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Title: Interview with William C. Locklear (August 25, 1972)
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007009/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with William C. Locklear (August 25, 1972)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: August 25, 1972
 Subjects
Spatial Coverage: Lumbee County (Fla.)
 Notes
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.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00007009
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location: This interview is part of the 'Lumbee County' 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: LUM 15A

Table of Contents
    Copyright
        Copyright
    Interview
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
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This Oral History is copyrighted by the Interviewee
and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida








LUM 15 A
Willian CastOr Locklear
Tape #12
Intergiewed by
Lew Barton
August 25, 1972
IDL- Typist




B: This is tape 12, side two. I'm Lew Barton, interviewing for the
d1d i't
Doris Duke Foundation, i-the Oral History Program. Today is

August 25, 1972, Tdin my home in Pembroke, North Carolina,

0o( a Mr. William C. Locklear has consented to favor us withan

interview and at my request, um, came over and um, we are here

in Pembroke, North Carolina at this time. This is where the

interview is taking place. Mr. Locko.ar, I certainly

appreciate your being willing to come over and grant us this

interview. Um, would you mind telling her, ( W(SJ 5 )

first of all, um, your full name. .. wo ld you mind spelling it?

L: My name is William Castor Locklear. W ut L-( t C- 4-S-7?--

B: Um huh. And 'bout how old are you?

L: Fifty years old.

B: Um, you've hit the half century mark then.

L: Yes, I certainly have.

B: Um, would you mind giving us your birthday?

L: I was born August 31,1921. In fact, as you c-n see, I'm almost.

fifty one.

B: Well um, your occupation is a teacher, is that right?

L: Yes, I'm a public school teacher.

B: Um hth. um, how 'bout your father and your mother. Let's get

a little something on them. I. ..

L: Well, my father is a minister, ex-school teacher, ex-farmer,








LUM 15 A
Page 2




ex-businessman, he's seventy five years old. My mother who is

deceased, was an ex-teacher, um and housewife and of course she

worked along in the business some. Um, my father at one time,

for several years, had a dry cleaning establishment, my mother worked

right along in there, it was a family, operation thing.

B: UM, your father was, was the first Indian Mayor of Pembroke,

wasn't he?

L: Yes, he was the first Indian Mayor of this town, Pembroke.

B: How many terms did he serve?

L: He served six terms, a total of twelve years.

B: Um huh. Your father is one of the best known and/oved of um, all

the Lumbee Indian leaders that I know anything about, and um,

um, he certainly has made a grand contribution and you have too.

Um, would you tell us um, how many years you've been teachihg?

L: I've actually taught eighteen years. ..

B: Um huh.

L: I have credit for twenty one years because of te service time

during World War II.

B: Um, you did some teaching while you were in service?

L: No I did not do any teaching but my education was interrupted by

my service time and the state when my, the State Board of Education

certified me as having as having trL--e years of experience

before I even started teaching.

B: Um huh. .well this is just something that they did for referle- .e

L: something they dd for referrcne um huh.

B: Well um, how 'bout your immediate family (








LUM 15A
Page 3



Um, you're mafried?

L: Yes, I'm married, have one child. .

B: Uh huh would you .

L: 9 six years old .

B: And would you mind giving your wife's name?

L: My wife is Esther Richardson Locklear.

B: Um huh. .. gnd um, you've lived in Roberon, p.'ctically all

your life or great deal of your life?

L: A great deal of my life. I was born of course, in Robe;on

County, but ( cO#l' SIJUl ) time and work away

from home ( l e .) maybe I've been gone

from Robeson County off and on for about twenty of my almost

fifty one years but I would always come back home in

between these periods of ( --pBv' ),

B: Um huh, do you think this is true of most people who

leave Robrson, most of the Lumbee Indians who leave Robeson?

L: Quite true. quite true. Very few people ever leaves he-e

go away and stay.

B: You know this sort of reminds me of the ( Jlal\ ). They

don't have a song they sing, you know, like the Hawains have, but

um, there's a tradition among the Hawains, that if you ever go to

Hawaii, you can (tOS PB- return and especially so if they

sing "Farewell to Thee," you know. Um, I think this is um, a

romantic idea because um, people are very much a6raoted to the

county with all of its problems, with all of its difficulties ,

with whatever arises, this is still home isn't it?







