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Interviewee Collection Sort descending Description Interviewer Date of Interview Location of Interview Affiliation
Charles Hall Georgia Black Fishermen

Charles Hall was born in 1934 on Sapelo Island, Georgia—a small Gullah Geechee community founded on the fourth largest barrier island in the 1700s, 60 miles south of Savannah, in McIntosh County. Mr. Hall earned his Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Morehouse College in Georgia and Physical Therapy certification from the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. He worked as a physical therapist in Ohio until his retirement. Along with service in the United States Air Force, Mr. Hall served in prominent positions within community organizations in Ohio before moving back to Georgia.

Dionne Hoskins Sapelo Island, GA NOAA, Savannah State University
Herman "Hanif" Haynes Georgia Black Fishermen

Herman Haynes, better known as “Hanif,” grew up watching the daily ebb and flood of the Moon River behind his family’s property in Pin Point, Georgia—a small Gullah Geechee community founded in 1896 eleven miles southeast of Savannah, in Chatham County. The river played a pivotal role in Hanif’s life, as it was where he was baptized as a member of the Sweetfield of Eden Baptist Church and where he swam each summer with his friends. At the insistence of his family, Hanif pursued his education and employment outside of the crab industry.

Dionne Hoskins Pin Point, GA NOAA, Savannah State University
Otis Hayward Georgia Black Fishermen

Otis Hayward comes from a long line of independent, nomadic commercial fishermen on both sides of his family. In his teenage years, he worked as a striker on his father’s boat and traveled far from his small hometown of Thunderbolt, Georgia—five miles southeast of Savannah, in Chatham County—to follow seasonally migrating shrimp along Florida’s Atlantic coastline. Mr.

Dionne Hoskins Savannah, GA NOAA, Savannah State University
Griffin Lotson Georgia Black Fishermen

Commissioner Griffin Lotson reflects on his experience with the shrimp industry in Darien, Georgia. He discusses the role of fishing in the Gullah Geechee community in terms of making a living, ethnic identity, and culture.

Jolvan Morris Darien, GA NOAA, Savannah State University
Ernest L. McIntosh Sr. Georgia Black Fishermen

Ernest McIntosh Sr. and his four brothers were born into a crabbing family, surrounded by 2,700 acres of coastal saltwater wildlife refuge in Harris Neck, Georgia—30 miles south of Savannah, in McIntosh County. Although his brothers immediately pursued crabbing with their father, Ernest worked as a construction laborer until he was laid off in 1978. He returned to the waters of his childhood and began commercially harvesting blue crab on the five boats owned by his family. After seeing no long-term future in the crabbing industry from environmental and environmental changes, Mr.

Jolvan Morris Townsend, GA NOAA, Savannah State University
Wilson Moran Georgia Black Fishermen

Mr. Wilson Moran, historian and Harris Neck decedent describes environmental stewardship in the local oyster and crab fishery. He gives an account of changes in the fishery due to anthropogenic impacts including pollution and over harvesting. Mr. Moran concludes his oral history explaining his father's work as a commercial crab fisherman and how a working knowledge of the estuary contributed to success in the fishery.

Jolvan Morris Townsend, GA NOAA, Savannah State University
Charles Murray Georgia Black Fishermen

Biographical Sketch
Mr. Charles Murray grew up in Savannah, Georgia surrounded by a fishing community his entire life. He learned the trade, which he found easy, from his father who was a commercial shrimper and was the first African American in Thunderbolt to own his own boat. Coastal Georgia was the epicenter for shrimping and was where he, his father, and two brothers made their living. Mr. Murray was one of 10 children and joined his father’s business at the age of 16; he married twice and had children and lived his entire life in Savannah.

Dionne Hoskins Thunderbolt, GA NOAA, Savannah State University
Olive Smith Georgia Black Fishermen

Olive Smith is one of the original members of the Harris Neck community in McIntosh County Georgia. In her oral history, she explains how her mother provided food for the family by picking oysters at low tide during the winters and catching crabs. Olive's account is a brief glimpse of what life was like for the women of this fishing community.

Jolvan Morris Townsend, GA NOAA, Savannah State University
Annie Lee Thorpe Georgia Black Fishermen

Biographical Sketch

Monet Murphy Thunderbolt, GA NOAA, Savannah State University
Rebecca "Miss Sula" Bowen Georgia Black Fishermen

Rebecca Bonds Bowen, better known as “Miss Sula,” was born in 1946 in Pin Point, Georgia—a small Gullah Geechee community founded in 1896, eleven miles southeast of Savannah, in Chatham County. Growing up, Miss Sula was often the primary caregiver for her younger siblings because her parents would leave early in the morning to either catch or pick crabs. In her early 20s, Miss Sula was employed as a crab picker but was persuaded by her mother to pursue her education for a better life. Miss Sula entered the nursing field and worked in various care facilities throughout Georgia.

Dionne Hoskins Savannah, GA NOAA, Savannah State University