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Title: Interview with Harold Reese (September 7, 1972)
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007017/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Harold Reese (September 7, 1972)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: September 7, 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.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00007017
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 23A

Table of Contents
    Copyright
        Copyright
    Interview
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
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        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
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        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
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        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
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LUM 23A
SEPTEMBER 7, 1972
MR. HAROLD DEESE
interviewed by
LEW BARTON
TAPE. 19
Side 1
IDL typist





8: This is Tape 19, Side 1. Today is September 7, 1972. I am in my

home. I'm Lew Barton. I'm in my home in Pembroke, North Carolina

and I'm interviewing Mr. harold Deese, who was kind enough to come

over for an interview. This is the Doris Duke Foundation Oral History

Program under the elstocese of the University of Florida. Mr. Deese,

we certainly appreciate you coming over today and um, we'd like to

ask your name and your age and your position maybe I'm asking

too many questions at one time.

D: That's okay. It's my pleasure, Mr. Barton. I'm Harold Deese .

Bi D-e-e-s-e ?

D: Ur huh thirty years old, born April 10, 1942. My Parents

are Neil Deese and Willie Mae Jacobs Deese. Both are Lumbee Indians,

both are sharecroppers. Um. .. IVS started to elementary school

prospect school, 194. ur, 8 (1948). And I graduatedlhigh school

at Pembroke High School, after transferring there in the ninth

grade because we had moved from a share crop farm to the communist-

type communal farm R ReU Banks Mutual Association. Where there were

fifteen families living at the time. Al nobody owned anything

um, so fr as farming equipment or land or crops other than small

patches of vegetables and things they grow around the house.

Everything was owned on a communal type basis and it was operated
mearto HAed. ha&-
in um, a association-type form with4each family.holding a membership

on the farm and sharing in the um, net proceeds after the farm crops







2



were gathered and sold. Um, I graduated from 1embroke State University,

Pembroke State College then in 1963. I'm married to the former

Aggie Ann Goins ..

B: Would you spell these?

D: A-g-g-i-e Ann Goins, G-o-i-n-s. Um, she's also a graduate of Prospect

High School and Pembroke State College. Um, since that time I've

been employed in various teaching capacities around, primarily in

Indian Schools. I have taught in-Aon-Indian Schools for brief

periods. 1970, I received a scholarship to attend Harvard University

where I did my masters in Education. My wife has also just completed

her masters, this July at A & T University in Greensboro. I'm

presently employed by Lumbee Regional Development Association in

Pembroke, as the project director for the Adult Education program.

The Adult Education -rogram is a program designed to see what kind

of educational data can be gathered and um, Indian Adult Education

programs to try to come up with a better method of dealing with Indian

Adult um, Remedial Eduation.

B: Um huh .

D: And um. presently we have 'bout eighteen staff members working

in six communities of hhe Robefson County Area. We have approximately

a hundred and um, fifty Lumbee adults enrolled raging from age 16

up to about seventy three. And -e reading academic level of zero

up to about grade eight as maximum.

B: Um huh .

D: Our program is not designed to prepare people for post-secondary

educational endeavors. It's primarily design: d to supply skills

for everyday living, such as consumer education, the rudaments of um,

writing and 'rithmatic. We have students in the program that have

never attended school before. We have at least two students who







3


had never gone to a single day school in their life. And I would

say, the average grade level, right now of our students ranges

somewhere between 2.5 and 3.5. I don t have the exact figures ..

at the present.

B: Is this funded by O.E.O.?

