acumen 3.0ɑ
Working Lives Oral History Project

Interview with Elizabeth March

ASSET VIEWER
Permanent URL: http://purl.lib.ua.edu/54324
Abstract
In this interview, Elizabeth March talks about growing up in the country and living in Birmingham through the Depression and the Civil Rights Movement. March recalls country life. She explains the system of sharecropping her parents worked under. She also discusses what they did about health problems, handling most of them at home because hospitals were too far. She describes their recreation, how most of it came through the church. However, she says whites burned many of the black churches in her area. March recounts coming to Birmingham as a teenager in order to attend school. While her country school went through only the sixth grade, she claims that it was a better school, because she was ahead when she came to the city. After she finished school, she worked as a maid in the homes of whites. She describes dealing with those families. After working in an Avondale cotton mill, she worked as a maid for the Board of Education for 23 years; she also joined the AFL-CIO. March recalls that the Depression wasn't too hard on her because her husband worked for the city. She remembers buying coal from other blacks who collected the remnants. She also recalls feeding many hobos. She explains how difficult it could be for people to get aid; if someone got mad at their neighbor, they might tell the Red Cross people that that family didn't need aid anymore, and the Red Cross would cut them off without even investigating. March also remembers Jim Crow laws. She says she didn't like the way she was treated but was afraid to push for rights. In particular, she remembers having to move off the sidewalk for whites, being waited on after whites were, and having to call the children of the white people she worked for 'ma'am' and 'sir.'.
Genres
interviews
transcripts
Interviewee
March, Elizabeth
Interviewer
Hamrick, Peggy
Date Created
1984-08-01
Physical Description
2 audio cassettes
Physical Description
2 transcripts
Topics
United States--Alabama--Jefferson County--Birmingham
March, Elizabeth -- Interviews
Document Types
sound recording-nonmusical
text

Location

Repository
William Stanley Hoole Special Collections Library
Repository Collection
Archive of American Minority Cultures

Part of

Online Repository
The University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
Digital Collection
Working Lives Oral History Project

Additional Information

Digitization Funding
The digitization of this collection was funded by a gift from EBSCO Industries.
Access Conditions
  • Collection may be protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law.
  • To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library.
Funder
EBSCO Industries
Distributor
The University of Alabama Libraries (Tuscaloosa, Alabama)