Magnolia Cotton Mill 

418 S. Graham St.
The Magnolia Cotton Mill was located just across the street from Romare Bearden's great-grandparents' house. Romare stated in an interview, "When they turned on the machinery in the Magnolia Cotton Mill, you'd hear it all over Charlotte."

The noise from this cotton mill and others served as a constant reminder of impediments to African American advancement in society. While cotton was historically farmed and harvested by African Americans (as depicted in Bearden’s collage Liza in High Cotton), they were usually barred from working in textile manufacturing.

© Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Romare Bearden's Liza in High Cotton, from the Profile/Part I: The Twenties series (Mecklenburg County). 1978. Collage on board, 17½ x 32¾". Private collection.

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Works Cited:

Greenwood, Janette Thomas. Bittersweet Legacy: The Black and White "Better Classes" in Charlotte, 1850-1910. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1994. Print.

Schwartzman, Myron. Romare Bearden: His Life and Art. New York: H. N. Abrams, 1990. Print.