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A 103-year-old grandmother has gone viral after sharing her experience picking cotton as a teenager.
TikTok user Shanika Bradshaw recently shared a video of her grandmother Madie Scott speaking about picking cotton for 50 cents a day.
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“When you think of history, they really don’t talk about the truth,” Bradshaw told Buzzfeed of her grandmother.
“We hear about Christopher Columbus, but we don’t really hear too much of Black history. So I feel it’s important for me to put this out there so people can hear it firsthand,” she added. “This is what happened, these people — not just my grandmother — but other people who built up America and were never acknowledged for it.”
In the viral video, Bradshaw, who turns 104 on Dec. 8, explains that she was age 12 when she picked cotton in her Georgia hometown every day from 3 a.m. to 5 p.m.
When Scott turned 16, she moved to Miami, Florida where she worked as a sharecropper.
“I was picking cotton all day,” Scott told BuzzFeed.
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“Today was the first day that I felt a little sad,” Bradshaw said. “I was asking her about the pay. I asked her if she forgave the people for how she was treated and she said, ‘Yeah, I did forgive them a long time ago. Even though I was overworked and put in so much work and was paid so little.’”
After working as a sharecropper for serval years, Scott worked as a cook in Miami Beach before she became a nanny for a wealthy family that she worked for for 40 years.
Bradshaw has been filming her grandmother’s tales to share with the TikTok community.
“I said, ‘Grandma, do you know 2 million people watched that video?’” Brashaw recalled to Buzzfeed. “And she said, ‘That’s a lot of people! You had me on there looking raggedy!’”
Scott hopes the videos will inspire others to uncover truths about their ancestors.
“Ain’t none of these young people will have to go through what I went through to get where I am now,” Scott told Buzzfeed. “Oh lord, I wish we had that — how y’all got everything laid out for you [in life] and you know where you’re going. When I was coming up, we didn’t know where we were going, all we know to do was work.”
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