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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
INTERVIEWER: Lew Barton
INTERVIEWEE: Mrs. Vivian Locklear
February 27, 1975 dib
B: This is Feburary 27, 1975. I'm Lew Barton recording for the University
of Floridal history department's American Indian Oral History
Program. This a-i- ---no-i-h morning oc$Ia we are over at
211 South Broadway here at the American Indians Study Center, Baltimore,
Maryland, and with me is a young lady who has very kindly consented
to give me an interviev3g I'm going to ask her if she would mind
telling us her name.
L: Vivian Locklear.
B: Is thisaSSS Mrs....
B: ...Vivian locklear. Would you tell us about your family. What is
your husband's name?
L: James Ervin, Locklear.
B: That's J-a-m-e-s E-r-v-i-n L-o-c-k-l-e-a-r. We- pll Lthea,- euso
there tirl-tea n: n How many children do you have?
B: -Arela= how many boys, how many girls?
L: Have two boys and two girls.
B: Two boys and two girl hey, that's an even number isn't it?
L: It sure is. A lot of work, too.
B: You say they all work.
Page 2. dib
L: I say a lot of work.
B: Oh yes, listen, could you give us their names and ages? Mothers can
do this, but fathers usually have trouble remembering ages.
L: I have, the oldest girl is Renata, her name, and her age is 10.
B: How do you spell, R-e-n-a-d-a?
B: Oh yes, Renata. 1Me
L: And the next one is Amanda. She's nine. The next one is Eric, he's
seven. And the next one is James Cory and he's four.
B: ^JIM that's a nice family. Where do you live here in Baltimore?
L: At 3209 East Monument Street.
B: How long have you been over here?
L: In Baltimore city?
L: About twenty years.
B: Are you a Lumbee?
B: Are you proud?
B: Is there any difference in living in Baltimore and living in North
L: Yes, they have more conveniences here than when I used to live in
B: aiSa HE, are there any inconveniences? a aS aw s rural
Page 3. dib
living and urban living is supposed to be different. I don't know
how different. Could you tell us something about the differences
in living here and living back home as we say?
L: Well, living back home you have to get out and go maybe a mile or
two to the stor-iayu du'ar -st if you're living in the country,
sometimes you don't have the water conveniences and modern conveniences
that you have living in the city where you have water and hot water
and cold water at all timeyqg living in the country you don't
have these things.
B: 0 e difference I've noticed since I came here is that back home you
have to have wheels. You have to have an automobilelor you don't
get anywhere M aince I've been here,mine has been sitting up
and I have, used ithardly:! gS at all. This is one big dif-
ference isn't it? You don't have to go very far to get what you
L: That's right. You all can just go right outside the house most of
the time and right down to the corner to the store. You don't have
to have no wheels at all.
B: Do you feel hedged in, though? -rgn ft like in the country you
breath the good old country air and all that and you have a lot of
elbow room in that. But some people seem to feel hedged.in in the
city. Did this bother you at first?
L: A little bit. But then you stop and think of all the advantages you
have in the city.
Page 4. dib
B: There used to be an old song about 'Give me land, lots of land under-
neath the starry sky. Don't fence me in.' You get used to being
fenced in, though, after a while, don't you?
L: Yes, you do.
B: Well, I think my foot, my feet are stuck in the concrete, too. I
think in time I'll Jls I don't have to get out very
far. Who were your parents?
L: Lacy and LaRue Locklear.
B: Lacy and LaRue Locklear. They live in Carolina?
L: No, they live in Baltimore.
B: How long have they been over here?
L: Oh, about twenty-five, maybe thirty years. Maybe longer.
B: -c1if, can you tell the difference in the number of people here now
and when you first came over?
L: Oh yes, there is quite a few more now than you had twenty years ago.
B: About how many do you think there were twenty years ago?
L: I have no idea, but I know it's a lot more than we have now, or there's
not as many then as we have now.
B: 1rH ,ayrar within recent months there has been sort of a shift
in the Indian population in Baltimore city. It seems that the people
who used to live on Baltimore Street are now living on Press Street
or some other place. "31jESf, why has this change come about?
L: Because the city thing called urban renewal are tearing down and
rebuildingand the people that lived there had to relocate to different
Page 5. dib
B: ti Do you go to church?
B: Where do you go to church?
L: West Cross Street Baptist.
B: Is that where Reverend Dial is pastor?
L: Yes, it is. He's a nice pastor.
B: Oh, he is a wonderful person. I've met him. About how many members
do you have over at WM'mM West Cross Street Baptist Church?
L: I don't have no idea right off hand, but we have quite a few of them,
most all of them Indians.
B: aB I've been over quite a few timesand I surely had a good time
over there. Everybody seems to enjoy the worship services, don't you
L: Yes, I do. We have good services.
B: BEEN= there's a lot of warmth and love and friendliness and all,
neighborliness and all this o UC' f hcrc 'S f
L: Yes, it is.,You think, do you think we may have a little something
) .-*' "^ - -
more than we have back home when it comes to church life? Do you
think there's more warmth? Do you think we're a little bit closer in
Baltimore than we are back home?
L: Well, in some family ties and in the church, yes. I think most Indian
people stick together just like with the blacks and the whites, they
all stick together.
B: We usually stick together wherever we are, don't we?
L: Yes, we do. One for all and all for one.
Page 6. dib
B: Right. I've always loved our people and knew we had the greatest
people in the world it seems to me. I may sound prejudiced when
I say that, but I really feel this way and I guess it's because...
