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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Vickie Jacobs, December 11, 1993. Interview K-0100. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Some race and gender discrimination at a furniture factory

This passage offers a brief look at the racial and gender divisions at the furniture factory. While Jacobs does not remember significant wage discrimination, she says that black employees worked in the dirtiest jobs and that there may have been some gender discrimination as well.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Vickie Jacobs, December 11, 1993. Interview K-0100. 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

JOYCE BLACKWELL-JOHHSON:
Let's talk about races. You know the different races . How did the different races at White's get along?
VICKIE JACOBS:
Well, to be honest they did fine, but to me they had the blacks doing the most dirtiest work than whites. They had a few blacks in the machine room. Very few blacks in the cabinet room. Most of the blacks were in the finishing. they were the fanciest jobs.
JOYCE BLACKWELL-JOHHSON:
What about pay? Was there a difference in pay?
VICKIE JACOBS:
No. Each individual maybe sometimes had different pay. Like I said, they paid pretty good.
JOYCE BLACKWELL-JOHHSON:
O.K. So there was not really a difference in pay based on color or race?
VICKIE JACOBS:
Not that much.
JOYCE BLACKWELL-JOHHSON:
O.K.
VICKIE JACOBS:
Although some maybe, let's say some did get paid just a little bit more than the other. .
JOYCE BLACKWELL-JOHHSON:
But in terms of the kinds of jobs that blacks had they were usually not considered "as good" as those given to whites?
VICKIE JACOBS:
Yeah.
JOYCE BLACKWELL-JOHHSON:
You had also whites and blacks, any other ethnic groups working at White's?
VICKIE JACOBS:
In Hillsborough maybe one or two Mexicans. .
JOYCE BLACKWELL-JOHHSON:
Mebane.
VICKIE JACOBS:
JOYCE BLACKWELL-JOHHSON:
What jobs did Mexicans usually have?
VICKIE JACOBS:
They usually put them--. The only one around us was--. She was . [laughter] When she spoke she spoke Spanish. She worked in finishing, too. In Hillsborough they mostly worked in the finishing.
JOYCE BLACKWELL-JOHHSON:
What about between men and women, any difference in treatment or where they were hired or pay or anything like that?
VICKIE JACOBS:
I have heard that it was. Some would say . I had done it myself. I proved to them that a woman can. But that didn't make any difference. . We didn't make no big deal out of that. Some of our work was just a little bit heavy. But I proved to them that a woman could do it.
JOYCE BLACKWELL-JOHHSON:
O.K. When you say you proved to men you could do it were you hired in a particular department?
VICKIE JACOBS:
No.
JOYCE BLACKWELL-JOHHSON:
You just went there and did the work without being assigned to that department to make a point.
VICKIE JACOBS:
Right.
JOYCE BLACKWELL-JOHHSON:
How did you feel afterwards?
VICKIE JACOBS:
I just done it and this was better than .