LUM 15 A
Page 4



L: Very true. sort of like the old legend of the elephants.

The elephants come back home to die.

B: Um huh, yeah and but you don't it's hard to

decide exactly why this is isn't it?

L: Well. .. our group, ....... the Lumbee Indians has always

been a clanish sort of people. and they know exactly the

treatments they will receive in Roberson Couyty. Deep family
-io
ties ur, it just seems eventually always come

back.. very few stay away ( COW. VM A -=( r

B: Um huh. .do you think 'hen they go away it's usually with

the idea um, that their being away is a very temporary kind

of thing?

L: Right, *tk that's usually the case.

B: and usually leads economic reasons.

L: economic reasons, yes. maybe they plan to go away and

make their fortune, so to speak, then come back home, retire .

come back home to retire.
X-e'AJ?>C--4Ze44-
B: We-ther described in the past ( Z4 C ) loosely knit

community ut um, it seems that this idea that we're discussing

um, tends to ( 4- ) that we're loosely .
t r r
that we are loosely together community wouldn't you think so?

L: Yes. we um, are a rather close knit um, if you um, for

example um, if you had to have help some some way, um, you

wouldn't be afraid thht you wouldn't receive it, from

somebody, if you were here. if any kind of emergency or that

sort of thing happened to arrive in your life, an unusual thing,

5 ou can always find help. here. Whereas in some other places,
0







LUM 15 A
Page 5



most any other most any other place you might have a little

problem, in fact you would. Might have a problem getting help ..

immediate, emergency help you can always get help here .

from someone.

B; Um huh do you think there is more neighborliness among our

people than among um, other ethnic groups?

L: Oh yes, oh yes. Everybody is everyone else's neighbor .

yea*-c

B: I rather like that idea myself. and I and um, it's a

wonderful feeling to know that there are those who understand

you and um, ourlkind, so to speak, you can always depend on

some of our people. If we get sick and we were destitute, um,

somebody wial help us, wouldn't they?

L: Somebody volunteers to help ( hA CL .) situation

of that kind.

B: Well did you sense or feel any difference in attitudes towards

you in the years that you were away? Now you spent, um, some

time in service what were you in?

L: I went to service in 1941 April prior to that i't-

bccnte World War II as far as the United States is concerned. .

in being actively engaged. Um, I stayed in almost five years,

I was in the Army Air Corps. There was no such thing as Air Force

a separate branch at the time I went in. I did not go

overseas, I was in all during World War II. discharged in

November of '45. Um, I did several things while I was in service.

I was, cooked, for a while and I was a aial gunner on

B-17, taken/and made an instructor gunner/instructor and








LUM 15 A
Page 6



at the time of my discharge, in Springfield, Illinois, I was

working at a separation center, trying to get the boys back

home get 'em separated from the service. And I finally got

separated myself, and came back to Pembroke, < naturally.

I say naturally because it was home always has and

always will be. and um, completed my college education after

the War. using the GI (Bill of Rights -- ) 'courseI

had to work a little bit too, it wasn't paying too much at

that tine.

B: Um huh. um, your mother =r,I believe let's see .

did you tell me who she was before she married your father?

L: My mother was Oxendine, Annie Lizzie Oxendine.

B: Um huh, wasn't she a teacher too, at one time?

L: Yes, my mother taught she taught umr, 'bout seven years as I

recall.

B: Um huh. is your mother living?

L: No, my mother is deceased.

B: arE how 'bout your father?

L: MY father's living.

B: Um huh. well um, you certainly are ne of the ost prominent

families in the ( ) appreciative of the contributions

made by your family. Um, tell us about your sister's and brother's,

how many in your family?