D: his is funded by the Office of Education, the Adult Vocational and

Technical Branch of the Office of Education. This this

program is funded directly for the um, sQoe purpose of working with

the Indian population. It is it's an experimental program

S) to once before. And um, we're hoping that some of

the things that we re doing right now can have a at least,

a national significance if not in the general adult education field,

at least in the um Indian Adult Education field. Some of the things

that we're right now, experimenting with in the program is the use

of ) workers in ur, the Adult Education Lrograms, whereas

normally in this area, the Adult Education 1Pgramnjust simply by

using some of the um, mass media to contact people and by way of

mouth and the students go into the classes where the um, teachers

are school teachers employed in the um, primarily in the county system,

the county school system or the city school system. They are

professional teachers. There is basically no attempt to follow

up on the students and if they miss classes, to find out why they're

absent and to um, try to provide motivational efforts to get them back

in the.school. Our program employs a full-time ot..idge-worker

in each community. That we have classes which is with, with six

classes and these people, the 'anz.t ge workers, work with these

students. They provide some o* aUilng services for. and um,

we provide a lot of referral services. We feel that um, the persons

hungry, and the first thing we're got to do is get that person food,







4



then we could talk about education later and we do find a

number of families in the community that are lacking um,

proper food. Not only quality but quantity as well. We've gone in
Uyle-r
the homes where there woono heating, during the part of the .

the coldest part of the winter there ius no heating facilities or

the fuel was out. We've gone into homes where there were no food

for the family, there were no clothes for the family, almost anykind

of condition that you co. ld conceive of, these outridge workers

have come in contact with. And this is one experimental phase,
CUr-+rcA 12
the ouSpatge worker. he other experimental h'bise is. .. phase of the

program is dealing with can Indian people operate an educational .

Adult educational program. CFn they in many cases not have

any experience, in other words can they come up with ideas and

intimate these ideas, that will meet the local educational needs

without very much consideration of what the national-neens are.

This program is designed to strike at the local peoples needs.

And um .

B: Are you finding that um, poverty and illiteracy It- i" together?

D: It seems that the tro are hand in hand for the major part. Now we

have people who in our program, we have um, I'd, say two people

out of the the um, whole classes that, at this time, that

are making what will be compared.. considered um, um, a

fairly decent income. '7e have one family that um, the head of

the household is illiterate. He has just learned to write his name

in our program and his annual income would be somewhere in the

neighborhood of fifteen thousand dollars. This is the highest

that we have., and um, for the most part we're finding that the people

that are in our program, well the um, average income for program

is approximately twenty seven hundred dollars per household.







5


B: Um huh. .. so this is the exception of the rule?

D: This is the exception. And when you take under consideration the average

of twenty seven hundred dollars and this one fellow making twenty. .

no fifteen thousand dollars, this means that there is several

people in there that have an income of below a thousand dollars per

year in the family. There's a large number of our students that

are receiving public ser. um, public assistance through the form

of food stamps, welfare or other things like this.

B: I think maybe we better backtrack a little bit. I wanted to ask

you a little more about your parents, Are they still living?

D: Yes, both parents are living. My father is self-employed. He's o

he works in the woods as a timber cutter, primarily in the pulp-wood

business. My mother is a factory worker. Both of my parents wore, um,

according to the, probably the national definition of illiteracy, both

are moderate illiterate. My father finished the, completed 'bout the

second grade of school, somewhere between the fist and second grade.

My mother completed the seventh grade and um, she had to drop out

6f school to make a living. 7er father passed away so she had to

become part of the work force at that time. My father had the same

situation when about five or six years old he was by the time

he was ten years old, he was doing the same work ad a man. So, he

didn't have time to go to school because he was busy earning a living,

not assisting in earning a living. He was earning a living for the

family by he was a plowman, he had .

B: How old are they)Mr. Deese?

D: Fifty two. My father's fifty one and my mother s fifty two years old.

B: Um huh I hated to interrupt there, but um, how 'bout your .

how many brothers and sisters. did we mention that?

D: No we didn't mention it. I'm the only child in the family. There was







6



a sister. She passed away when I wa3 seven years old. She was six.

B: Oh I see.

D: So, I'm the only child in the family.

B: Well, I've had the nrivilage and um, honor of visiting your program,

and talking to a number os students in the program over there. And um,

I was very surprised that they would, they showed such enthusiasm.

And they all seemed to be learning and happy that their were learning

and um, this was really an inspiring visit for me. As you know, I

I know it's a worthwhile program. One other um, what other

things do um, does the organization, the Lumbee Regibnal Development

Associated .or Association, which is it?

