Lithonia honors late councilwoman with street sign topper

Lithonia’s first African-American councilwoman was honored posthumously Oct. 28 with a street sign topper.

Lithonia elected officials joined the family of the late Maggie “MC” Woods for the unveiling of a street sign topper that displays Woods’ name at the corner of Magnolia Street and Williams Reynolds Grant Drive, in front of the home where she lived.

Woods became the first African-American councilwoman in Lithonia in 1972. She was a resident of Lithonia from 1935 until her death in 2009. She raised her eight children in the city, including her daughter Marcia Glenn Hunter, who would become Lithonia’s first African-American female mayor in 1995, her son Jerome Woods, who was appointed as police chief in 1981, and her daughter Barbara Lester, who served on the city council in the early 2000s.

Maggie “MC” Woods became the first African-American councilwoman in Lithonia in 1972.

Lithonia Mayor Deborah Jackson said it was Lester who came to numerous city council meetings to propose having the street corner dedicated to her mother.

“We’re so happy to be able to do this unveiling,” Jackson said. “We think it’s important that we continue to recognize our history and those who have come before us because those of us who are currently here stand on the shoulders of those who laid the groundwork for us.”

City officials said the street dedication “will serve as a reminder of civic awareness and sacrifice to the residents and visitors of Lithonia for years to come, as well as a testament that individuals and communities of all ethnic and religious backgrounds are united in the cause of service to humanity.”

While holding back tears, Lester, the oldest of Woods’ eight children, said the street sign topper means a lot to her.
“Mother really cared about this place and she cared about us,” she said. “I am just thrilled to tell anybody that I’m from Lithonia. This is just wonderful, and I am really happy that it’s happened.”

Maggie “MC” Woods became the first African-American councilwoman in Lithonia in 1972.

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