L: Well in my family there were twelve children. Now.of the twelve,

two, the oldest and the youngest were adopted children. Um, the

"aloted .the first adopted child, the oldest child, is older

than I am by four years. Um, all of us went to school. Of the









LUM 15 A
Page 7



twelve, nine hold a teacher's certificate having finished four

yeqrs of college. The other three finished high school plus

some college. Now not all twelve not all nine of us are

eng-ged in teaching :t this time. we are qualified. Some

went into other lines of work. I have one brother who is a

policeman with the Roberson County Sheriff's Department, working

with narcotics. he's a narcotics agent.

B: Um huh, what's his name?

L: His name is Joel Garth Locklear.

B: Um huh and um, is you fam has you family scattered

any?

L: Yes. Um, my family scattered quite a bit. I have one sister

in Florida, one brother in Pennsylvania, a sister and a brother

in Oklahoma and the younger adopted child is in the process

of leaving Sunday 9 .. this sunday coming, going to Pennsylvania

to take up diesal mechanics. He wil e gone he will be

in school two years working and going to school. I have

one brother who has recently moved back to Robeyson County,he Aas

S( eu, ) a government poverty program, he is the Director

of Manpower in Rejeen County.

B: Um huh ( )

L: and that boy is Roderick Glenn Locklear. .

B: Uh huh well um, each one of these um, brother's and sister's

ccmes home at least once a year, don't they?

L: at least once a year. They try to make it twice and

my father and some of the members of the family who reside here,








LUM 15 A
Page 8



quite frequently, visit them where they're at.

B: Um huh you received your high school& education here in

Pembroke?

L: I received all of my education right here in Pembroke. ..

Pembroke Grading School, Pembroke High School and Pembroke State

Pembroke State College at theatime, of course, but it's

a University now.

B: What year d0d you graduate?

L: I graduated in 1947.

B: Um huh ypu graduated the same year I was editor of the um,

Pembroke Progress I believe.

L: That is correct.

B: KLSL/L cL r t^ -
d ^ 5 Z7 r'' e ). iUm, I um, the

purpose of this program is to acquaint other people in other

parts of the countryy with the work um, with information

regarding the lives of our people and. um, something about

olr existence and um, what it's like to be a Lumbee Indian and

um, um, the differences between our group and other groups, and -/

( 7t 4 ) and um, any

comment ,4ae you would like to make at any point, (

'P ) feel free to make them because this is the

purpose of the program, ':,, a good many people want to really

get acquainted with o r people, um, d < B U-

0 prominently in um, in the lime-light, so

to speak. so um, I would like to talk to you a littleit

if I may, about um, about attitudes, socio-psychological








LUM 15 A
Page 9



attitudes, or just plain old racial attitudes or um, did you

feel prejudicesagainst you in other parts of the country. when

y&u traveled?

L: Well some places I ielt some prejudice um,. .. I worked

around I worked in Cumberland County. I taught school

in Cumberland County. ..

B: that's the county adjoining .

L: That's the county immediately joining Robedon County on the

north. um, I felt some prejudice there. There's Indian

gro ps up there. .. people who ha migated there from Roberson

County, from Sampson County, from um, Hornet County, .Hornet

County is the county immediately adjoining Cumberland County on

the north of Cumberland County. .um, it was a Spairsh little group

up there, but I found that if a person carried himself properly,

dress, ( 1b6d
very well, and um, in fact time, Lmbee Indian could go

in-t a restaurant, theatre, ( () any public places and

receive cbut the same treatment as did the hites.

B: Um huh, and did this contrast with the attitude in Robeson

( r/lp i? ,a ;

L: At that time, yes. At that timdai still. .still the same

thing now in some places. um, at that time you were not

welcome, in fact you were forbidden in Robeson County, you
/C
just couldn't get served in / restaurant other than in Pembroke

.you could not get served in the other towns in Roberson

County, unless they mistook you for white. And nobody ever mistook

me for )ite,








LUM 15 A
Page 10



B: well um, you have a you have a, sort of a bfonze

complexion and um, the Indian's complexion is a characteristics

of Indians and I um, I wish I had, by the way, um, I don't

like to be mistook for white and um, I don't like to be mistook

for anything. Um, so um, my problem has always been informing

people, you know, that I was a Indian and um, 'course I usually

do this right away when I when I'm in a new community.

