Documenting the American South Logo
oral histories of the American South
Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Mary Price Adamson, April 19, 1976. Interview G-0001. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Class structures of small southern towns

Adamson describes the class structure of small southern towns and how she absorbed the ideas of difference.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Mary Price Adamson, April 19, 1976. Interview G-0001. 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

MARY FREDERICKSON:
The whole time you were in both Greensboro and Chapel Hill earlier, you mentioned Carrboro was the textile town, was the mill town, and was apart from Chapel Hill. Were you aware of mill workers around Greensboro?
MARY PRICE ADAMSON:
No, it was very much class differences. Out in Proximity and White Oak, the workers out there, it was just complete division. There was no thought of. . . .
MARY FREDERICKSON:
But you did go to school in Chapel Hill with the children of mill workers?
MARY PRICE ADAMSON:
I can't specifically remember, but I may be wrong about that because I don't remember knowing any of those children. I said that, I think, because I couldn't think whether there was a school in Carrboro. So I think I was probably wrong about that. The class structure was very firmly established.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
So you really never even saw these people, or did you see them and just think of them as being very far apart?
MARY PRICE ADAMSON:
No. When I went to school in Madison, the mill village there is called Mayodan. It's at the confluence of the Mayo and the Dan Rivers. My mother's family had lived on the Dan, you know, it went on down in there with the Mayo, in Danville. You know, it's down there. That was very definitely a mill town, and there was just no mingling between Madison and Mayodan. It was really a very bad social situation. I don't remember beingthere. But you asked me about influences. I think that these things must have seeped into my consciousness some-where.