the elected leader of the District of Columbia’s Delegation to the White House Conference on Libraries and Information Services in 1978, and was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to serve as the Vice-Chairperson of the Pre-White House Conference on Libraries and Information Services;
Whereas, the naming of a facility is an appropriate recognition for such a distinguished person and many in the community have expressed support for conferring this honor;
Whereas, the Library has received feedback from the community expressing the desire to also retain the neighborhood name on the building and that retaining the neighborhood name is in keeping with DC Public Library Board of Library Trustees policy;
Now therefore be it Resolved that the DC Pubic Library Board of Library Trustees hereby renames the Lamond-Riggs Library the “Lamond-Riggs / Lillian J. Huff Library.
Passed Unanimously on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 at 6:42 P.M by The DC Public Library Board of Trustees.
On a personal note, it was because of my relationship with Mrs. Huff that I got my chance to be on the radio, this month, on June 8, 2022, celebrating the 12th year of Radio One’s “The Lyndia Grant Show” on Spirit 1340 WYCB. Thank you Mrs. Huff was helping me to get my start when the husband of former School Board Member, the late Barbara Lett-Simmons passed, when Mrs. Huff asked me to drive her to Ms. Simmons home to pay her respects.
That evening lasted for hours, ending when Mrs. Huff asked Barbara Lett-Simmons, “Who is going to host your radio show while you’re off grieving and planning the funeral for your husband?” There was my chance! Having searched unsuccessfully by applying, it was done! Hosting for Mrs. Simmons lasted a couple months, followed by a second yearlong opportunity to host for her during her illness. It gave me my start in radio!
It was my pleasure to serve along with the co-chairs and committee to make the Lamond-Riggs Library renaming a reality! Mrs. Lillian J. Huff, the works you have done do indeed speak for you.
Lyndia Grant is a speaker/writer living in the D.C. area. Her radio show, “Think on These Things,” airs Fridays at 6 p.m. on 1340 AM (WYCB), a Radio One station. To reach Grant, visit her website, www.lyndiagrant.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 240-602-6295. Follow her on Twitter @LyndiaGrant and on Facebook.