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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Letha Ann Sloan Osteen, June 8, 1979. Interview H-0254. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Osteen and her siblings had good reputations at work

Osteen's father trained his children to treat their mill supervisors respectfully as they would for any older authority figure, so they always pleased the supervisors and never got fired.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Letha Ann Sloan Osteen, June 8, 1979. Interview H-0254. 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:
Do you remember when you working there as a little girl in the spinning room, the bosses, how they treated you?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Anything they ever said.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
There never was none of 'em mean to me, I could say that. But I always liked-you know when I went to school I loved my school-teacher. When I worked in the mill, even 'till the last day of work, I respected my overseer. But my daddy told us about that when we all-before we ever went to work in the mill. You must respect age. People that's older than you and telling you things to do, you must respect 'em and do that. Because they wouldn't be telling you if it wasn't for your good. And he taught us things like that when we was very young. Why lord, children nowadays don't respect age. You know that.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So you all were taught to respect the bosses and the overseers.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yes sir. Our whole family was. There wasn't a one of us-our family, as big a family as we was-to be fired, as they called it or out of work. Always pleased our boss man. Was a record that we had in growing up. But we was taught that by a daddy that loved us.