Well um, so you think that um, the Lumbee Indians are

now served in these places, in public places, since the Public
ACT
Accommodations right was passed, the Civil Rights Act of 1964,

I believe. Um, they do sOse, but with reluctance, do th ?

L: In a lot of cases, they do serve because the aw says they have

to.

B: and you don't think trheattitude has really changed?

L: I don't. I don't think attitude has really changed. Um,

it will take a lot of dying a lot of the older ones have to

die before that attitude changes very much.

B: Um huh. So you think that you think this prejudice is that

deep rooted. o4 /y //

L: I most certainly do. Um, it's been Et ( )

hundreds of years and you just can't legislate it out of people.
Lt
B: Um huh. Well um, how 'bout the attitude of our iLack brother's.

Um, have we not also suffered prejudice um, from the lack

community as well as the whitess 39 A-- --

L: Um, we most certainly have. .. the lacks did not want to accept

us a bonafide Indians, um, they had all kinds of names for us








LUM 15 A
Page 11



orRath4e they did not. .. t ey did not emOd it because somebody

would have hurt someone. But you could hear it, you could feel it.

B: Well prejudice is a thihg that you can actually eel isn't it?

L: You can feel it .

B: and the person doesn't have to say a word. Um, when you come

into contact with him, whatever his race, you can feel, um this

animosity. wo ld you describe it as animosity or mistrust or

um, maybe a combination of the .

L: Maybe a combination of the two .

B: and of course, um, this is an angle that politicians take

advantage of isn't it?

L: Yes .

B: And they .and they try to promote this kind of thing)( Cu4f -



for political reasons, it seems. 40 you agree?

L: I wi. agree with that one hundred percent.

B: But, are we making any progress in this way, um, as you know I have

always been interested aed promoting understanding between all

people, I love all Americans and I love and I love the

American Indians and the Lambee Indians more perhaps, um, in a

special 3Syway because, um, I was born in this community

and I know a great deal about Indians and what$4ndians have

suffered over the years. But, um, um, this is a .

you can't thinlLof any way that we could help to overcome, um,

you know, these barriers. I know you personally and I know

you've worked in other places and um, um, I know you have friends

like myself among all ( c b/4) ), and um,









LUM 15 A
Page 12



I'm just wondered wondering if you have any special kind of

um, recommendation which might help us in overleeki-m these things.

L: Well, being a teacher and I hope a broadminded teacher, I hope I

don't have too much prejudice in my heart. I (z M

that I don't against any other grop. I've C(4leO o teach

the children under my care the equality of all people and I tLink

that if we have enough teachers, who feel that same way, that we

can instill it in the young people, children coming along now,

and they carry it through their lifetime. Some of them .

some of these children of today will teach their children .

some of them not all, that all men are equal 'and that is

going to be our open our salvation to eliminate so much

prejudice. We made progress we have some people who I

think are genuine genuinely, um, who feel that all men are

equal but we dop't have enough of them.

B: Um huh um, well, that's that's great. .I'm

glad that we'reminking some progress and and um, I'm

praying that we continue to Make progress. Maybe we better

stop here for a moment and check our tape.

L: Yes.
Veey
B: Would you I'mAsorry tRAO we were interrupted by a phone'

call, Mr. Locklear, um, I really should've taken this phone off

the hook. .. I didn't and I had an engagement later on

in the day. Could we pick up um, I'm sorry for the interruption,

could we pick up where we where we were talking about the

equality ofmen. Um, you (ppaee ) your belief in this. Did

you want to expand on that any?








LUM 15 A
Page 13



L: Well, I I guess I've gone 'bout as far as I would care to

go on it. I amDa firm believer in equality of all men.

B: Well, that's what this country stands for, I mean officially at

least. And um, I certainly share that belief and um, do

you see hope that eventually, um, this will come about?

L: It will come about, I think. But not in the near future.

Bt Um huh, we shouldn't be over-optimistic then, should we?.

L: No we should not, however we made great strides in th ast few

years.

B: Um huh .

L: Um, quite a bit of progress. .. I think. quite a bit.

