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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
"TR 5 CN5iR/BAE
UL 44A IA ,7 S
INTERVIEWER: Lew Barton
INTERVIEWEE: Cora Sailing pwh
DATE: October 1, 1975
B: This is October 1, 1975. I am Lew Barton, interviewing for the
University of Florida's History Department's American Indian
Oral History Program. This afternoon I am in the library at the
American Indian Studies Center at 211 South Broadway, here in
Baltimore, Maryland, and with me is someone who has kindly
consented to give me an interview. Would you please tell us
what your name is?
S: My name is Cora Melba Sailing.
B: Would you mind spelling that for us?
S: C..O..R..A.. M..E..L..B..A.. S..A..L..L..I..N..G..
B: Where do you live?
S: I live in the Dundalk area in Baltimore, Maryland, Baltimore County.
B: And do you mind telling us your age, shouldn't ask a lady her age,
S: Well, I'm thirty-five. Thirty-five.
B: Thirty-five, and how much family do you have?
S: I have nine children.
B: What's your husband's name?
S: His name is George Washington Salling.
B: Is he about the same age a- you are?
S: He is forty-two.
B: Would you mind giving us the names of the children and their ages?
Mothers can usually tell that, the fathers have trouble.
S: My oldest daughter is Georgia Ann Sailing. She is eighteen. There's
a boy next to here, he is Corwin Jordon, he is seventeen. Timothy
will be sixteen this Friday, the third of October. Henry Lee is
after T-imothy, he's fifteen now. Johnny Ray is, fourteen, wil-h be
fourteen on Halloween. Deborah is twelve. Donna is eleven. George, Jr.
is ten, and my baby Kimberly is seven.
B: What is your street address here in Baltimore?
S: 7860 St. Fabian Lane.
B: Your is your husband Indian?
S: No, he's white.
B: You work at the Center,
S: Yes, I do.
B: At the Annex?
S: I do.
B: Could you tell us something about the work over there, uh, what were
trying to do over there?
S: I work at the restaurant now.
B: Yeah, that's 113 South Broadway, right?
S: 103, yeah, South Broadway.
B: And this is where we're getting the restaurant?
B: Ready to go into operation.
B: What are you going to do over there?
S: I am the hostess or headwaitress.
B: What kind of good food are you going to serve?
I re -
S: Oh, we are going to have some real good food. We are going to have,
sometimes we will have buffalo steak, we don't have it right now. We
have steaks, we are going to have a lot of good vegetables, like down
in North Carolina, cabbage, collards, we'll have some squawbread,
and regular homemade biscuits, grits, eggsl just regular food, except
that it will be cooked in the style the Lumbee has down in North
B: It's going to be prepared Lumbee style.
B: Well, it looks great down there. I was over there the other day looking
around, and it certainly looks nice. You already have your menus
printed up, don't you?
S: Yes, we do.
B: How many people do you have working over triee so far?
S: I don't know exactly, personally myself being the headwaitress.
B: This is part of the CETA, C..E..T..A.. program isn't it?
S: Yes, it is.
B: And Mr. Graham is the director of that?
B: Well, I can't wait till you get it open, so I can come over there
and test out your food.
S: That's what we're all waiting for.
B: Do you think it will be very long now?
S: Mr. Oxendine said it-wi3J=be about two weeks yesterday.
B: About two weeks from now.
S: That's what he hopes. He's waiting for the plumbing right now.
B: I think this is sort of a unique idea, or new idea, in the Indian
community here, setting up this restaurant, and training people in
connection with their work and so on.
S: Yeah, I think it will help them out, a lot of the Indians, who have a
lower education, would help them out, like I only went to the ninth
myself, and I had never worked before, and I think it--s going to help
me out a lot.
B: That's good. Uh, will you train people to cook, and to serve, and do
all things connected with the restaurant business, right?
S: Yes, yes. That's what it's for, "is training program, experimental
right now. y0 sla
B: When you get,.. it's experimental.
B: Once you get in full operation how many people do you think you'll have?
S: I really don't have any idea. They have ay- positions up there. Right
now we got, say around six waitresses, right? And uh, we have about
three cooks. We do have an assistant manager, a manager, and -ui,
there's someone to take care of the counters.
B: Will you be charging competitive prices, popular prices, or will
it be somewhat higher or somewhat lower ?
S: It is lower, because the lower income people in this area, they will
be able to come in and eat, without having to pull out a lot of money.
B: Uh,huh. Well, that sounds good. And that includes me. I'm a very low
S: Me too, with nine children.
B: Have you lived in Baltimore all your life?
S: /First time come in Baltimore, I was around two-years old, and I was
back and forth a lot because my father-and mother had been separated,
ad I -Led with my grandparents mostly.
