Work and Protest: Interviews

Click on the purple link text below to hear segments of oral history interviews. If you'd like to download mp3s of these interviews, on the interview page, simply right-click on the linked text under the heading Download Complete Audio File and select "Save File As."

Eula McGill had to leave school and begin work in a textile mill at age fourteen. During the Great Depression, her family had moved to Alabama and McGill had become active in her union, eventually becoming a leader in the labor movement in Selma. In the early 1970s, McGill did three oral history interviews with the Southern Oral History Program, discussing her lifelong involvement in the southern textile mill world.

Click here to listen to and read our first interview with Eula McGill.

Click here to listen to and read our second interview with Eula McGill.

Click here to listen to and read our third interview with Eula McGill.

In 1979, Mary Thompson sat down with a Southern Oral History Program interviewer to describe her experiences as a skilled mill worker and a union member in the textile industry. She faced obstacles as a single mother in an industry that offered little support for owmen in her position, but her upbringing prepared her to be a good worker and a strong advocate for workers' rights, and the communities of mill workers she shared her life with gave her strength as well.

Click here to read and listen to our interview with Mary Thompson.

Naomi Sizemore Trammel grew up in the country but found it necessary to move to a nearby mill town at the age of ten when her parents died and she and her older sister had to support themselves. Trammel began a lifetime of textile mill labor in the spinning room of Victor Mill in Greer, South Carolina. Trammel began work as a child, but her job did not prevent her from having fun. In fact, for the duration of her employment in the mill industry, she recalls working at a comfortable pace and finding time for recreation. This interview offers a modicum of insights into mill work in early twentieth-century South Carolina and one mill worker's experience of some of the formative events of the era, including the Great Depression and the 1918 influenza epidemic.

Click here to listen to and read Naomi Trammel's oral history interview.