Helen Turner

It was hard. But we made it.”

Born in Somerville, Tenn., Mrs. Turner came to Memphis as a two-year-old girl as her family tried “to make life better.” A former employee of the Regional Medical Center at Memphis, she supported her husband standing up for rights as he went on strike with other sanitation workers in 1968. “I didn’t think things would get any better unless they did show themselves as men,” she says. Mrs. Turner recalls how the African-American community of Memphis united in support of the strike. “It was hard,” she says. “But we made it.”