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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Vesta and Sam Finley, July 22, 1975. Interview H-0267. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Gendered division of labor on the farm

Vesta describes the ways that the children pitched in to help her mother and father on the farm. She also discusses the gendered nature of labor on the farm.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Vesta and Sam Finley, July 22, 1975. Interview H-0267. 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:
What kinds of things did your mother do on the farm?
VESTA FINLEY:
Well, she was mostly tied up with tending the babies, having babies and taking care of the home, you know. She worked in the fields when she had occasion to. . . .
MARY FREDERICKSON:
But she didn't ordinarily work. There were enough of you that she didn't usually have to work outside?
VESTA FINLEY:
Well, as I say, she usually had to do the hoeing, and keep the little ones at the house, you know, while the rest of us were working in the fields.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
Did she do most of that by herself? Or did the older girls help her?
VESTA FINLEY:
Oh, we all had to help. When we went in from the fields, we had to help do the work in the house too. Before we went to school in the morning we had to carry in stove wood, and feed the chickens, and carry in enough water from the springs to do Mother during the day. And then we had to walk about a mile and a half to school.