Title: Interview with Junebug Lowery (October 3, 1975)
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00006847/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Junebug Lowery (October 3, 1975)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: October 3, 1975
Subject: Urban Lumbee
Funding: This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00006847
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location: This interview is part of the 'Urban Lumbee' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: UL 41

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Full Text


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and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of

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1. /U "L^Q; CG//

UL 41 A
Subject: Junebug Lowery
Interviewer: Lew Barton o J"
10/3/75 'w

B: This is October-thoe 195, M Lew Barton interviewing for the University

of Florida's History Departments American Indian Oral History Program. This

afternoon I am in the library of the American Indian Studies Center at 211

South Broadway in Baltimore, Maryland, and with me is a young gentleman who

has agreed to give me an interview. Now would you tell us what your name is


L: Junebug Lowery.

B:i t where do you work? 8, Mr. Lowery?

L: Working nowhere now, you know, __

B: Utina>. You aMen you might be working over at the restaurant?

L: Yes. UIma!.

B: How long have you been in Baltimore?

L: About -a o8 ntL mm-J E -Cle, two months.

B: EaW. And WhB where are you from?

L: North Carolina.

B: Uma Rob eson county, North Carolina?

L: Yeah.. Y-4-..,,.p

B: Do you like living in the city better than you like living in the rural area?
L: Yeak, yinmikew-it. It beats(4ople walking up the hills'around there,_sp e,

you got flat land around here.

B: 4trm.ye5 .

L: A lot of hills in Notth Carolina you tromp up these hills ,,-=dnw-w up there.

B: 4bjFa. Do you run into different problems in the city than you do back home?

--$ie in Carolina? Do you find that people are friendlier back home or friendlier


in the city?

L: Probably back home enfEw rc cause probably too many people around here.

L: ey know hardly, just a few yBEea3s .

B: al_ i ;m- u nw-o one race or another, doen' seem to be as important to

people in the cit they d n't consider it 4ata greattmcrauwt thing, like

they do back home. Have you found it that way?

L: Yeai. Lots of times%pf

B:*ourses Wken y.- I imagine you can run on predjudice no matter where you


L: Yes, eT/Lr) Kro ,

B: Maybe thyr a lift& more honest about it in the Nori than the South, butryh,

I d n'tmean to sound derogatory, but it seems to me like f we know people are

edjuciced in the South, TM L i more open with it. And you travel farther

and farther north it seems to be a more --a 4d kind of thing, % t' there, but

rt of underground., fy- nn they wbn't talk about it much.

L: No. Those people stay in ttey houses all the tim N eijar

B:4Um=-he Why is...

L: Day or night. You don't meet many cars out on the street.

B: t=m='z" Another thing is /(I'v noti ed in the city gg people leave

their cars unlocked'don' leave their keys in their cars or things like that.

-iE. back home we don bother to take the key out of the car a lot of times, and

you wouldn't)dare do that in the big city.

L: No, you c(ulldn get away with that, Big city they u\-il, '( cI car. Policemen.

B: 4i44F4k There was one city we stopped in, in Virginia coming along up here, stopped

6s the bus station there and the bus driver told us, I for got at which city it

was, Fredericksburg, Virginia, somewherevanyway, the bus driver told Jimmy Jacobs


and myself, you get off here you have to watch out for pickpockets, they'll

pick your pockets, I thought maybe he was joking,Jimmy says no he wa smoking.

2 ----==- do you think that things are a little rougher than they used to be

in that way? Maybe t's because times are tougher or i'hard to get jobs and

that sort of thing?

L: Yeah, either one .easf They know it be cold up there, though. But down

in North Carolina,

L: _____

B: PFWptan abot -ga I would imagine people worry about what th'y going

to do during the winter months up here acas-et, don't they? (It's harder on them

in the winter than in t'_e summer? PC P let's talk about your family

a little while? r --* LaR who

were your father and mother. Are they still living?

L: Well, yggZaen syes, you know James Lowry, James .n : Lowry.

B: Ihh. yCe

L: And Maria Lowery.

B: JtAm Btde te, are they living in Baltimore?

L: My father staying in Norfolk. My mother in Carolina.

B: I aT h do you plan to go back to North CarolinaL. ?o live|

Some day? Or do you just in Baltimore for a while, think you'1..

