Iola Williams, a former Hattiesburg resident, served her hometown in a number of ways. During her time in the Hub City here she served as director of recreation and community relations and as executive director of the African-American Military History Museum. It was Williams’ efforts that kept the building from being torn down and transformed into the piece of history it is today.
She was also a member of the Hattiesburg Convention Commission.
But before she retired back to her hometown, Williams served as the first
African-American elected to the San Jose City Council, holding the position for 12 years, including two terms as vice mayor of the California city.
A reporter with The San Jose Mercury Press talked to those who remember her as a trailblazer.
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