Helene Hilyer was the granddaughter of the first African American male graduate of the University of Minnesota. This 1939 graduation picture is included among the graduates from the School of Education. Her activities included membership in the sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha for African American women. The remainder of her activities focused on peace activism. The Minneapolis Spokesman lists her as an activist for the integration of student housing.
Hilyer was unable to find a job teaching in Minnesota because no one would hire African Americans. She moved to New York, and ultimately Hawaii where she held elected offices and was active in the Democratic Party.
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