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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Elizabeth Pearsall, May 25, 1988. Interview C-0056. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Education and equalized pay can improve race relations

Pearsall remembers the intimacy she shared with black servants. However, she explains that economic competition outweighs racial intimacies. Instead, Pearsall asserts that education and adequate pay often equalizes conditions between blacks and whites.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Elizabeth Pearsall, May 25, 1988. Interview C-0056. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

ELIZABETH PEARSALL:
But you see, we grew up with them in the house, blacks. My mother had a mammy in her house, a black mammy, who slept in the house forty years and raised grandma's children. Grandma was left a widow with seven children when she was in her thirties. But this Aunt Lucy or Mammy Lucy, as we called her, that was the first death I remember, was when she died. She had a little room in the back of the house, and of course she was old and couldn't do anything. She wore a thousand petticoats. Had a great big fireplace back there, and she caught fire and was badly burned and died. Well, every child, and every grandchild came to that funeral. I thought it was the saddest day of my life because it was the first time I had ever lost a loved one. And Tom had a nurse like that, too, that cared for him a lot after his mother died. But that happens to a lot of people around here. But I still think that people who had access to education and a reasonable amount of money to live on, didn't have that economic competition. I think that's a very real thing in a lot of people's lives. So you can't blame the rednecks and those sort of people. You're from Georgia. You all have rednecks down there right on, don't you?