Georgia Black Fisherman | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Georgia Black Fisherman

  • Collection DOI:
    Principal Investigator:
    Dionne Hoskins
  • African American participation in marine-related careers began as early as 1796, when the federal government issued Seamen’s Protection Certificates to merchant mariners defining them as “citizens” of the United States effectively making maritime employment one way for Blacks to shape their identities. This collection This project documents the fishery-related occupations of African Americans in coastal Georgia 1865 to present and gather information for future work that may ascertain the relationship between their decreased participation and changes in regional fish populations and the fishing industry.

Interviewee Description Interviewer Date of Interview Location of Interview Affiliation Collection
Charles Hall

Mr. Charles Hall discusses the fishing industry of Sapelo Island and how, "the water was his friend." He enlightens his listeners on the survival of an African American family when the water was a means of survival.

Dionne Hoskins Sapelo Island, GA NOAA, Savannah State University Georgia Black Fisherman
Lucy Grant

Mrs. Lucy Grant describes how her husband worked endless shifts aboard a vessel to provide for his family. She gives an account of her family as well and how she grew up in a fishing household.

Dionne Hoskins Shellman Bluff, GA NOAA, Savannah State University Georgia Black Fisherman
Kenneth Dunham

Mr. Kenneth Dunham describes his early life in the rural coastal Georgia community of Harris Neck. Kenneth describes his father's role in the community as a boat builder, and how lessons in woodwork, carpentry, and boat building have been passed for generations. Kenneth talks about (and demonstrates) how nets and "trap lines" are made, as well as recounts how the different fishes, crabs, and terrapins were caught in this homemade gear.

Jolvan Morris Townsend, GA NOAA, Savannah State University Georgia Black Fisherman
Primus Butler

Mr. Primus Butler describes his childhood experiences in Thunderbolt, Georgia and how not only has the fishing arena changed in commercial fishing but the way of life as a recreational fisherman has changed.

Dionne Hoskins Thunderbolt, GA NOAA, Savannah State University Georgia Black Fisherman
Leroy Beavers

Mr. Leroy Beavers discusses his life as a recreational fisherman and how his family played a significant role in the comercial industry. His story begins in 1964 during the new found freedom and how the playing field was "equalized."

Dionne Hoskins Sapelo Island, GA NOAA, Savannah State University Georgia Black Fisherman
Cornelia Walker Bailey

Interview with Cornelia Walker Bailey.

Dionne Hoskins Sapelo Island, GA NOAA, Savannah State University Georgia Black Fisherman