S: But as of now, staying here for the last time Itve been here, around
nineeeen years or more.
B: Uh,huh. Where did you live originally?
S: The first time I come up?
S: I being two years old, I honestly don't remember, but the first place
I remember my mother having was 1512 63/h'timre Street.
B: Uh,huh. Do you have any problems working around, you know, associating
with the Indian people? Did it give you any, dd it give you a hard
S: No, no, I haven't had no problems with them. I being an Indian myself,
I haven't had no problems.
B: They don't object to you being married outside of your race?
S: If they have objected, they haven't said anything to me.
B'. Well, I wouldn't think they would. Just wondering. Some people
are a little narrow-minded.
S: I guess that in all races they are.
B: Yeah, that's true, of all groups. Uh, what do you plan to do, at least,
do you plan to spend the rest of your life here?
S: In Baltimore?
S: As of right now, looking at the future, I guess I will. We've bought
our plots here already, so I guess that's probably where we'll end up.
B: Had you ever lived in a rural area at all? Outside the city?
S: I live in the county now. The Dundalk area is in the county, but
it's in _
B: I see, it's not in the city limits.
S: Not right in the city limits, no. Not far from it, though.
B: Yeah, I can't tell where, I've been out there, I can't tell where the
city ends p-begins. It looks like all city to me.
B: Do you think you enjoy living in the city better than you would on
a farm, or Oc4- ij he. cowurd?
S: No way.
B: Do you notice any differences between living n the city and living
in the country?
S: Yes, there are a lot of differences. I think living in the city,
some people might think it's an advantage, but-4n my opinion I
think you have a disadvantage in a way. Suppose your children, I
believe that they can get in more trouble in the city than they
could if we were on a farm, for instance.
B: Lots more temptations maybe.
B: I noticed right down the street from us here there a theatre that
always advertises "X-rated" movies.
S: That's right. Always adults.
B: Adult only. Uh,huh. Then we have lots of bars.
S: On every corner, almost.
B: Do you think we have more churches or mornbas?
S: More bars.
B: Is there anything that city people could do to change things like that,
I mean, better recreational facilities, and things like that?
S: I think there are a lot of recreational facilities now, but the problem
is getting the parents interested in making sure that their children
is in these things. They have a lot of that in my neighborhood, for
instance.I Every summer down at the park they have some adult down there
to take care of the children, as far as recreation goes, and in the
wintertime, they have it at the schools, for the young children, they
can get on ball teams, if they go to school especially, there's
a lot of things they can get involved in, just getting some adult
to care enough to get them involved.
B: It's always a problem getting anywhere if you are travelling, whether
you are walking or travelling on a vehicle, it is certainly a problem,
beeause the traffic is something else, isn't it?
S: Yes, it is. Especially downtown, during working hours, or after
B: I tried crossing the street down there the other day. I was almost
run evex down tIhere. And I hadn't even seen it. The first thing I
knew the brakes were screeching!
S: I don't think that the people really look out for pedestrians anymore
the way they used to.
B: They don't have time really I guess. Everything has to go so automatic-
ally. When the light goes on, people have to go like a bullet.
S: Some of the lights change so fast, they don't knew hardly,.get a chance
j-Bs sitting there, about twenty minutes sometimes before you can get
through, especiallyI as you go into the county, they have new 95 there,
and they have two or three lights right, about a block from one another,
and the traffic is terrible there sometimes.
B: Giving in the community here, would you, eould you tell any difference
in the living in the Indian community anddliving somewhere else here
S: I really don't see much difference. I think its- quite a few years ago,
this neighborhood was a lot nicer, althoughright now, with the new
building they're doing, it looks like it's gaing to be really beautiful.
But the things did get kind of run down there for awhile, but I think
it's going to be a really beautiful area here after a while, from
looking at the new building that s ging- to be, constructed.
B: You do have urban renewal,in this part of the city, don't you?
S: Yes, thi's whai+ NfIe(' 0 t1f7 `Cr /lfe
B: UIh,huh. I understand a lot of Indian people had to move off Pratte,
was it Pratte Street, or somewhere....
S: Baltimore Street.
B: Baltimore Street, and it used to be all Indian just about, didn't it?
S: They called this area right here the Reservation.
B: Some reservation, isn't it?
S: On Baltimore, and Broadway, I; Wa s in /t. r paper, The tkw) dramar'an
were talking about the reservation right in here in this area.
B: Uh,huh. Well, they had to move a lot of people off that stEeet, but
will they have a chance to go back when they get through building?
S: According to, what they told the people they would get first priority
of the buildings that they wanted to move back.
B: Do you think being an Indian in Baltimore City is an advantage or a
S: I think it's a disadvantage in a way.