D: Association.

B: Association. Um, what else, what other types of programs do they

operate?

D: Um,. .. the short. LRDA, short for the Lumbee Regional Development

Association, has several Drograms right now operation. One .

another program is the Neighborhood Youth Corp, which has something

over a hundred kids involved. They have an in-schood phase and an

out-of-school Neighborhood Youth Corp phase, which the out-of-school

is for people that has nut completed high school and for some reason

or another have dropped out. They provide work for a number of

these people and hopefully in the work process, they learn good

work habits, and um, the things that are expected of an employee

and an employer so that they can go out into regular job market and

secure um, well paying jobs, or at lest a job that pays enough for thcm to

survive. The in school program is designed for kids who come from

homes where there is a low, a poverty level income. This provides

them with a eight hours of work per weeljhile they're in school






7



they work afternoons they um, so that these kids could

have money. .spending money. .. as well as money to buy clothes and um,

eat in the cafeteria and these kind of things.

B: Right. .

D: Another phase of the program, um, right now, which is probably .

which is the largest program that's operated .here is the Economic

Development part of the program which is presently, they have several

components, I probably will missone of them, and one of 'em is dealing with the

business aspect of the community, helping to to provide information

about loans that are available for businesses to the Indian people here

in the community so that thev could go into um, or secure funds to go into

private businesses themselves, individual and um, group proprietorships. Um,

this um, this program has also attempted to form or has formed a um,

Businessman's Association to get together the present businessmen and hopefully

provide um, information and assistance work. technical assistance ot at

least information technical assistance can be um, gotten to these businees-

men, and also give them of a voice, um, provide some kind of an association that

they can become a member of to vice social activities in the like .

B: Um huh .

D: Also getting' new ideas for their business, how to become more efficient

businessmen. Another phase of it deals with the cooperstives. Um, this

phase, right now, is taken to deal to the realm of establishing. primarily,

right now, their main objective is establishing agricultural-related coops.

Probably in the future we'll move into the area of artisarn-type coops and

as well as agricultural and hopefully other types of businesses.

B: Um at present,, do you know how many people LRDA employed?

D: There's um over forty people presently employed in LRDA. The






8




Adult Education program has the largest number of employees. Fully

staffed, we will employ twenty people, which we have approximately

one-half the um, the number of people employed in the organization.

B: And is the interest continuing such as I encountered when I went over

there that night?

D: In that Adult Education class?

B: Yes.

D: DefinitelyThe interest is high and I can attribute part of this

interest to, the fact that-i )in as far as possible, out employees

are local people. They come out of the communities that they served.

So, especially in the case of the outridge workers we attempt to make

this this person, as far as possible, a part choose him from

one of some of the communities. Um, our teachers um, another

experimental pahse of our program, we're presently using five pair

of professionals teachers. These people have less than a college

degree. Some of them all except let's see there's four

that have have gone no further than high school, one has done some

advance work above the high school but it wasn't the general education

field. And only one of our six teachers right now is a college graduate

and a professional teacher.

B: Are you attempting to um, do anything about dropouts? Are you

encouraging um, ym, are you trying to provide something for the dropout

and um, trying to prevent dropouts. ... high school dropouts?

D: Well, a recent survey, not so recent, in 1963 I think, in Robefson County,

indicated that, it wasn't a survey, it was actually a study of the

people in the Adult Education Program that existed then, the information

from that research piece, indicated that if a parent just attended

Adult Education Program, our program, whether he stayed in it IVt-

the --- -------------of a high school or a elementary diploma or hot







9



if he just attended for a couple of session or more, that his child

had a fifty percent or less um, possibility of dropping out of school.

