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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Annie Bell Williams Cheatham, March 21, 1995. Interview Q-0015. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

White farm owner children treated black sharecropper children badly

Cheatham recalls her childhood in a sharecropping black family in rural Granville County, North Carolina. Here she says how the black children worked in the fields while the white children on the farm went to school. Furthermore, the whites did not impart their school lessons to the black children because they wanted to keep them in ignorance.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Annie Bell Williams Cheatham, March 21, 1995. Interview Q-0015. 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

JAMES EDDIE McCOY:
Tell me about the white children when y'all lived on these farms, did they go to school everyday, or did they have to stay and work too?
ANNIE BELL CHEATHAM:
No, them white children didn't have to see no work, no we did the work, that went, we get up soon in the morning, and pick on that tobacco, and til we get back from that school. Them white children didn't stop.
JAMES EDDIE McCOY:
Okay, did they help y'all. . . .
ANNIE BELL CHEATHAM:
Not until the later years, you know.
JAMES EDDIE McCOY:
Alright, did they help y'all with your lesson and stuff like that?
ANNIE BELL CHEATHAM:
No. They didn't want us learning nothing.