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24 writers help publish a book about living in Alexandria during segregation

24 writers help publish a book about living in Alexandria during segregation
Published: Jan. 15, 2022 at 8:10 PM CST
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Many people gathered at the Rapides Parish Library on Saturday to support the release of a new book titled, How We Got Over, which tells the stories of what it was like growing up in Central Louisiana during segregation.

“We need to record the things that happened to us,” said Helen Benjamin, the editor for the book. “History is important, and as African Americans, many times people tell our stories. We should be telling our own stories from our own perspectives.”

The book is written by 24 different authors, all revealing their own personal stories about what life was like in Alexandria back in the 1950s and 60s and how the impacts of that time shaped them as adults.

During the book signing event, several authors read an excerpt from their portion of the book to talk about their own experiences.

All of the authors of the book have a special connection coming from the Class of 1968 from Peabody High School. For years now, they have looked for ways to give back and educate the youth about the history of Alexandria.

Back in 2016, that same class decided to raise money amongst themselves to start a scholarship. In total, they raised $10,000 and used that to award a $1,000 scholarship to a student. Now, they will use the money they earn from the proceeds and use it for the scholarship.

“Peabody is such a great school and means so much to anyone who attended,” said Benjamin. “The proceeds for this book, after we pay out our expenses, will go to the continuation of that annual scholarship.”

Copies of the book can be found just about everywhere online. They are planning on having a physical copy of the book at every library in Rapides Parish for people to enjoy.

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