L: I might drop back ,-ycn=Iaa= on the weekend, and get me a job up here. Get
a ride, and ra we 11)go down there for about'a weekend Ytakge and come back up.

B: Um-ewh. Do you have any brothers or sisters?

L:; Yessir.

B: Are they up here too,
-~ -- r-. c -kre ei- corx C
1: No, new's tryingg in Virginai; (Cnels staying in Las Vegas,-oned-&tayig ____

-sai-41ai--tima.gen "-' Notth Carolina.


B: I see. You're not married are you?

L: No I'mnot married.

B: You thinking about it?

L: A little, you know. One day fa1t might just happen. You know I have to get a little

age on me first.

B: Get a ie older. Right. How old are you now?

L: Eighteen.

B: cMiEW Well they tell me there are plenty of girls around. She just might 4at


L: They plenty of them in this city. I see big tall girls all the time.

B: Here in the Indian community, do think there are more girls than boys? Or about

the same amount of both? Or do you think the any imbalance there? Are there

more girls or more boys or ablt the same number?

L: I say about the dame.

B: Don answer any of this you d n't want to, but m)just wondering, now, 9;V

-detabeehh Ve, you dated girls back home, and I know you dated girls in the

city here, do you find any difference in city girls-and and rural girls? I donq

guess you want tom-. "

L: No, no. T1 lieatn1 everybo_ y got their way of a- "e jc am
Sgue rc, to be
and all that, and thef what they do uttr-knal thlrt I guess they raised'like that

zams to do that, you know.

B: Right.

L: And z"_---the city girls, most of them, y =kenow whatever you call it,leducated

or something ,tuu kni ...

B: ;t..ana. \.'. n

L: .,.and nyot nw, Carolina '-Or.


B: I guess *' .the city girls are.more sophisticated, would you say? Worldly

wise? Wise in the ways of the world?

L: Yeak.

B: I imagine its ot as easy...

L: But really fttS some people here its like ia. country and the city &H tsr

just'two different worlds,- 5BUE as, two planets or something&' Pana=H

B: t IBERf y these city girls, if hN. a fellow comes along and 4, persuades them

to do somethingfHaake I if they do it t's)not because they don' know any

better_ usually. Would you say?

L: Yes.

B: Because they know what they're doing and they know how to do it, tBs (IMust

talking in general. U 'IB qto b.would you think that 4sauiisg, home training,

is stricter back home in Carolina than in the city? I know you know there used

to be a time when people back home would call bed time, and if you went to see

a girl they want you, they be calling bed time about nine o'clock 6r ten at

the latest. Now do you thinkft, parents -are getting stricter in this way

or getting more lenient, or do you think is there any change in that" itth the

L: Yeab e well there' different level3 yema& thatO' the way tke age

Sm ; Everybody first started school ye-ktow about my age-g*.

as S _youVbe e pianant, in a grade like seventh, and go down to Carolina they
be 1 ag V 2 m in the ninth grade y ra;ml- ig.

B: fjfi*M You think schools are harder here or harder back home
L: t---w JiiI ,uOdjl *n y *.
L: -wrlI wouldn't say that,ause yea=ktag. up here, I.ain't

looked at too many, and I ain't really been to school in the city here. ^

just in Carolina.

B:; -*VsW Which school did you attend in Carolina?


L: Pinegrove.

B: -Piney

L: oYea -t-.-_.---- --^" .... .*- *- .. .. .

B: Pineygrove waee believe, t --a-n-was finally Adhi- abtMtne consolidated
with some other school.

L: w.-4i-.V-S-

B: Yett-ew, within recent years. Green Grove and Pineygrove? wepeihey, were

they the two that combined? 1-btlievea And it they might call it something

else today. Mteah Pineygrove, they still call it Pineygrove, though I/dont

know about that onei Lto you think S; people are getting more and more away
from staying home, tt they do travel, .yor*naw, go to the city more than they

used to?

L: Well, in the summertime yWTP'. ,WeFEa4 when I was about six, yPeaaQE,

41EE aVbunch of aunts and uncles, nieces, cousins, everybody come down here to

country yeFhakoft from the city? You know like on.r nas, ChristmasrUmsa_

MCS.-.^ r7in

L: r Easter, Labor Day, or something.

