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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
INTERVIEWEE: Glen Oxendine
INTERVIEWER: Lew Barton
January 20, 1975
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B: This is January 20, 1975. I am Lew Barton interviewing for the University
of Florida's History Department's American Indian Oral History Program,
and with me is the young gentleman who has kindly consented to give
us an interview and I'm going to ask him right now if he will tell
us what his name is.
0: My name is Glen Oxendine.
B: Who are your parents, Glen?
0: Well, my mother's name is Trebea Chavis, and my father's Vernon
B: Maybe we should spell those last names for the sake of the girl who
would report this perhaps. His last name is 0-x-e-n-d-i-n-e, and
your mother's name is Trebia, T-r-e-b-i-a?
0: T-r-e-b-e-a, Trebea.
B: T-r-e-b-a. How many of you children are there?
0: There's seven all in the family, four boys and three girls.
B: Could you give us their names and ages?
0: The oldest one is Diane, the oldest girl. She's twenty-three. Then
there's Timmy Reddick, she's twenty, be twenty-two. Then there's
David, he's nineteen. Me, I'm eighteen. And there's Linda, she's
seventeen, and there's Rose, she's fifteen, and Wayne, he's fourteen.
B: I see. That makes a nice family. Where do you go to school?
0: I finished school.
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B: How old are you now?
B: Eighteen you told me. Well, you're a, you're a man. Guess they
haven't got-you in the army yet.
B: Well, it's good that it's over. At least we hope it's over so our
young people don't have to go back over to Vietnam, places like this.
What did you enjoy most about school?
0: Well, let's see, history, math, and social studies.
B: Are you on the athletic,tea-, any of the athletic teams?
0: Well, I take up, I it '. :; karate, I love all kind of sports,
B: Do you have somebody to teach karate?
0: I o, up there on Eastern Avenue I go to a school named, A K 0
U: What 1
0: Ninth degree.
B: Is karate...
B: ...actually as expense, as effective as it's supposed to be?
0: Yes, it can really, a person really can get hurt in it.
B: Yes, I wouldn't mind being adept at it myself at least enough to protect
myself. You don't have to be a certain size, do you?
0: You be any size, age. It doesn't matter how you are.
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B: Is it very expensive ?
0: Well, the course, if you want to take it six days a week you've
got to pay thirty a month or you can pay, pay nineteen fifteen
for three days a week.
B: How long does it take you to learn?
0: Well, every two months they test you on your ability of what belt
they teach you. Each belt you have two months to learn everything
in it, fighting, form and everything else.
B: Do you think girls could learn this perhaps?
0: Yes, there's girls in it, too, and some of them are pretty good.
B: Uh huh, if a guy made a pass at a girl like that he'd be in trouble,
0: Oh yes, a lot of trouble.
B: Well, what if, what if one person who was good at karate would come
in contact with somebody else who was also good?
0: Well, they'd just have to battle it out to see which, which was the best.
B: Uh huh, is it a form of wrestling?
0: No, it's a form of fighting. It has to do with fighting and people,
everything around you. And let's see, with karate you fight at least
from anywhere from between two:people oniup with karate. Wrestling
is just a lot of flips and throwing people.
B: Uh huh, with karate one man whose good at it could take care of two
who aren't, couldn't he?
0: Uh huh.
B: What do you, you use a lot of leverage in that or...
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0: It takes, really there's a lot of meditation in it as far as to relax
the body, the feel of the, what the ground is. Concentrate on
everything else, sound, vibrations, heart beat, things that a regular
person don't really hear normally.
B: Uh huh, in other words you do this when you're,when you're fighting
you, you concentrate on....
0: On the other person. You watch for him to move first. When he
moves he's dead O c-A J finish him off.
B: Uh huh, so one, one feature of it then is keeping cool, isn't it?
0: Uh huh, don't show everybody what you know or they mightpick it up
from you and wind up beating you. Keep it to yourself.
B: Well, if everybody studied karate then...
0: It'd be a bad thing. You know, instead of using guns and everything
else, they'd be using this, but it's much dangerous. You've got like
three hundred and twenty-five pressure points in the body and seventy-
five points, some kind of ventilation points that one cut you can kill
B: That's fantastic, isn't it? Have you got any girl friends?
0: Yes, I've got a girlfriend, hoping to marry her one day.
B: Hey, that's great. Do you/want to give us her name?
0: Well, her name is Doris d She lives on Baltimore Street.
B: Is she an Indian girl?
0: No, she's white.
B: Since you've been here in Balt-, how long, by the way how long have you
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live here? Have you lived here all of your life?
0: I've lived here all of my life, all except when I was a little baby
I moved to North Carolina for about three years.
