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Diane Harriford

June 6, 2023


Portland, ME


Recorded by

Marianne Bullock

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This interview was conducted with Diane Harriford in a classroom at Salt Institute for Oral History Summer School. Diane is a professor and Director of Africana Studies at Vassar College in NY. She grew up in Sioux City, Iowa with her Mother and Father and two brothers before moving to NYC after college. Diane describes different phases of her life and shifting relationships with her family and partner. She discusses the relationship between her and her mother, the history of her family and their place in the Black "bourgeois", and navigating academia. She provides reflection on loving a partner who has died of AIDS and what it is like to experience repeated losses in a short time period. Diane speaks of multiple seasons in her life and addresses the next season, her retirement, and who she wants to be in the time that she has left on this Earth.

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Interviewer Bio:
Marianne Bullock

Marianne Bullock is an organizer, city council member and amateur historian based in Western, Ma. This was her first formal oral history taking experience. She is from a first generation Sicilian family, 39 years old and a mother of two children. She grew up in a working class family and has always enjoyed hearing stories from other generations. She is interested in narratives of care, material and physical creators, mothers who have been incarcerated or have had their children taken by the state, elders, and really any one who wants to share their story.

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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.

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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.”

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