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Hampton History Museum

Posted on: August 1, 2023

Black on the Water:  Life, Labor, and Freedom on the Chesapeake Bay

Taylor Armistead 1905 SQ

The Museum Seeks Histories of African American Seafood Laborers
We want to hear your family stories for our project!

The Hampton History Museum is currently conducting  research on the legacy of African American watermen, oyster shuckers, sea laborers, and significant watermen sites in the Hampton Roads area. The labor of African Americans in Hampton’s maritime and seafood industries were an integral part of the area's culture and  history leading to the city’s nickname, “Crabtown.” 

As we’re gathering more data, we would like to speak  directly with watermen families to hear your histories.  To participate, please contact Kendall Bazemore at or 757-727-6822. 

Taylor Armistead standing in skiff or other small craft, circa 1905. Note on back reads: "Taylor Armistead ex slave - 85 years of age. Named for his former masters' family." 
View the image file in our collection online.



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