In 1987, Ms. Redding successfully resisted her mother’s wishes to become a debutante. Instead, “I guess my most seminal memory is my Sweet 16 party, which we had at the Officers Club here at Walter Reed. My mom and my dad were both first-generation college graduates and tried to do for my brother and I all of the middle-class things.” Her father was in the reserves, and wanted her to understand what a big deal it was to hold this event at the Officers Club. “There was a balloon arch of pink and gray heart balloons because there was a photo station under there and a professional photographer. And that was a big deal, too. My parents don’t have a lot of pictures of themselves growing up. I’ve never seen a picture of my mother below the age of 14. And so documenting all parts of our life was really important.” Watch the actual footage of the event taken by Kerri’s brother. Kerri Redding returned to the neighborhood and lives in Manor Park.
History Project, Kerri Richardson-Redding: Full-Length Video Full-Length Interview