Title: Oral History Interview with Hill Baker, June 1977. Interview H-0109-2.
Interviewer: Dilley, Patty
Interviewee: Baker, Hill
Subjects: Children--Employment--North Carolina African American women textile workers--North Carolina
Abstract: Ninety-three-year-old Hill Baker started his working life at age twelve, helping his father with odd jobs. He started factory work soon afterward, followed by seven years on the railroad, a long period at a furniture plant, and finally, odd jobs in retirement. He describes a regimented, top-down working life, in which he and his fellow workers followed strict rules of conduct set by their superiors. Baker did not find this work environment uncomfortable. This kind of mildness, or perhaps just reticence, pervades this interview, such as when Baker shrugs off the idea of joining a union or describes his years of hard work as "all right. " Baker, who is African American, does not remember any incidences of particularly unpleasant racial discrimination, although he recalls that railroad jobs were segregated. At the end of the interview, the interviewer tells Baker that his recollections will be useful to those interested in learning about working conditions in the early twentieth-century South.