This Wikipedia article is one of the fruits of our first Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon. Special Collections has biographical files, an oral history and a book on Nellie Stone Johnson. There is also a file on her in the old Minneapolis Public Library archives.
Nellie was a pioneer in Minneapolis politics, a member of the Farmer-Labor side of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL) in Minnesota, she was the first African-American elected to citywide office in Minneapolis. Nellie was elected to the Minneapolis Public Library board in 1945.
From the History Theater:
Civil rights and labor activist Nellie Stone Johnson was a Minnesota hero. Her feisty spirit and drive to succeed made her a political force to be reckoned with on issues of social justice, labor rights, and equality. Renowned playwright Kim Hines tells the remarkable story of a young African-American woman who moved from a farm in northern Minnesota to Minneapolis to attend the U of M. In the face of discrimination at her job Nellie fought back by organizing workers to form a union, breaking numerous race and gender barriers along way.