A Guide to the Collection at Georgia State University
University Georgia State University Special Collections and Archives 100 Decatur St., SE Atlanta, GA 30303-3202 404-413-2880 Fax: 404-413-2881 email@example.com
Text converted and initial EAD tagging
provided by Apex Data Services, June 2001.
Georgia State University Library,
Special Collections and Archives,
The Uprising of '34
21 linear feet;
120 audiocassettes: analog;
ca. 515 videocassettes: sound,
The collection consists of oral history
interviews and transcripts, production footage and publicity materials related
to the creation of the "Uprising of '34" documentary. Veterans or their
descendants were interviewed about mill life, work conditions, southern
culture, as well as the strike itself. These interviews were incorporated into
the production itself.
Organization and Arrangement of the Collection
This collection is arranged into four series: (1) General
Documentation, (2) Interviews, (3) Archival Footage and (4) Production Footage
and Masters. The original order and system of organizing the collection has
been maintained. Some videotapes already have had use copies made for
Scope and Content 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. Consisting of oral
history interviews, transcripts, archival and production footage, and
supporting documentation, this collection examines a previously hidden or
little-known legacy of the labor movement in the South and the impact of the
knowledge, or lack of it, on today's workers. This documentary footage
literally unlocks the past of 1934, as many interviewees shared memories that
they had not even discussed with family members.
Although The Uprising of '34 can stand
along as a unique window into a crucial period of southern labor-management and
textile worker history, the supporting production materials will supply the
researcher with an invaluable source of first-hand experience during this time.
This footage captures memories that will soon disappear completely from the
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.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in the
Georgia State University Library online catalog (GIL). Researchers desiring
materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog
using these headings.
Hard Times Productions,
Research Consortium for
the Southwide Textile Strike of 1934.
lockouts--Textile industry--Southern States.
Strike, Southern States, 1934.
Documentaries and factual
films and video.
Sociological films and
Restrictions on Access
Georgia State University Special Collections Department use of
videocassettes only; no circulation.
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.
[item], [folder title if applicable], [series title], The Uprising of
'34 collection, L1995-13, Southern Labor Archives. Special Collections and
Archives, Georgia State University, Atlanta.
The collection was first received in 1995 with additions in 1999 and
2000. The processing was completed in 2000. Some of the videotapes have master
and user copies. All computer disk files have been converted from WordPerfect
4.0 to Word 2000.
Related materials in other repositories:
Textile Workers Union of America oral history project interviews,
1977-1985, State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Archives Division;
Information about the Uprising of '34 film can be
located at the URL: http://amdoc.org/projects/truelives/pg_uprising.html.
Related materials in this repository: At
the Southern Labor Archives, numerous collections can be found related to
textile workers and Joseph Jacobs and are available for research use.