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.
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.
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The NOAA mission is to understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts, to share that knowledge and information with others, and to conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources. The Voices Oral History Archives offers public access to a wide range of accounts, including historical materials that are products of their particular times, and may contain offensive language or negative stereotypes.
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