On the Shellpile

Rita Moonsammy (Bayshore Project)

"On the Shellpile" documents the community of African Americans that grew from Shellpile, where they and their forebears worked in the oyster shucking houses on the docks of Bivalve, NJ, during the early and mid-20th century. Old photos provide historical background for former residents to talk about their town, their work, their families, their churches, and their singing. The work was hard and dirty, the shucking houses cold, and the pay low, but singing spirituals together "lifted us up and got us through." Shellpile was razed in the 60s, but today their churches and songs testify to the resilience of the community.

Part of 06-10 Music and Identity, Friday, October 14, 2:30 pm–4:30 pm