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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Carolyn Rogers, May 22, 2003. Interview K-0656. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

The Rogers family sought control over their labor

The move to the city Cary, North Carolina, signaled an end to rural farm employment for many members of the Rogers family. Most importantly, the move provided Rogers's family members direct ownership over their own labor as a mark of freedom.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Carolyn Rogers, May 22, 2003. Interview K-0656. 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

Now you said many of your aunts and uncles also moved onto the road after your father. What where they doing for a living at the time? Were they also farming and sharecropping too, same thing?
Farming, they were all sharecroppers, yes. All of them, yes.
Did they all stay in the farming industry or …
No. My Uncle Willie who was the youngest of the brothers worked for Roy's Rental for awhile. I don't know what he did prior to going to Roy's Rental. Like I said, he is the youngest brother. My Uncle Leroy who is, let's see, my Mom just turned 75, so Daddy's 76. Uncle Leroy must be 78, I'm thinking, who's the singer, talented singer. My Dad is a minister. I come from a long line of preachers and singers, musicians, long line of that. Uncle Leroy, when he left farming and he still gardens to this day. He has a huge garden usually in his back yard. Just recently, I'm not sure if he still has that tractor or not. Farming is in his bones, in his blood. I don't know what, he ended up working for Reynolds Aluminum. Uncle Calvin is a minister. He's the one who lives on Rochelle Road. He's about eighty-some years old. Uncle Calvin used to work for Mayflower moving company. Uncle Paul worked for J.C. Penney. He's now deceased, he died recently. He worked for J.C. Penney's in Durham.
So they all eventually left the farm?
They all left the farm. When they moved to Cary was their signal to leave the farm and that's when they left the farm, coming to Cary. When you think about those rascals and they were such good, strong men. That's why you know that nobody can be subservient to another man. You just can't. These are very strong individuals and to be subservient. My Dad said, no, I'm going into my own business. I'm not having anybody else telling me what to do, and he did.