B: Uh huh, do you think there's any difference in living here and living
in North Carolina?
0: If you can live in Baltimore you can live anywhere in the world.
Because in Baltimore you have all kinds of weather, hot, warm, cold,
freezing, and there's certain other places in the world that just
has a certain type of temperature.
B: It does vary a lot then, doesn't it?
0: Uh huh.
B: You, when did you get out of school? Last year?
0: Well, let's see, yes, last year because I went into Sob Corp, I got
my G.E.D. in there, went all the way to Idaho.
B: What do you plan to do in the future?
0: Well, I'm trying to find a painting job because I got, took up painting
there, too. I got my certificate for painting.
B: Are a good many of our people in Baltimore, painters?
0: Well, we've got a lot of painters, side-wallers, construction, _j_/_-_ _
f Ij and everything.
B: Uh huh, there isn't as much carpentry work here as there is, would be
back home, is there?
B: They make all the buildings out of brick and other stuff, don't they?
0: Yes, mostly brick, form stone, and the only thing that's wood is probably
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when they're building the inside of it.
B : Uh huh, so for an inside you'd need a carpenter.
0: Uh huh.
B: Have our people got any businesses over here, do they run any businesses?
0: Yes, they run stores and they got, maybe their own businesses,
own hot tiling, shingling, roofing and stuff like that, sfS" walling.
B: Do you think four thousand Indians in Baltimore would be an exaggeration?
Do you think we have that many left or what?
0: I think we have more than that in Baltimore.
B: How many groups would you say is represented here?
0: There's a lot of groups here, Cherokees, Lumbees, Nava oes, Sioux,
Cheyenne. It's all mixed up.
B: C- I've never seen L So is the community
0: Yes, it's scattered out all over the United States.
B: Do you think being an Indian in Baltimore imposes a problem on the
0: Well, for some people it imposes. Like the black man, some of the
Indians fits in with them and some don't, because the black man thinks
he's more powerful than the Indian and they can get what they want
easily, than the Indians can. The Indians try so hard to get what
they want but yet they don't get it. The black man will get it
before they will.
B: Is that because the black man is bigger in number?
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0: No, because really it's just that an Indian don't hardly, an Indian
really is peaceful, a black man is mostly a savage, come from a
B: Is that right?
0: Uh huh. That's what I feel. But I got a lot of black friends, too,
but they all vte Some that, it's really the main part is really
the person himself, any person, and you can get along with them,
you can get along with them, you can't, you can't.
B: Do you think it's easier to get along with blacks or whites?
0: Well, one day they say in 1976 there might be a world riot,and really
the Indians don't like the white man, the white man don't like the
Indians. The white man don't like the niggers, as they call them,
but they're really Negroes, and the Negroes don't like the white man.
So if there will be a riot the Indians Mt the colored man would
be on one side.
B: You think?
0: Uh huh.
B: Well, what do you think we could do to bring about better harmony
between people and help them to understand each other better and
maybe to get to liking each other more?
0: Me, I might say to get in there and show each other .their cultures
and where they from and what they represent and what they want. Stuff
like that, to the congressmen.
B: Do you think we ought to have more study of minorities in our schools?
0: Yes, we should.
B: You think this would help in that direction?
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0: It would help and if everyone gets to understanding everyone's races
and what they here for and the purpose, that God put everyone here
to be brothers and sisters, but they don't realize that.
B: Uh huh.
0: All they believe in violence, killing, stuff like that.
B: I noticed it in the city, I guess robbing and stuff like that!in
rural areas, too, but in the cities especially there seem to be more
of this going on. For example the police department of the city of
Baltimore, I believe has published a book called Rip Off. Are there
certain sections of Baltimore which are rougher-thah others?
0: Yes, there is, like projects, mostly in all projects there's colored
people, and you let a white person go in there the next they know
this white person's going to want to get beat up or something.
B: Uh huh, these areas predominantly black?
0: Some of them are, but they like to spread them out.
B: Do you think all this makes for a bad situation?
0: It would if, if all projects were just for colored people it would, but
now they're mixing in white people and all.
B: Do you think they are perhaps resentful of other people moving into
0: In a way, yes, because they don't, they don't feel right with someone
else around them bc- their own color. They fight among themselves,
too, though. Everyone do that.
B: Uh huh, we do some of that, too, don't we?
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B: I'm afraid, unfortunately. This seems to be characteristic'of closed
groups, of small groups and of things that have a certain amount of
this. Among our people I'm afraid we've always had a little too much
violence. I wish it were not so, but it is. Do you think there's
more of that in Baltimore or back in Robeson County?
