Peggy Bulger

Stetson Kennedy's 100th Birthday

Folklorist, author, and activist Stetson Kennedy was born on October 5, 1916. Had he not died in 2011, Kennedy would have been 100 years old this week.

From 1937 to 1942, Kennedy traveled throughout Florida recording the oral histories, folktales, and work songs of the state’s diverse population. He spoke with Cracker cowmen, Seminole Indians, Greek sponge divers, Latin cigar rollers, African American turpentine still workers, and many others.

Florida Frontiers “Florida Folklorist Peggy Bulger”

Peggy Bulger wanted to follow in Stetson Kennedy’s footsteps. In fact, Bulger wrote her doctoral dissertation about him.

As head of the Florida Writer’s Project for the Works Project Administration in the 1930s and ‘40s, Kennedy traveled throughout the state documenting the traditions, folktales, and folk songs of Florida’s diverse population. He recorded the oral histories of Greek sponge divers in Tarpon Springs, Latino cigar rollers in Ybor City and Key West, Seminole Indians at Big Cypress, and many others.

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