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.

This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please inquire about permissions.

All rights are reserved by Oral History Summer School.

Researchers will understand that:

  • Oral History Summer School abides by the General Principles & Best Practices for Oral History as agreed upon by the Oral History Association (2018) and expects that use of this material will be done with respect for these professional ethics.
  • Unless verbal patterns are germane to your scholarly work, when quoting from this material researchers are encouraged to correct the grammar and make other modifications maintaining the flavor of the narrator’s speech while editing the material for the standards of print.
  • All citations must be attributed to Oral History Summer School:
    Narrator’s Name, Oral history interview, YYYY, Oral History Summer School

Terri Gentry

June 6, 2023


Portland, ME


Recorded by

Priya Kandaswamy

This interview is available in-person only. Please get in touch if you would like to listen.
Is this your interview?
Click here to respond.

This interview was conducted with Terri Gentry on October 9, 2022 in Portland, ME. Terri describes her family history in Denver, Colorado beginning with her great-great grandparents on both sides of the family. She tells the story of her grandfather, the first licensed Black dentist in Colorado and of her father’s work in the police department and his further work opening his own company, Expressions in Video. Terri describes living with the loss of her mother and expresses her incredible gratitude for becoming the mom and grandma after marrying her second husband. Terri speaks about working for a public service company of Colorado after graduating high school, becoming a diversity trainer and eventually getting laid off leading her to start to work at furniture stores and go to interior design school. After starting her own interior design company she decided to go back to school and get BA in African American Studies, leading her to volunteer at the Black American West Museum. Terri describes having visited the museum twice a year since childhood. She goes on to speak on having started working at History Colorado last year, and working to record interviews and manage engagement with Black community. She feels that it helps celebrate those in her family and community who have uplifted one another. Terri describes having learned her family history from her grandmothers, including from Grandma Ernestine’s “ancestral wall” and the history of dance in her grandmother’s family, having worked professionally and then teaching thousands of students. Terri mentions traveling after her parents divorced to Pine Blush, Arkansas and the experience of feeling safe to go anywhere in Denver but experiencing the extreme racism in Arkansas and Louisiana. Terri talked about not learning about gardening because her mother loved to do it herself so much. She finishes by discussing recent deaths in her family and loss and the toughest part in her life.

No items found.
Interviewer Bio:
Priya Kandaswamy
Additional Info:
Interview language(s):
Audio quality:

Audio Quality Scale

Low - There is some background noise and the narrator is hard to hear.

Medium - There is background noise, but the narrator is audible.

High - There is little background noise and the narrator is audible.


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.

Part of this interview may be played in a radio broadcast or podcast.

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.”

Is this your interview?
Click here
to leave updates or reflections on your life, your interview or your listening experience.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.