A 103-year-old great-grandmother has gone viral on TikTok, telling of how she used to spend 14 hours a day picking cotton on a Georgia farm.
Madie Scott — who was born in the South back in 1917 — told her granddaughter, Shanika Bradshaw, that she was just 12 years old when she began the job back in 1929.
Scott would spend each day between the hours of 3 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the farm picking cotton, which was then used to make clothing.
The centenarian was paid just 50 cents per day for her labor, and she worked the grueling job for four years.
She recalled the work in a TikTok shared by Bradshaw earlier this month, which has been viewed a whopping 3.1 million times.
The lively 103-year-old tells her granddaughter: “You got to know how to work. When you get used to picking cotton, you pick it, you know how to pick it. I worked like a dog.”
Scott moved to Florida at the age of 16 to start work as a sharecropper because it offered better pay.
The gregarious grandmother has become an unexpected TikTok star since her video went viral.
Bradshaw has started to record and post other videos of her conversations with Scott in a bid to highlight black history. Her videos now regularly rack up hundreds of thousands of views.
Speaking of her experience on the Georgia cotton farm, Scott later also explained that she worked alongside her sister.
“I was picking cotton all day,” she told BuzzFeed. “That’s all there was to do. You can work in the house [babysitting or cleaning], but if you work in the field you make the most money.”
Prior to the Civil War in 1865, many black Americans enslaved in the South picked cotton on farms owned by whites. After emancipation, many continued to labor away on the farms while being poorly paid by bosses.
Scott says she forgave her employers “a long time ago” for both overworking and underpaying her.
After working as a sharecropper, Scott spent 40 years working as a nanny for a wealthy family in Miami Beach. She has also been employed as a cook.
Scott’s other jobs also involved manual labor, but she found herself missing work when she retired in her 80s.
However, she says children these days don’t know how lucky they have it.
“Ain’t none of these young people will have to go through what I went through to get where I am now,” she told BuzzFeed.
“Oh Lord, I wish we had that — how ya’ll got everything laid out for you [in life] and you know where it’s going. When I was coming up, we didn’t know where we were going, all we knew how to do was work.”