B: Um, we mentioned in a vague sort of way the mistrust between

races. UM, do you think this is a factor in Roberson County,

mistrust and um, suspfcian or fear that um, do you think

there's actually the fear here that Lumbee Indians will out

compete um, white brothers or our lack otherss or .?

L: Well um, I think. I think the um, other races. .. I

surely think it crosses their mind. I surely think it crosses

their mind. Now, there was a time not too long ago, where

you would have a te landlord, farm that is farming.

His children the landlord the white landlord's children

attended school daily. The Indian children and the Negro

children were forced to miss school the landlord insisted

on it. miss school, stay home and keep the crop going. Um,

I've always heard that the landlord wanted to make sure .

well he had a double purpose for that. He wanted to make sure

that the Lumbee would never catch up with the white educationally
Q'*iiiiu-)







LUM 15 A
Page 14



economically, and so forth, and of course there was the um,

money part of it. he wanted to make the farjproduced every

thing it could possibly produce. money crop that is. In fact

I've known of cases that the landlord would alot only a small

amount of space for a family to raise a garden, to raise food

for their own consumption. When that that happened, over in the

wi-ter, the fare1 would have to go to the landlord and um, buy

from the landlord at exhorbitant price a7d of cours:- it was

deducted from um, the proceeds of the crops next fall. And

quite frequently there iwe families who never came out of debt,

never. In fact, they amounted to almost being a slave. You

couldn't leave you couldn't leave the farm. They would

black-ball you among their friends and the families could not

move to another town and it was just a vicious cyct.e for lots

of things. And that didn't happen to me I'm very fortunate

({ 4 jr ), that did not happen to my family, I'm propd of

it, but it happened to lfte of Lumbee families.

B: Um huh. This um, there is a rather sharp contrast between um,

um, people in our own community. We have those who are .-esperately

poor and also th-se who are well to do. We have dmn, landowners

and we have those who are not landowners. Um, but our people,

it seems have never given u and am, although they've lost

mrss of their land in .he past. Many of our people have worked

and um, bought land. Now do you have any idea that we um, the Indian

people own as much as a third to a fourth of all the land in

Rob eon county?

L: No, I don't think it's that much. I don't think it's 6hat much.

Now, there's one section that comes to the mind particularly,








LUM 15 A
Page 15



in ijthis county. The prospect community, where practically

everyone theie is Lumbee Indian, and practically everyone there

own their own home. And there's some large landowners up there

by i- standards in Robison County. Some large large

landowners, and they gu'rd that land jealously, under no circumstances

will they let it git out of the family. And I'm pro!-d of that

group of people, in fact, that's where my father comes from. He

is ut, he is from the prospect section. My relatives, my paternal

relatives are all there.

B: This is um, roughly the center of the Indian Community, isn't it?

L: Yes, this is considered the center of the community of the Indian

community, Pembroke.

B: Um huh. Of course here in Pembroke you have um, we have the

three races here. Um, it's still predominately Indian but um,

we have a small lack settlement and um, a very small White

settlemdfit don't we*

L: That i '-:rrCrtL. that's right. The Indians um, the Indian more

or less controls his own destiny in Pembroke, as far as Robearon

County is concerned. They.. we have our own Ma-:r, the Indian

Mayor, the policeran4 the town commissioners our Indian businessmen

um, professional people. Well, we are the center, we are the

center of the Indian population. Al things in Robezson County

pertaining to Indians point toward. Pembroke.

B: Um, do you t ink our being um, somewhat independent, has helped

-sr in this .. you know, um, one writer says that we are one of

the very ( few ) groups of American Indians, if not the

only ones, W have developed a sol.j a solid middle class.

And um, about how large is this middle class, a portion of the








LUM 15A
Page 16



Indian population, cE you estimate or woyld?

L: You mean in comparison to the so-called upper-class and the

so-called lower-class?

B: Yeah, well I'm primarily thinking about professional people

such as yo rself and we don't have any very rich people. ..

L: No, we don't have ahy very rich .

B: we have very poor though and um, but we do have this um,

our middle class group, the professional group, and um, have

you any idea or would you ( Cj-eLU4- CL Q 6- ) how

large this group is, how much of the total Indian population is

comprised .. ..? r

L: Well, maybe around forty percent. (

rough estimate I would think maybe that.

