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About this recording

Flossie Moore Durham interviewed by Mary Frederickson and Brent Glass, Bynum, North Carolina, September 2, 1976. Interview # H-66 in the Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Southern Oral History Program
Date created
This recording copyright ©2004. All Rights Reserved
Original audio housed by UNC Libraries / Documenting the American South

See this recording in context

  • North Carolina in the New South: Primary sources and readings explore North Carolina in the decades after the Civil War (1870–1900). Topics include changes in agriculture, the growth of cities and industry, the experiences of farmers and mill workers, education, cultural changes, politics and political activism, and the Wilmington Race Riot. (Page 3.5)
  • North Carolina History: A Sampler: A sample of the more than 800 pages of our digital textbook for North Carolina history, including background readings, various kinds of primary sources, and multimedia. Also includes an overview of the textbook and how to use it. (Page 5.2)

In the classroom

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Flossie Durham talks about beginning work at the mill in Bynum


Mary Frederickson
When you first went to work in the mill, what was it like? Were you afraid to go, or were you excited about going?
Flossie Moore Durham
Well, I tell you, when I first went to work, it changed at one o’clock. At one o’clock in the day that morning shift would go off, and the evening shift come on, and each one had to work twelve hours.
Mary Frederickson
So when did the morning shift go to work, at one in the morning?
Flossie Moore Durham
Monday morning they went to work at four o’clock. Now I’ve worked on every one of them shifts when I was a girl. And then Monday morning the morning shift would go to work at four o’clock, and they’d work till one in the day. The evening shift come in at one in the day, and they worked till one that night. And then the morning shift come in at one that night and worked till one the next day, and they done that all week.
Mary Frederickson
When you were ten years old, you did that? You would work that long?
Flossie Moore Durham
Yes. And they didn’t make anything, neither, a little along them days.