Behind the Apron: The History, Life, and Hidden Achievements of Southern Maryland's Black Oyster and Clam Workers
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
ACMA.09-007.28
Creators:
Anacostia Community Museum
Dates:
1997
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
1 Linear foot
12 sound recordings
audio cassette
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
Behind the Apron oral history project documents the experiences of Black oyster and clam workers in Southern Maryland. The audio interviews were conducted by Shelia Montague Parker in 1997. The interviewees include: Doris Harris, Conroy Butler, Mary Hawkins, Christine Gray, Blondell Mason, Mary Washington, Ruth Smith, and Wiliam Bourne. The interviews explore issues such as: the connection between land and water, between farming and the fishing industry; the communal spirit and camaraderie amongst oyster workers; the experience of women oyster workers; and the changes in the oyster packing industry resulting in a diminshed African American workforce.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
African Americans have been an integral part of Southern's Maryland's proud commerical fishing industry. Nowhere has their contribution been more prominent than in the seaford houses along the Patuxent River. Until most recentely, in Calvert and other neighboring counties, the function of shucking oysters and clams was almost exlusively performed by African Americans. Black oyster and clam workers have brought dignity, skill, and a strong sense of community to a job that industry outsiders often consider "dirty work."

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist at acmarchives@si.edu.
Preferred Citation
Behind the Apron oral history project, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
African Americans -- Employment Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
African Americans -- Maryland Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Oral histories (document genres) Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Transcripts Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
African American Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
1901 Fort Place, SE
Washington, D.C. 20020
ACMArchives@si.edu
http://www.anacostia.si.edu/Collections/ArchiveCollection