Tarrence, Richard

Tarrence, Richard


Rachel Talbot Ross


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Richard Tarrence was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1945, the second-oldest of seven siblings. His parents moved to Ohio from the South in the 1930s; his maternal grandfather was a bishop in the AME church, and his paternal grandfather was a sharecropper. He was drafted in 1965 and spent four years in the Air Force, including time in Vietnam. He married his ex-wife, Loretta Wilson, who was from Maine, and they moved to Portland in 1975. He completed a degree in Criminal Justice at USM in 1979, and spent twenty-two years working for Allstate Insurance. The family lived in Portland, South Portland, and eventually settled in Gorham. At the time of this interview, Tarrence was the chairman of the board of Green Memorial AME Zion Church, and was involved with the Health 2000 AIDS awareness program there.

Tarrence discusses his family traditions, religious community, experience as one of the few black families in the greater Portland area, and his participation in the local theater community.


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Portland, ME


1945, Cleveland, Wilberforce University, Criminal Justice, University of Southern Maine, Vietnam War, Air Force, Atlantic City Electric Company, Cumberland County CETA program, NAACP, AME Church, Kwanzaa, Lyric Theater, Portland Players, Green Memorial Church, Neville Knowles, African American experience in Maine, Brunswick Music Theater, The Wiz

Tarrence, Richard