The Uprising of '34 collection interviews
Scope and Contents of the Collection
The Uprising of '34 Collection demonstrates how communities can be impacted in contemporary ways by history and memory, decades after a series of events occur. Veterans of the events of 1934 and their descendants-black, white, mill worker, manager, union, and non-union- were interviewed about mill village life, work conditions, southern contemporaneous culture as well as the strike itself. This finding aid describes the digitized oral history-style interviews available in Georiga State University Library's Digital Collections.
- Creation: 1987-1995
Restrictions on Access
All of the interviews are available online in GSU's Digital Collections.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Copyright restrictions apply.
To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the Worldwide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult the labor archivist to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.
History of the Project
The Uprising of `34 project was initiated and sponsored by the Research Consortium for the Southwide Textile Strike of 1934, a collaboration of 60 scholars from major southern institutions, as well as community educators and trade unionists. Documentarian George Stoney and independent filmmakers Judith Helfand and Susanne Rostock directed and produced the film. This documentary was a presentation of the Independent Television Service (ITVS), with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It first aired in 1995.
This production won the following awards: the Best of Festival, Big Muddy Film & Video Festival, Southern Illinois University ; Juror's Choice, Charlotte Film Festival; Director's Choice, Black Maria Film & Video Festival ; Joady Award, Film Arts Foundation ; Gold Apple, National Educational Media Network ; and the Golden Plaque, Documentary, Chicago International Film & Video Festival . In 1998, it received the George Foster Peabody Award for Excellence in Journalism.
Historical Background of the General Textile Strike
In 1934, Southern textile workers took the lead in a nationwide strike that saw half a million workers walk off their jobs in the largest single-industry strike in the history of the United States. Mill owners' non-compliance with New Deal legislation resulted in their demanding speeded up production that forcing workers to exact the same amount of work from 8 hours that they formerly completed in 12 and for wages far below the federal government's newly established minimum rate. This financial and quota "squeeze" of workers was a variation of the notorious "stretch-out," where fewer "operatives" were spread out along looms to mill the same yardage.
For a brief time, these new union members, in response to the mill owner's intransigence in the face of New Deal legislation, stood up for their rights and became a viable, but short-lived, worker force in the South. Management's reaction to the strike was swift and strong: owners mobilized to crush the strike in a variety of ways. Some mill workers were murdered, thousands more were blacklisted and made unable to work in the industry ever again, and many were so intimidated that "union" became a dirty word in Southern communities for decades following. "It was on Labor Day in 1934 that I witnessed the closest thing that this country has had to a revolution. The General Textile Strike was one of the largest strikes in American history; it was the culmination of years of homegrown organizing and protest. For many Southern workers it was the first time they had raised their voices as citizens to challenge the control of the mill owners," recalled Joe Jacobs, a featured narrator in Uprising. for decades, Jacobs figured prominently as a labor law attorney and Democratic Party activist in the Atlanta and the South.
486 item(s) (486 interviews)
Language of Materials
In 1934, Southern textile workers took the lead in a nationwide strike that saw half a million workers walk off their jobs in the largest single-industry strike in the history of the United States. This finding aid describes the digitized oral history-style interviews available in Georiga State University Library's Digital Collections.
The interviews and clips are arranged in loose alphabetical order by interviewee's last name.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Collection donated by the Research Consortium for the Southwide Textile Strike of 1934 in 1995 and 1999.
The National Historical Publications and Records Commission awarded Georgia State University Library a grant to digitize, transcribe, and make available online all of the interviews, which previously existed only in obsolete audiovisual formats. The interviews are available at Georgia State University Library Digital Collections.
Interviewes were processed, digitized, and described by Digital Library Services.
- The Uprising of '34:
- A Guide to the Interviews at Georgia State University Library
- Hal Hansen
- Fall 2020
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description