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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Ethel Marshall Faucette, November 16, 1978, and January 4, 1979. Interview H-0020. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Black women especially worked cooperatively to wash clothes

Faucette explains how washing clothes became a communal task, especially for black women.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Ethel Marshall Faucette, November 16, 1978, and January 4, 1979. Interview H-0020. 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

ALLEN TULLOS:
Well let me ask you about washing. You talk about you all would make some of your clothes and sometimes you would buy your clothes-what about when it came time to do your washing, clothes washing?
ETHEL MARSHALL FAUCETTE:
Washed in the tub on the board. (chuckle) You rubbed 'em like that.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How often would you do that?
ETHEL MARSHALL FAUCETTE:
Every week.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was there a particular day?
ETHEL MARSHALL FAUCETTE:
Yeah, we always done it on Monday if it wasn't raining.
ALLEN TULLOS:
All year round.
ETHEL MARSHALL FAUCETTE:
Yeah. 'Cause in the summer time we had two big springs down next to the branch back of the house. We carried the wash pot and the tubs and all down there, and we wouldn't have to carry the water.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How many of you would be washing at one time?
ETHEL MARSHALL FAUCETTE:
There wouldn't be nobody but our family. And we had a colored woman that done the wash.
ALLEN TULLOS:
She would do that. You mean she would help you or she would do it?
ETHEL MARSHALL FAUCETTE:
No, she'd do it. She done the wash.
ALLEN TULLOS:
She'd do it by herself.
ETHEL MARSHALL FAUCETTE:
Yeah, she'd come up in the morning and wash.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How would you all pay her, how did that work?
ETHEL MARSHALL FAUCETTE:
Well, we'd pay her the last of the week. And sometime momma'd pay her when she done it, so she wouldn't have to come back.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Would other people be washing on Monday too?
ETHEL MARSHALL FAUCETTE:
Yeah. They had a big wash place right down here at this old big poplar tree. Maybe there'd be five or six colored people down there washing clothes.