Results (most relevant first)
James and Nannie Pharis both began working in the cotton mills of Spray, North Carolina, as children during the turn of the twentieth century. In this interview, which focuses primarily on Nannie Pharis, they discuss working conditions, family life, community gatherings, and foodways in a southern community that merged industrial and agricultural lifestyles.
Elva Templeton remembers her childhood in historic Cary, North Carolina.
Martha Cooley describes her childhood in rural Granville County, North Carolina, during the early part of the twentieth century.
John Wesley Snipes recalls his childhood in rural Chatham County, North Carolina, in the early twentieth century.
Lawrence Ridgle describes his childhood in Durham, North Carolina, during the 1930s and his belief that urban renewal of the 1960s and 1970s ultimately worked to the detriment of African Americans. In this interview—the first of two—he emphasizes the changing nature of the African American community in Durham during his lifetime.
Geraldine Ray has lived in Barnardsville, North Carolina, nearly her entire life. In this interview, she describes growing up on her family's farm, attending all-black schools, and caring for sick relatives and friends. She describes racial segregation as a problem that seemed less difficult to avoid than segregation and prejudice between local black residents. Geraldine learned several essential skills of farm life from her grandmother and then used them to support the family through illness. The interview concludes with a description of her husband—a childhood friend—and how they chose to raise their children.
Louise Pointer Morton describes life in rural Granville County, North Carolina, during the early twentieth century. In addition to describing social gatherings and living conditions, Morton speaks at length about her formerly enslaved grandmother's role in the founding of the Jonathon (Johnson) Creek Church, alluding to the centrality of religion as a preeminent social institution within southern African American communities.
Serena Henderson Parker, born in 1923, remembers the rural North Carolina of her childhood.
Roy Ham tells stories and sings his way through an interview that reveals more about Ham the character than it does about the industrializing South.
Born in 1934 to tenant farmers in North Carolina, Ethelene McCabe Allen focuses on describing family dynamics that shaped her childhood, paying particular attention to her parents' relationship with each other and with their children.
Julia Peaks de-Heer describes her childhood in both Stagville and Durham, North Carolina, focusing primarily on her experiences living on Hopkins Street during the 1950s. Throughout the interview, themes of community solidarity, decline, and improvement dominate, with an emphasis on de-Heer's activities with the Greater Zion Wall Church in later years.
Paul Cline remembers mill work as a violent, unhealthy profession.
Jessie Streater describes Mormon belief and practice and shares her thoughts on the place of African Americans in the Mormon religion.
A black sharecropper's daughter discusses her difficult upbringing on the farm and the many stories of slavery on which she was raised.
Asa T. Spaulding, the first African American actuary in North Carolina and former president of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, recalls his early life and weighs his contributions to the insurance business and society at large.
Naomi Sizemore Trammel recalls her life as a textile mill worker in Greer, South Carolina.
Albert Gore Sr. reviews the history leading up to his senatorial career, concentrating on his rural upbringing and his early political experiences. He also reflects on his impressions of other important politicians he knew, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Sam Rayburn, Estes Kefauver, Harry S. Truman, and Lyndon B. Johnson.
J. D. Thomas and his wife, Lela Rigsby Thomas, remember the Madison County, North Carolina, of their youth and describe the changes that have transformed the area since then.
John Broadus Mitchell grew up in a family that held to liberal politics and believed in community involvement. Educated as an economic historian, Mitchell conducted extensive research on the establishment of the cotton textile industry in the South following the Civil War. In the 1920s and 1930s, he advocated for labor rights, spoke out against racial violence, and socialist politics.
Jessie Lee Carter remembers life as a mill worker and mother in rural South Carolina.
Johnnie Jones remembers his fifty-year career at the Pomona Terra Cotta Factory in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Marguerite Tolbert worked throughout her life as an educator in South Carolina public schools and universities for adult education. She describes her education and high school graduation through stories from her book,
South Carolina's Distinguished Women from Laurens County. She recounts how she earned a scholarship to Winthrop College and met her teaching colleagues Wil Lou Gray and Dr. D. B. Johnson; describes local activism for women's suffrage between 1914 and 1920; and recalls encounters with leaders, including President Hoover and Jane Addams. She concludes by discussing the controversy at Winthrop College over a discrepancy in female teachers' salaries.
Frank Gilbert recalls his laboring life in and around Conover, North Carolina.
Barbara Hanks remembers her career at the White Furniture Company and the effects of the company's closing on her community in Mebane, North Carolina.
Icy Norman recalls her long working life, most of which was spent at a textile mill in Burlington, North Carolina.
George and Tessie Dyer discuss their jobs in Charlotte cotton mills and their lives outside of work. They describe their childhood and the work their parents and grandparents did. They recall the parties and social events that their friends participated in after work. The interview ends with their observations about local union activity.
Eula Durham and her husband Vernon recall their experiences as mill workers in Bynum, North Carolina.
Mildred Price Coy discusses the development of her egalitarian ideals, her involvement in various justice movements during the twentieth century, and the societal changes she witnessed.
Zeno Ponder is one of the most respected and influential leaders of Madison County, North Carolina. This interview begins with his descriptions of his family's activities in the area and local political traditions. Ponder briefly describes his experiences at local schools, including Mars Hill College. Ponder became involved in local politics through a training program and his brother's campaign for sheriff.