B: People have a tendency to look down on you?
S: Some people does, not everybody) Some people do.
B: Mostly white people, or whites and black?
S: Well, the majority of them are whites.
B: How about the children in school? You don't have any problems there
S: No, not yet. The children seems to be proud to be an Indian in the
i 9qu-ess her-
school. My daughter for instance, took after herJfather's side, and
she has blonde hair, but they know she has Indian blood in her, and
bie has quite a few friends, just knowing it seems like they get
B: Uh,huh.Do you think we've got four thousand Indians in Baltimore?
S: Yeah, I think we do.
B: Are most of them, do most of them live close together, or are they
S: Well, the majority of them does live in this area here, but they
are getting more scattered out than they were in the early t50ts.
B: People say, sometimes that Indians, or Lumbee Indians, especially
are very clannish, stick together. Do you find this to be true?
S: I think it's true.
B: Do you think this is because they like to protect each other, or
something like this, or?
S: I think they feel comfortable with one another. Whether it's for
protection's sake, maybe that's what it is, feeling comfortable
co, Id be, a.
with somebody, -who sort of protection.
B: How about Women's Lib? Has Women's Lib reached Baltimore?
S: It's reached Baltimore, but it hasn't reaclEd us, yet. I don't believe
in Women's Lib.
B: We haven't had any braburnings or streaking',or anything ....
S: No, I haven't seen anything like that! o ,5 -l'b
B: In the city that you have.... I don't believe7has been -ery' effective
where Indian women are concerned. It seems to me that they're not so
I haven't talked to an Indian woman yet who was a, you know, la
S: I believe the way the Bible teaches/ th-e man ihad$ the house.
B: Well, that's good, I better quit while I'm aheadh. -,
B: Do you enjoy your work aver at the Center?
S: So far, yes, I've enjoyed it.
B: Now, just so, our listeners, and readers will know what we're
talking about, we're talking abort another building which is about
a block-and-a-half from here, or two bicks?
S: Yes, more like a block-and-a- half.
B: Uh,huh. 'Cause we didn't have room here. I believe t4at we actually
have more room over there, don't you?
S: It's pretty big.
B: What kind of building was that before you took it over?
S: Excuse me. It was a nursery before the Indians took it over.
B: A nursery? Where they kept children.
S: Yes, yes.
B: It is certainly a nice building. I'll certainly be glad to see it
open up. Incidentally I have to go home on Friday,. I'm moving to
Charlotte, North Carolina.
S: We'll miss you.
B: For about three months. And then I'm hoping to be returning then,
and finish my book.
7- ;s( ) -"o)) 00
S: I hope you will tee.
B: I appreciate that, I've certainly enjoyed it here. I've been here
since December 1, 1974. But I certainly enjoyed it. I've learned a
few things too. How did you enjoy the classes?
S: I enjoyed them very much. I got a lot fra them, about my own history,
B: I was hoping, I hoped the classes couldcontinue, maybe Mrs. irmovS
from the educational department can take the classes overr-'e there is
so much that people don't know about Indians, including the Indians
themselves. Do you think people are becoming more lenient toward
minority groups, more understanding?
tha rc- T7-hiffl' so
S: I think so' whether it's really being willing to do it, or they
are being forced into it, I don't know,.vt they are. There are more
openings for the minority groups now.
B: You don't happen to play with them on their-e6ftball team C/o cOt7,
S: Here? No I don't.
B: Some of the girls around here get a kick out of that, And they have
won quite a few games too............
[Tape turned over]
Well, we were talking about the women's softball team, they call that
the Lumbee Indian.
S: Yeah, I heard about that.
B: Softball team, I think Mrs. Elizabeth Locklear, the secretary here,
plays on that. Also her daughter, Mrs. L/n/?a. Co. a-d
Linda says her mother can beat her playinall.
S: Well, that's good. Well, we older women can f on, in on something
B: It's good to have something for recreation. Uk, so you plan to spend
the rest of your life right here in Baltimore?
S: As far as looking at the future now, that's probably how it will be.
B: Uh,huh. Do you belong to any organizations? Are there any civic
organizations which you can belong te?
S: Not really. I go to a church up here, but as far as further organizations
I don't belong to any.
B: Which church do you go to?
S: I go to the Church of God in Brooklyn.
B: Uh,huh.. Well, I want you to know that I really enjoyed talking with
you, and working with you, and I want to wish you good luck and
Godspeed, in whatever you attempt to do.
S: Thank you verynuch. I enjoyed meeting you, and I'm looking forward
to reading your book, when you get your next edition out.
B: Well, thank you ery much.
S: Thank you.
B: I appreciate that. And thank yo o muck for the interview, a ye c b
S: You're welcome.