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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Dock E. Hall, January 7, 1976. Interview H-0271. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Father and mother split parenting duties, including corporal punishment

Hall describes a conventional parenting strategy: his father worked a great deal and left discipline to his mother, who occasionally whipped him and his siblings. She attempted to instill a sense of independence in Hall, telling him during times of privation that he could ask neighbors for food, but that he should expect a whipping from her if he did so.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Dock E. Hall, January 7, 1976. Interview H-0271. 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

BRENT GLASS:
What did you do with your money when you were eleven or twelve years old?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, I'd buy clothes with it, and buy my sisters thing with it. My Daddy'd never take anything I worked for.
BRENT GLASS:
He never took anything from you?
DOCK E. HALL:
No, he never did. Looked out for me that and other ways himself.
BRENT GLASS:
Was your father a strict disciplinarian? How did your parents discipline their children?
DOCK E. HALL:
You mean treated them
BRENT GLASS:
Yes.
DOCK E. HALL:
Oh, just as good as people ever could be.
BRENT GLASS:
Oh really? Did they ever spank the children?
DOCK E. HALL:
Oh, maybe spank them a little or something like that—never enough to hurt one or nothing—or get a little keen hickory, or something like that. No, my father didn't do very much of that. My Momma'd do that; she'd do that kind of thing. He was working always, and, see, my mother would do the looking after us. But she didn't have to strike us much. She could look over toward you that way with her eye right straight at you, and you knowed you'd done something wrong, and she'd tell you then. The neighbors used to visit a lot, you know, and she'd tell us (and there was plenty to eat), "If you want something to eat you go ahead and get it. You go down to the neighbor's house and ask for something to eat, I'll whip you when you get back home." And they would too. You wouldn't do it.
BRENT GLASS:
You wouldn't ask down at the neighbors?
DOCK E. HALL:
No.
BRENT GLASS:
Did your mother work?
DOCK E. HALL:
No, at nothing but home: home work and garden work, like that, around the house.
BRENT GLASS:
Did she pretty much run the household?
DOCK E. HALL:
Oh yes.