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.
Mrs. Cassie Williams gives us a vivid description of the fishing community in Thunderbolt, Georgia and how relationships between African American families grew with time. She gives the names of numerous processing factories and the families that owned them. Not only does she describe the lifestyle of a fisherman's wife but also the career choice of a lifetime.
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