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Helena Hicks, civil rights activist who helped desegregate Read's lunch counter, dies at 88


(Baltimore, MD) -- The civil rights activist who helped lead desegregation efforts at the old Read's drug store lunch counter, Helena Hicks, has died.

Hicks was 88 and lived in Northwest Baltimore when she died from pneumonia last Thursday.

As a young girl, Hicks picketed Baltimore's Ford's Theatre over its Jim Crow admission policies.

She went on to receive a master's degree from Howard University and a doctorate from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Hicks joined a group of other students who successfully protested the segregation policy at the Read's drug store at Howard and Lexington Streets.

The protest preceded the historic sit-in in Greensboro, North Carolina, by almost five years.

Following the protest, the president of the drugstore chain dropped its racial barrier at its eating establishments.

Hicks retired as a director in the city's Department of Human Resources.

24/7 News Source contributed to this article.