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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Alice P. Evitt, July 18, 1979. Interview H-0162. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Tensions between mill workers and townspeople

In this excerpt, Evitt remembers the pejorative term for cotton mill workers, lint head, although she does not recall that anyone actually called her that name. There were some tensions between mill workers and other people in Charlotte, she recalls.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Alice P. Evitt, July 18, 1979. Interview H-0162. 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

JIM LELOUDIS:
One last thing, do you ever remember being called a "lint head"? Did people ever call you that?
ALICE P. EVITT:
Call me what?
JIM LELOUDIS:
A "lint head."
ALICE P. EVITT:
Un-uh. But I heared 'em call other people that. They may have called me that to my back. I won't say that. But to my face, they never did. But I heard people call that. I said, "Well, lint heads was the best people there." They was. The people in the mill seemed like the best people there was. You'd get along with them all. Course, they're good and bad everywhere. But seems like they had more good people than they did bad ones. When they tried them people from Gastonia away back when they was in them strikes, John Carpenter-what was he up there. I knowed him. Used to live close to him-anyway, he called them old "lint heads" in court up here. I went up there to hear that trial.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did you go to that trial?
ALICE P. EVITT:
I went to part of it. He called them old "lint heads." Bullwinker-we used to live close to him. His sister used to be my school teacher-he called them old "lint heads." That's the reason people didn't like him.
JIM LELOUDIS:
What did you think of being called that? How did it make you feel?
ALICE P. EVITT:
I never did have them call it to my face. I don't know what I would have done if they called it to my face. I'd just told them what I thought, I guess. I'd told them I'd druther be a lint head than to be like they are.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did you feel like there was a real split between people who worked in the mills and people in town?
ALICE P. EVITT:
Some places they are. They think cotton mill people wasn't no good. I declare, they're the best I've ever been around.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Was that true of Charlotte do you think?
ALICE P. EVITT:
Everywhere you go they'll find people that way. They think cause you work in the cotton mill, they don't think much of them. But that shows you they're willin' to work for what they get. They ain't a-lookin' for somethin' for nothin'. They're tryin' to make their own way. I couldn't see a thing wrong with workin' in a cotton mill. Now, they about shut them all down, and they'll be no cloth here. They'll have to get it from other countries. Gonna mess it up and everything.