Through an oral history interview, Mary Dawkins talks about growing up and being raised by her grandparents in Lusbee, Maryland. She talks about her enjoyment as a clam and oyster shucker and her ability to earn money to send her children to college. Prior to working for Warren Denton Seafood House (Calvert County, Maryland), Dawkins worked as cook for Parrens and as a shucker for Lores, which went out of business. Dawkins describes her experience working as a clam and oyster shucker in detail. She explains the changes in the oyster, clam, and crab industries, particularly the oysters and crabs are smaller and not as plentiful, and the diminished African American workforce. She talks about working with Mexicans and the changing demographics of the employees working at Warren Denton Seafood House.
Interview. Part of Behind the Apron oral history project. Undated.
Biographical / Historical:
Behind the Apron oral history project documents the experiences of Black oyster and clam workers in Southern Maryland. 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. The audio interviews were conducted by Shelia Montague Parker in 1997.
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