L: Just because you're an IndianLa .,
B: Yes, I guess so and you know, we've always known our people, if we
had a need we wouldn't mind asking our people, would we?
L: No, we don't. We usually get help.
B: Right, if I go to somebody's home and I was hungry or I needed
something pretty badly/I wouldn't have to go far to find it, would
L: No, you wouldn't.
B: Do you go home very often?
L: Not too often, maybe once a year, twice.
B: KIl were you homesick at first?
L: Well, I was just a little girl, so it didn't bother me too bad.
B: Do you think living in the city this way is affecting' the way our
people, say for instance) their homes and their familiesTOy
RAW- Indian people usually are pretty strict in bringing children
ut do you think this is changing any in the city?
L: In some families it might, but my family, I started to do the same
as my mother done with me.
B: -JsarM, you're pretty strict with...
L: Yes, sir.
B: I remember when I was coming up trying to do a little courting, I had
to get up and be on my way home at nine o'clock to go...
Page 7. dib
L: That's right.
B: If 'I. t *
L: a. you didn't get together no more.
B: Right. =afE said absolutely 2, "If you can't respect our rules
you can stay home.'1
L: That's right.
B: And when the head of the house said bedtime and this fellow was leaving,
the next thing you heard were big feet hitting the floor.
L: Right, and he got bounced out the door.
B: Right, I didn't take a chance on that. But you know what was a happy
time for me? Back home when we were,S 9- iSlia curing
tobacco in tobacco barns, gS where you'd build a fire a@ the
burn, and you have to sit up through the night, or you- did then.
They don't do it that way now because they've got automatic burners,
that sort of thing. But we had to keep shoving logs in so we'd keep
the fire going,and so I was a little bit happy when summertime came
around because this is one time they didn't call bedtime. But they
let you sit up and keep the fire goi yeamew
B: You had a good excuse.
L: Yes, you'd stay up then all night, and then work all the next day.
B: _49idmi. We didn't feel very tired after that. Do you know they
say that Indian people are stronger, perhaps)or they don't require
as much sleep and they can get up and /i2tLA.A^ ...
Page 8. dib
L: Most of them have a stronger constitution.
B: You think our Indian people are kind of built out of special stuff?
L: Yes, sure do.
B: Oh, I don't know about that. My, it certainly appears that way. g
=i if I get four hours sleep I can get up fresh as a daisy, bright-
eyed and bushy-tailed.
L: Not me, it takes about eight for me, Mr. Lew.
B: Well, I know people it-takes twelve for. I think about people who
sleep twelve hours and say,"Well, they're sleeping half of their life
awa -y' .gosBWa. Do you have a tendency to forget the people back
homelorithey have a tendency to forget you after you stay away a while?
L: No, don't really forget them, but just don't keep in close contact
half of the time.
B: Somebody's constantly going back and forth between the two communities,
though, and anything serious happens we usually know about it even...
B: ...before the newspapers comes out with it.
B: Well, I'm talking to you here and taking your time. You're very kind
to talk to me. What are you doing now?
L: I'm peeling potatoes for a fund-raising for the church.
B: 9waAU01 y 5 *
L: We're going to have us a fish fry and a chicken dinner.
B: When is this going to be?
L: Going to be Friday, the 28th.
B: Well, I hope there'll be a lot of people out. I know I'm going to be
Page 9. dib
out. Are you going to be...
L: Well, I certainly am.
B: ...you're going to serve refreshments like?...
L: I'm going to serve everybody some. Sure.
B: O.K. Well, you've been very kind to talk with us. tha. yoyu
sat8a if you had to say something to the people back home, our
people, Indian people, do you have any kind of message you'd like
to give them?
L: Yes, to keep up the good work.
B: And do you think we're Ig losing this good old fashioned love..
L: No, I really don't.
B: ...the Bible speaks about?
L: No, I don't.
B: That's good. It's certainly a warm feeling to be able tojAMMrS go
to church or go to some other gathering and get up with people who
really understand you, isn't it?
L: Yes, it is.
B: JQq1ga what is the biggest problem you've had, if any, since you
came over here?
L: Well, not really had too many problems. The only problems I have is
when my husband would get out of work and it would be sort of hard
to meet your bills, but then you can always find a source.
B: But the opportunities then you feel are greater in Baltimore than back
Page 10. dib
L: Yes, it was when I first came here, but I think now that North
Carolina is progressing to an industrial o4e-e of being where they
got plenty to dyaud most of the young men and women are job
B: How do you think our young people feel about home? Do they like
to go back home or are they disinterested or what?
L: Not them that are raised here, not them that come here young or
them that are born here. But now if they come here from the country,
then they want to go back. nucEt!P sW they're not too grown on
this city life. And then again you have some of them that really dig
this life. They come up here and stay.
B: Oh, you didn't find the adjustment very difficult for you when you
first came? Do you remember?
L: It was qu*q e exciting, but as far as adjusting I didn't have too much
adjustment to do.
B: Where did you go to school?
L: Magnolia in Robeson County.
B: Uh huh, that's near Lumberton, isn't it?
L: yes, it is.
B: It used to be the largest school among the Lumbee Indians,'but'of course that
was before integration. Well, I want to thank you very much for giving
me this interview. There's a lot of activity going on in the kitchen now,
so I'm going to have to curtail this interview and get around somewhere
else where I can work a little more quietly. Thank you very much.