B: Uh huh. we do know that we have um, more than five hundred

people who hold college degrees. Do yo think that's a very

liberal ( eDZ ), or a ( ej OUAU& I)?

L: "hat would be a about right. That would be somewhere um,

about right.

B: Um. um, we havoome contradictions in this county. For

example, the land, the soil of Robeson C&unty, you know,

Dr. E. Stanley Jones, um, the great, um, (_ ) Methodist

leader, ur, said a few years ago that this tgithe second richest

soil .n the face of the earth, second only to that of the Nile River

Valley. An m, yet Robe/son is um, when you regard it as an

overall imf' it's um, it's certainly a very poor county

urn, however know there's a great deepir, r, a rag difference

between 16Fe annual income, Indian annual income, 1*fr annual








LUM 15 A
Page 17



income. Um, life. .. can you explain this this is something

I've always wondered about Um, this contradiction that the land

um, is it because the land is managed in the way that it should

be or um, um, all Robersonians, I'm talking about all three i

races, have failed to um, um take advantage of this great a6=a.;

I regard it as a great asses the soil itself is a rich, black

bottom land.

L: Well, as far as the land is concerned, it would be used primarily

for raising the crops of money crops. tobacco, cotton,

and to some extent, corn, beans. We failed to diversify um, depen-

ding depended almost entirely on tobacco for the money crop.

But, things are changing just a little bit, there's no doubt

abo.t it, we had some rich soil here, the very best in the

world. High priced soil. ..

B: It's almost impossible to buj an acre of land in the Indian community

at least, isn't it?

L: It is, you have to have some real good connection to get an acre

of land where you would like to have it. where you would

like to have it. And then you have to pay an (CG4/n4 CdlL )

for it. You have to know the family who owns the land, you have

to be well liked in-stppoIt in order to find land where you would

like to have it, Now there's a little scrub land, there's some
%a
poor soil in the( .-a few spots i4 the county, but you can

but it. But the price then is sky high.

B: Do you think there's a tendency on the part of the Indians to um,

exclude whites from um, from buying land or is this (IC L ) -

or is this um, just a char4dteristic of all, of o'ir attitude

toward all groups including our own?








LUM 15A
Page 18



L: Well wit in our gLoup I mean this may be a little

far-fetched, this may not be the answer that you asked for,

but within our own group, with our within our Lumbee

group, we have some prejudice. Um, we were speaking a few

moments ago about middle class, upper class and lower class)

and there's a lots of people who are different individuals,

would not under circumstances, sell land to, because they

just simply feel like that that person is not quite as good

as they are. It's a bad'thing to say, but I think it's true

I I certainly believe it's true, In fact, I know it's true..

B: You know that prejudice is a three-way street in Robe son County.

L: That's true.

B:' And ur, ur, this land represents to the Indians ur, do you

t :ink, a kind of security, a kind of permanence, and do you

think this would be the main factor, although the other

factors are certainly there?

L: Yes I would agree with that. Um, if you if you

start talking with some stranger, say another Lumbee, he

cee be a stranger to you, it's possible, everybody is not

acquainted with everyone else, although you pretty well

widely know most everybody. You can figure out which section

they come from by their by their speech, quite frequently.

But just a few days ago, a man who I've been seeing a long

time, I can look at him and tell he was a Locklear, I could

listen to him speak and I knew he was from the Prospect

Community. So, I tried to strike conversation with him








LUM 15 A
Page 19



and teon h I uht out right here, one of the weaknesses,

one of our failings is the failure to introduce ourselves

properly .

This is side 2 of tape 12 continuing the interview with

Mr. Jilliam' C. Locklear and Mr. Locklear we were talking

um, about this gentleman you met a e prospects, u44

as I remember. Do you think yoPu-c pick up there. I think

we lodt some of our conversation the tape running out.

We were so e dSin what we were saying, I simply didn't

notice um, that it was near the end.

