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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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Michael Ray Dunlap

Michael Ray Dunlap, born in 1958, was raised in Sopchoppy, Florida. Dunlap grew up outdoors,  hunting, fishing, and swimming in the Sopchoppy River. Dunlap often uses his fishing skills to supplement his income. He and his father often went floundering in the Bay. He also began working at Angelo’s Seafood, a local restaurant and commercial fishing operation, at age fourteen. While working in the kitchen, Dunlap also began to shrimp on commercial fishing boats there.

After graduating high school, Dunlap joined the United States Army and was stationed throughout the U.S. and Korea. When he returned, he worked as a commercial fisherman, catching flounder, grouper, and shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico. Dunlap’s wife encouraged him to find a steady job instead of seasonal commercial fishing work. He came to work for Tim Jordan at the Panacea Area Oyster Company. He began farming oysters in 2016. He operates his own lease in Skipper Bay. Dunlap also works on Jordan’s oyster lease, tending and harvesting Saucey Lady Oysters.

Date of interview:

Annemarie Anderson

Annemarie Anderson

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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.


Alex Raij Txikito

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