Interview with Paula Giddings
QUESTION 20
JUDY RICHARDSON:

How did this takeover change you personally?

PAULA GIDDINGS:

Well, in lots of ways, certainly one of the things.

JUDY RICHARDSON:

I'm sorry.

PAULA GIDDINGS:

The changeover, ah, the, not the changeover, what is it called?

JUDY RICHARDSON:

Takeover.

PAULA GIDDINGS:

The takeover.

JUDY RICHARDSON:

I'm sorry. Start again.

PAULA GIDDINGS:

The takeover and the other and the activities of Howard around that time did have a, a great deal of impact on me. Ah, I guess one of the most iimmediate, was I got an Afro. And I always had very thick hair, so I had a rather large Afro. I always remember coming home that first time with and Afro. And my mother who tends not to be emotional, just sat down and cried bitter tears, because I also had the large beaded earrings and the fake fur coat and boots, and it was something. And it was true the rest of my friends as well, who went home. We all traded stories later of what the, what happened when we went home and the reaction. Ah, but the most important thing was what, how it had affected certainly my thinking and what I wanted to do when I grew up. Ah, certainly that whole concept of the role of the writer that we talked a great deal about in terms of the literary magazine had a lasting impact on me I think in, in, in my career. Certainly I felt a much better sense of self. I was not, I was reared in a way that I always had a good sense of self. But again that there were these questions that were always nagging at me and many of them were answered. Ah, I thought I had more answers than I actually had. But at least in that, that phase of my development, I felt that I had learned a great deal about myself. I was certainly very, very political, very, very militant in, in that sense. Ah, and it was that militancy and perspective I brought to Random House where I, my first job after school in a, in a publishing house. And that's a story unto itself.

JUDY RICHARDSON:

Cut. Thats fine.

PAULA GIDDINGS:

My mother will die.