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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to annemarie@southernfoodways.org.

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Janice Richards - Shucker

Thirteen Mile Oyster Company

Janice Richards was born in Eastpoint in 1945 and has been shucking oysters since 1960. Her mother taught her the trade when she was a girl. Early on she learned to take her time to shuck a clean oyster. Janice married at the age of fourteen. Her husband, Johnny Richards, is an oysterman. They’ve worked at a handful of seafood houses over the years. Today they work together at Tommy Ward’s oyster house, 13 Mile. Johnny gets the oysters, and Janice shucks his catch. But these years of shucking have taken their toll. Janice’s legs are weak from the years of standing at the stalls. And the whirring blade on the shucking machine is a danger she faces every day. She loves it, though. Janice says she’ll be shucking until she dies.

Date of interview:
2006-03-23 00:00

Amy Evans

Amy Evans

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


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