A century before civil rights, Black oystermen in Suffolk forged economic independence

One by one, 6 feet apart, the many granddaughters and friends of Marie Hill climbed the three brick steps of her porch in mid-February to pay their respects. They waved through the front door of the Suffolk home where Hill had lived for more than 80 years. “Happy birthday to you. Happy 100th birthday to you,” For multiple generations, Hill’s family, including her husband, Ernest Hill, Jr., had oystered out of Chuckatuck Creek. At its peak in 1910, the village was home to nearly 500 people. With money earned working farms and once-prosperous oyster beds, Hobson residents were able to live in relative independence. photos, >click to read< 17:32

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