Peabody High 1968 Graduates Write About Growing Up in the Segregated South

Dr. Helen Benjamin and 24 co-authors wrote a historical narrative about growing up in the segregated South.

They were 1968 graduates of Peabody High School.


Co-Editor and Contributor Dr. Helen Benjamin says, “Because young people know today know very little about what happened and what our lives were like.”


Dr. Helen Benjamin felt their stories needed to be shared and preserved.

“This was an opportunity for us to come together, those people who actually lived it, who experienced it, who got through it, and who became successful, regardless of what the definition of success is, in their own words, would get to tell it, and share it with others rather than have others tell the story the story for us.”


She says How We Got Over: Growing Up in the Segregated South: A Collection of Narratives stands out because it’s historical, well-researched, and personal.


“That’s what we wanted. We wanted this book to educate people, to inspire people, and our people can see themselves in this book.”

Dr. Benjamin says the Peabody Class of 1968 grew closer while writing the book.


Book Contributor Joseph Jett says, “And we had dreams, that’s about all we had, so it was just something we felt we had to get out and let them know it wasn’t, says as easy as it is now.


Dr. Helen Benjamin says, “And they have been very positive, purchasing the book, participating in the various book signings and book talks we’ve had in different parts of town, that reaction has been very positive and we’re most grateful.”


Book Contributor Rosa Ashby Metoyer says, “Growing up in the 60s in Alexandria, although it wasn’t different from everybody else, it was a story in itself, so I wanted my little piece in the story to be told as well.”


Dr. Helen Benjamin encourages African Americans to teach their children about their history.

“But not only our history, just history in general because history is what feeds the future.”


She says being active and voicing your concerns about the school curriculum can change the way schools teach black history.

Dr. Helen Benjamin travels across the country to promote her book and educate the youth.



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