This oral history interview is an intimate conversation between two people, both of whom have generously agreed to share this recording with Oral History Summer School, and with you. Please listen in the spirit with which this was shared.
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This is a remote interview with Sara Kendall. The interview was conducted on June 11, 2021 via Zoom. Sara is a former resident of Hudson, who is currently located in Montreal, Canada. During the interview, Sara discusses a number of topics, including her background growing up in Tribeca, NY, her life in Hudson and Montreal, her involvement in youth programming, and her journey to motherhood during the pandemic. Sara begins the interview by discussing her move to Montreal where she gave birth to her daughter, Amelia. As a former Hudson resident, Sara has many insights about the community. I asked Sara about her work with Kites Nest, which is an organization that engages in youth programming. It is affiliated with WGXC, which is the local radio station.Sara became a member of the Hudson community after graduating from college and moving to the area when she was in her early 20s. She met her future husband during the Oral History Summer School’s first year in operation. As mentioned above, she became part of the radio station, WGXC, and worked as the station manager. Sara became involved in youth programming when the station started an after-school program for teenagers called ‘Radio Explosion’. While working at the station, Sara used her oral history training to conduct a listening project to learn about the issues that youth in the community were facing. The project assisted in the development of Kites Nest and led to the creation of alternative learning spaces for youth. I asked Sara to discuss a challenging student she had encountered. and Sara talked about the death of Terrell Starr, a Kites Nest participant who lost his life to gun violence in May of 2020. She discusses how his death has impacted her on a personal level as she still grieves the loss. Sara also details how the organization has been honoring Terrell’s memory.Sara talks about overcoming the limits of youth programming, which traditionally ends when the person turns 18. She recognizes the need to provide additional support for youth who, in a sense, ‘age out’ and are then denied access to resources. Her organization is attempting to come up with ways to continue to provide support and connection as the participants get older.Sara also discusses gentrification from the perspective of youth, highlighting the dynamics that can push young people out of the community. She details how youth who leave for college often return to find that they have been priced out of housing due to inflated prices that result from gentrification. Sara reflects on the legacy of colonialism, the idea of a right to housing and the vulnerability of youth to displacement.Sara ends the interview by talking about her daughter, Amelia. She discusses her move from Hudson to Montreal and discusses the difficulties of relocating and giving birth during the pandemic. She reflects on the meaning of community and on the challenges of establishing a network when moving from a small town to a large city.This interview would be of interest to those interested in the Hudson community, youth programming, gentrification, motherhood, and life transitions.
Mischelle Van Brakle is a professor of criminology and criminal justice at California State University Long Beach. She plans to use the oral history methodology to advocate for indigenous rights.
This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.
Oral history is an iterative process. In keeping with oral history values of anti-fixity, interviewees will have an opportunity to add, annotate and reflect upon their lives and interviews in perpetuity. Talking back to the archive is a form of “shared authority.”