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?