B: T hBiadshwhat grade were you in when you dropped out of school?

L: I was in the ninth.

B: In the ninth?

L: NoI was in the tenth when I dropped out. I finished the ninth. .- I .' il tenth.

B: Well do you think an advantage to go on Am n and finish your highchool

education before going to work? Or does it depend on the kind of work you do?


L: I plan on taking iED, d: rt night or something. I don' believe

they have night ED. mIa.

B: J% I think there are places there are schools here in the city you can go at

night a sure. You can get just about any kind of training now I think at these

technical institutes. I know back home, Fairfield Technical InstituteoVone
people usually go to% to get extra training. You know, iflwent with them over

at the restaurant yo be getting special training thee, won't you?

L: Yea.

L: .v i-.t.. .T naotw they 'probably be training ECL miui, =StIR;--n _o,4

'J a- A 0&1 Eli 5 .41

B: What do you plan to do eventually? fi would you like to become a cook -or- are

you interested in the restaurant business?

L: Yeae it sounds alright to me.
B: 4 working in restaurantsyVa lot easier than working on a farm it.v-wmodn't. ,.
(C you ever work on a farm? .~o- s s I used to plow for fifty cents a

day and I was darned lucky if I could collect the fifty cents. Well that was way

back in time. What we called hard times /fhe depression period. Btt people

have gotten away from farms a lot because of machinery,coming in. They have

tractors to do the plowing, they even get cotton-pickers now. Which is okay with

me because I never liked to pick cotton. I never could pick very much anyway.

ve heard of people who could pick as high as five hundred pounds a day. I never

picked two hundred poundsVa day in my life. That" justVnot my cup of tea. But

45-some people get to be pretty good at it. But 8 things are changing back

home, wouldn't you say?

L: !'.:Lffat yr.V-,,


B: Yes. Prospering. Mechanizatios come in, People instead of having a lot of

little farms they have a few big Rarms, maybe, One man with one tractor can tend

as much land not as three or four families could take care of in t( old days

before mechanization took place. So people are having to come to the city to

learn to do other things, they can't epend on the farm anymore. But tt as nice

that farm living it seems to me is a nice wqy to live. You can raise some of your

produce, do some canning, raise your own...

L: tBeyol---ey'da" t--a a., they still do a little bit of canning around here.

B: Or storing it away in the deep freeze. But now electricity is so expensive I
15 j
do ( know if that goale pay off, Ti, if prices keep going up. And I hear right
-- G.-O
now, here in Baltimoret that q_ they trying to raise the prices on electricity

again, AKnd a lot of people 'are protesting that. They are saying i like one

of the signs I saw this morning, it said, we /n't afford to pay another cent

Of the increase. Because it's) already sky high, and the lady I live with, t,,

i csone of her apartment, and her electric bill ( t 'month was $109.00. To

me that's terrible. So things are pretty high in the city all around. Would

you say food is higher here, have you found food to be higher here than back in


L: Yeah. T4eS aa' ou% get V*Lsome feed down in Carolina, plant you some good


L: Good food down there you know. Got the good ground for good foodj/sma nE.

B: Mbhjtaf If you raise your own th t more like putting money in your pocket,

isn't it? They used to have...

L: IEE t whole lot of people come from the city yf.w. .ast .t-traeer .e*.a

d- Carolina. SW Sai;.-Get some of that good food.

B: They like to have sawi-htL If you can raise it, that's better, isn't it?


b: Yer- ,- about

B: You dn't ave to buy it. You can have a garden.\ Talk to people'g oing

back to Carolina, they talk about ynu-lkrme, if they d have land; they

want to work here for a while and buy them a plot of ground, and go back and

build on it and have a garden. Raise things,, maybe ere tired /o living the

life of Riley.

L: Yeai

B: Well*, I sure have enjoyed talking with you, now I wint to wish you a lot

of luck in whatever you try to do. I-hope-yo jL have.a .lot-of-good luck.

And-thank-you very-much fQorgiving us this interview.

L:--eah, it's been a pTeasure. tas--

B: Thank-you' very much Mr. Lowery. .'Ji)Ebe -seeing-you-around we-have to go to

Charlotte-to-revise a book, and complete-another book so te'fi probably-be-away

for-ab t -three-months. Maybe he'll ave the pleasure of seeing you against the


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