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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.

ORAL HISTORY

Kevin Godsey


Kevin Godsey, born in 1972, is the son and grandson of watermen. He lives on land that has been in his family for three hundred years. Godsey has witnessed the continual decline of commercial watermen in Mathews County, Virginia. As a child, helping his father, he saw eighty to a hundred boats leave the docks each morning. Now, Kevin works alone on a skiff. He crabs, oysters, and fishes seasonally. He carries his catch directly to Richmond to a network of seafood stores. Godsey also takes part in state aquaculture programs, growing hybrid oysters. He educates young people about how oysters are harvested. He is also an avid collector of seafood-related ephemera, from oyster cans to general store accounting books.

Date of interview:
2018-05-20

Interviewer:
Jessica Taylor and Patrick Daglaris

Photographer:
Beth Wood

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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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