It was a Roxbury where black teens would go to dances at the Jewish center known as the Hecht House and Jewish teens went to the dances at a local church. It was before the shuls and the delis had shut their doors and moved out to the suburbs.

The year was 1960, when the last class graduated from Roxbury Memorial High School. To mark its 50th anniversary, the class of ’60 has invited all of Roxbury Memorial’s former students to its reunion on June 18. Already, more than 300 people have signed up. They come from 20 states and attended the school as long ago as 1934.

The reunion committee reflects the ethnic makeup of Roxbury Memorial in its final years: about split between black and Jewish students, with a small contingent of Irish and Italians.

Roxbury’s demographics were rapidly changing while members of the class of ’60 were in their teens. Between 1950 and 1960, the neighborhood around Hebrew College and Congregation Mishkan Tefila on Seaver Street in Roxbury turned from two-thirds white to more than two-thirds black.

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The reunion will feature rock bands from the 1950s, headed by the GClefs, a band made up of school alumni. The reunion will be held at Lombardo’s in Randolph on June 18. For information, call Gretchen Coleman-Thomas at 781-961-6771 or Bob Miller at 508-420-0098 or email

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