Hard Times Cotton Mill Girls: Personal Histories of Womanhood and Poverty in the South

Victoria Morris Byerly, Author ILR Press $9.95 (223p) ISBN 978-0-87546-128-1
Byerly, who once worked in a cotton mill, has interviewed 20 women in various cotton-mill towns of North Carolina, including Crystal Lee Sutton, the union organizer on whose life the movie Norma Rae was based. In rich and fascinating detail, these women discuss their struggles raising families in poverty, their grueling work in the mills under hazardous conditions, and their frustration at receiving low payfar lower than that of their male colleagues. The womenboth black and whitetell of the uneasy state of race relations in the workplace, especially after black workers broke the color barrier in the mills in the early 1960s. Many of the women also recount their fight to improve working conditions and wages, and to gain compensation for brown-lung disease and injuries sustained on the job. This book provides both scholars and general readers with an educational, intimate and powerful record of the experiences ofthese working-class women. Photos.(January)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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