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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with James Pharis, July 24, 1977. Interview H-0038. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Concerns that black employees receive preferential treatment

Pharis would not want to be a mill supervisor now, he avers. He believes that white supervisors fear correcting black employees, so black employees can behave as they please.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with James Pharis, July 24, 1977. Interview H-0038. 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

CLIFF KUHN:
I think I'm almost through with my questions. I just want to know what kind of changes you've seen over the years in the textile mills that you've been aware of.
JAMES PHARIS:
Well, since I've got out of textiles, I don't know much about it. But from what I hear, from general talk, if I was a young man, I don't want to be supervisor with things like they are now.
CLIFF KUHN:
Why's that?
JAMES PHARIS:
This segregation. The thing of it is—now I ain't talking against colored people—the supervisors are scared to handle a colored person. They do anything they want to do and they scared to do anything about it because they afraid they'll get into trouble themselves. That's exactly the way supervisor've been for the last few years.
CLIFF KUHN:
Any other reasons why you wouldn't want to be a supervisor?
JAMES PHARIS:
No, that's the biggest reason. If you run a job, if you think your right, you got to run it like you think. You can't let other people run it for you.
CLIFF KUHN:
Do the people you talk to say there's a difference in the kind of work that people do?
JAMES PHARIS:
Not no difference in the work, some in the amount of it. The only criticism I ever hear about something like that is lots of textile plants where colored person gets by with anything and the white person can't. That's what I hear.
CLIFF KUHN:
Why do you think that is?
JAMES PHARIS:
I don't know. One thing it's bound to be is because the supervisor is scared. He's scared to run the job and treat everybody just alike. That's the only reason I know.