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Denita Bell

June 17, 2014


Hudson, NY


Recorded by

Mary Ellen Lennon

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This interview with Denita Bell was recorded in Hudson, New York on July 18, 2014 at the Hudson Public library around the corner from Denita’s home. Denita Bell is a single mother with two children. A phlebotomist (a medical professional who draws blood from patients), she is studying to be a nurse. She brought her nine year old son, LeBron to the interview where he read books downstairs until it was his turn for an interview (LeBron Frazier interview).

In the two audio files making up the interview, some of the subjects include: race relations in Hudson, racism and prejudice, unemployment, single mothers, divorce, food and home-cooked dinners, children, raising sons, family, the role of grandmothers, the antique stores on Warren Street, the Boys and Girls club, the mayor, her reflections on the problems of Hudson and her critique that it lacks activities for children and seniors, religion, spirituality and church community, the African American community in Hudson and most beautifully, reflections on happiness and unhappiness.

This interview—full of candid criticisms of Hudson and heartfelt reflections on the experiences of single mothers—will appeal to people interested in stories of raising children, the stress and worry of unemployment, the warmth and stability of the kitchen table and the shared family dinner, the conflict in Hudson over the meaning of Warren Street’s antique stores, and a thoughtful consideration of the nature of community, “togetherness” as well as a personal reflection on what she feels is a stratified and segregated society.

Interviewer Bio:
Mary Ellen Lennon

Mary Ellen Lennon is a history professor in Indiana who grew up in Queens, New York. A student in the Oral History Summer School, she has been moved by the stories shared by the generous and deeply thoughtful people of Hudson.

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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.

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.”

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