\ \A'On the other side of the tape, the last thing was pointing

out that one of our failures is l we, we just simply

do not introduce ourselves properly to each other or to

any ne else for that matter. Fhat this man told me

who his father was, called his father's name. He never

did get around to telling me his name. But I happened to slightly

know his father. But about the third or fourth question

he asked me was how much cleared land did I own.

B: Um huh. ..

L: Well, I own very little, just a little over half anr acre

with a idtLe house on it, a garden spot. But he was very,

very proud to point out to me that he had recently inherited

eight and thirty three hundredths acre-of land. ..

B: Um huh. ..

L: He was proud of his land. Um, land owning among the Lumbee

represents prestige, security, what have you, pride M

(t6JIR/ld'^ ). Well, everybody. most everybody

loves the land. They love to own some land anyhow. They'd








LUM 15A
Page 20



like some farm land whether they farm it or rather someone

else farms it. Well, it's a little mark of distinction to

own land. Our people would rather have land than businesses

evidently.

B: Um huh, well, um, .o you think also, this is just an extension

of what you just gaid about security, um, it.gives them a

feeling of permnnence, as being a permanent part of the community?

L: That is true.

B: Everybody wants to be a permanent part .

L: Everyone wants to be a permanent pillar.

B: And do yo, think it's always been this way?

L: Yes, I think so I think so. However, in recent years

more people have 4cquited land than was previously the case.

B: Um huh .

L: Because living standards, our living standards, has been raised

with the coming of industry into the county. We have some

industries where we have, where we might have three or four

members of one family working. Al3,. they farm and whem the

fall of the year comes, they don't owe anything on their farm.

They've taken that money they made doing public work and bought

the necessary things to use on the farm. And when they sell

their crops in the fall, that's cash in the bank or cash to

try to buy some more land, if they can find it. They don't-

want all the land, they just want what adjoins them..

B: Um um, I wanted to ask you um, moving just a little bit

away from tha( ka\1 L 7 )

but um, the tendency of the Lumbee Indian family to be large. .
to be very large. In your case I. .. um, I can understand








LUM 15A.
Page 21


you said eleven?

L: Twelve .

B: twelve in all. And um, maybe wq should infer here um, um,

what you told me about um, your mother, the doctor saying that

she would never have .

This is very important to our women, to bear children. his is

um, it seems to me, a mark of um, um, well this is a mark of

distinction. f i0 v tL

$: Do you think this is ^ ^ aS ?

L: Among our people? Yes. UM, you mentioned what I told

you about my mother. MY mother married when she was seventeen

years old. Um, she had been married approximately two years)

and she wanted children. She came ffom a large family she

wanted children. I don't know if she wanted the size family

that she eventually wvaid up with. I don't know if she

wanted that many, but she loved every one of them, of us and

um,the doctor informed my mother after she had been married

approximately two years that she could never bear a child.

"Toey proceeded my parents proceeded to adopt a girl.

And about two years laterI'm the oldest one, in the family, the

natural children, herxI came and it seemed to so to speak,

prime the pump because I have lots of brothers and sisters.

B: Urn, huhT 9'Ai# that's great.

L: But now, my mother having he natural mother of ten children,

I think about my brothers and sisters including myself the

size of ( )t )? famillye. None of us, none cf the .

none of the children will ever have that many in their family / .

never. Um, I'm the oldest, I have one child and .expecting








LUM 15 A




another. Keep in mind that I said that I'm almost fifty one

years old. Um, the boy next to me had five children, one girl,

on down the line, had one child, um, one brother had has um,

two children, another brother has five, ff sister sort of jumped

the trac&y she has seven, but that would be the largest

family of all we just simply cannot see how we can afford

so many children to be educated and we surely want to educate

our children.

B: On the farm this would have been a different factor, wouldn't

it? I mean, you would have had the the homegrown food,

you know that sort of thing had you been out on a farm.

L: Yes, but out on a farm things wouldbbe'uite different. You

raise your help, raise your labor, that's the way it used to be.

You raised your labor and, sad to say, so many of the parents

were not interested in sending their children to school .

simply did not care. They had to stay home to work.

B: Um huh.

L: But we're getting away from that, I'm proud to say. A family. .

most their o not want more children, than they can

educate properly.





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