0: More in Baltimore because Baltimore's the second largest crime city
in the world, in the United States f rC. .
B: It's the second.
0: It's the second largest crime city.
B: I know two guys who came through the nation's capitol not long ago
and the car ran hot, you know, and the guy wanted to drive or went
to get help from a garage, Then another guy comes along and he's
calling this other guy out to talk with him and while he's doing
that somebody else is ripping them off, you know, taking everything
out of the car, clothing, everything. Do you think this happens
in all the big cities?
0: That happens all over the place. Everyone's getting ripped off of
something, houses, cars get stolen, everything.
B; Well, is there anything you'd like to pass on to other young people?
Well, let me ask you one more thing about, when I talk to fellows
I like to ask them about war. How do you feel about war?
0: War? I don't like it. Going in another country I wouldn't go over
there to fight. If it was here in the United States I'll fight be-
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cause the United States is where I was born and raised and it's my
country. There's where I will fight and dief Where it's someone
else I wouldn't fight and die for it.
B: In other words if you were just going off to fight for another country
out of friendship for that country, that's a different thing, isn't it?
What do you think we could do, we who are older, what can we do about
breaking the so-called generation gap between the young people and
the older people so that they can understand each_ their and help -I
each other, work more as a team or... & I s .
0: Well, that's a hard question to answer.
B: Yes, it is a big question isn't it?
0: Yes, well, the young people want their way. They like wearing long
hair and smoking dope and the old people they want them to have short
hair, don't smoke dope, stuff like that. So they call it the
B: Do you think things like pot, is that what you would call it in
0: Well, everyone, someone smokes pot all over the place,more than
__s__ _Baltimore. Pot ain't really aeopt-ed to the body like cigarettes
are. Cigarettes are more damaging than pot is.
B: Do you think that a person under the influence of pot is more apt
to do something violent...
B: ...than under whisky maybe or something like that?
0: A person under whisky is out for violence. It stirrs the blood up,
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with alcohol. But when you smoke pot it soothes the body, calms the
nerves. Everything around you makes you want to feel happy, stuff
B: Well, it is quite a problem. I always 4 too hot and too high,
you know, because they are very severe in their punishment. IO )/c
the punishment1too severe for people who are picked up with, you
know, possession of pot, things like this?
0: Well, one time they were trying to pass the law for smoking marijuana,
but I don't think they ever passed it, but now with one jay, you
get caught with maybe five jays in your pocket, that's maybe five
years now.Getting caught with anything under five they just take it
from you and tear it up.the next day.
B: Do you think people understand it more in the cities than they do
in the rural areas? I understand it's better perhaps.
0: They might, because in the rural areas you won't hardly find it, but
out-heretin the cities and ghettos you find it everywhere. Pushers,
pushing that big -S1EA heroin, the stuff that really can hurt
somebody. That's what they're really after, the heroin.
B: Uh huh, and the marijuana you wouldn't class_along with that-at all,
0: No, marijuana you can't get hooked on.
B: You don't get hooked on marijuana.
B: I've heard that said a number of times. Of course I don't know, but
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this is something that does continue to be said and maybe that's,
maybe there's something to that. Do you think if marijuana was
legalized things would be better?
0: Well, not really because then kids don't want to go to school. They'd
want to stay home all the time just smoking and getting high. So
i wouldn't be right for them to pass it.
B: You'd rather it be like it is.
0: Yes. You get caught you just get caught.
B: If you could do anything at all for Indian people in Baltimore, Maryland,
if you had your wish you could do anything that would help us, what
would you, what would it be?
0: I to come as one nation, just as one people, no fighting,
no angry among one another, let them sit down. Like when they first,
when first was around, when all of them were around before the white
man came, everything was peacefulas one tribe. I wish they could
be like that.
B: That certainly would be nice. How about Indian guys and their attitude
toward Indian girls, are they resentful that go out with guys of.
other races? -
0: No, not really, because I was up, when I was in Idaho,the Ne.e- tribe,
there was colored dudes up there going with Indian girls. They didn't
say nothing about it, the Indian guys.
B: Do you think they would feel stronger here i j ""f /J ,',-1?
0: In a way, yes, way out there in the west is a lot different than
there is here in the east.
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B: Is there anything you'd like to pass along to other young people?
What would you say to them?
0: For myself, as they're growing up watch out for the hard stuff,
keep on going to school and achieve something, put yourself in
something. Don't be the bum on the street.
B: That's great, great. I certainly want to thank you for giving us
this interview, it's been a most enjoyable one. I certainly appreciate,
0: Well, I enjoyed it a lot.
B: Thank you very much.
0: Your welcome.