- Goldmine: Root
- Oral History Collections
- Ed Perzel WSOC Project on Twentieth Century Charlotte
- Rosa Lee Coleman oral history interview, 1979 May 25
Rosa Lee Coleman oral history interview, 1979 May 25
Rosa Lee Coleman recounts her early life in Fayetteville, North Carolina, as well as her employment as a domestic service worker. As an African American, Mrs. Coleman discusses the complicated dynamics of her relationship with her white female employer, with whom she moved from Fayetteville to Charlotte in 1933. She explains that her employer treated her in a contradictory way. Mrs. Coleman specifically recalls how her employer once cared for her during an illness and yet refused to offer her sufficient wages and food during her work hours. The inadequate compensation and the lack of empathy from her employer ultimately forced Mrs. Coleman to pursue employment in another household. She also recalls racial discrimination that she encountered from a Charlotte bus driver who adamantly enforced the segregated bus seating policies. Although Mrs. Coleman laments the difficult hardships her grandparents endured during slavery, she explains that she is grateful for the racial progress made since that time.