And um, in our i:ro rami, we also provide, well we feel that this is a

plus, but we do provide referral services to another phase of LRDA

which is a talent search program. And this is their prime responsibility,

working with the um, students that are in school to try to come up with

um, potential educational facilities that will accept these students.

often times these are students that cannot, for some reason, academics

not necessarily because of intelligence level, but because of low

achievement, cannot get into the um, larger Universities because of

high academic admission standards. And this Talent Search Program

is working with these schools and gathering information providing

the students irtthe Indian High Schools with the informations to where

they can go to school and where they receive financial assistance if

they are not able to go to school. They also have 0 These

counselors work half a day in the school and half a day in the

community. Counseling students that have dropped out attempting to get them

to come back to the school. If they are not interested in coming back

into the um, high school program, secondary program, to go on to some

training or technical school to. so they can um, further their

education thaj way. Another component that I didn't mention in the um,

Economic Development part of the program is the community aids. Now

these aids are, I guess to a great degree, social workers in that

they. we make referral to them for um, various needs that we

seem to amet in to such as emergency food, clothing um, shelter and

these community aids under the Economiq Development Program, do

attempt to find or to bring together some source of where these

immediate needs can be met, Whereas the other phases oV'the Economic







10



Development Adult Education and the Neighborhood Youth Corp dealing
(o,r V
with ( ) F things, these Community Aids are dealing with

moreso, the immediate needs of the people that are in poverty.

B: Do you get any do you get good cooperation from the um,

from the um, established agencies such as um, social services?

D: Initially there was somewhat of a reluctance to work with us. We

were a new organization, we didn't have a track record as such and

we had to develop a working relationship. Right now, we have

established a working relationship with the major portions of the um,

established institutions, such as social services and a good example

of this is the fact that we 've been able in our Adult Education

Program to provide um, glasses for the people that need them. I

don't think we've had a case turned down yet that really was need

and the income was in, in um, the proper level.

B: Um huh .

D: We um, have been able to provide something like, thirty, over thirty

pairs of glasses for our students to our initial year.

B: Um huh well that's fine.

D: This gives some indication that um, we have been able to establish a

credible relationship with these people.

B: Um huh I hear that um, um, that Mrs. resigned

and um, I don't know why. She's been there for a lbng time.

D: Right.

B: Um, she was not only an official working with LRDA, but she was V?/tn0 1A.

(/ V' I') citizen too and um, the Lumbee Indian and um,

as such, we certainly have the right tfxpress out opinion on all

these things.

D: Right.

B: I think, um, perhaps the trouble has really been in the past. That we







11



haven't expressed ourselves freely enough.

B: Um huh .

B: Um, I'm wondering if um, you've had since you are acquainted

with low income families and so forth, if you have any ideas as to
urm, um, social services to do by way of improvement or anything

along those lines. I don't want to put you on a spot .

D: No .

B: to say now, who do you favor. If it's a feel of position, if

you want to say that, then it's alright. But um .

D: Yes well, I guess I should have prefaced everything I said

with the statement, that I'm speaking in any s capacity as um,

an employee of any organization but as a private citizen and the

whole conversation should have been prefaced with that. So,..

B: Well I think that's wha understood.

D: Right.

B: I understood it anyway.

D: Okay. We've got it now on the transcript.

B: Right .good .

D: I think, from my observation and the observations that we have had,

in from the field workers that have had contacts with the social

services department, er, it seems to be two over-riding factors that um,

bother us a great deal. One of 'em is seemingly insensitivity through

the pride of the poor people. The case workers do not seem to understand

that um, poor people has to be dealt with as poor people, but first

of all they have to be dealt with as human beings. That um, have needs,

they have feelings, they have desires just as much and just as great

as anybody in the world has. And um, I think this is one thing if

I had to make one complaint abou social services, it would be that from

all the reactions that I have had from the people, there seems to be







12



an insensitivity to the plight of the poor people. And they seem
WA SScI (ASS !/
to be treated in somewhat, in a-vrnst', as a veemae versus, um, a

human being and um, and I this would be my prime complaint.

Another complaint would be which is probably we probably

stand from this insensitivity, is the fact that it seems that often

times the laws of the social service laws are interpretted

not for the benefit of the poor people, but for the benefit *eD the

established institution which seems to be the story that so often

comes truelthat that organizations perpetuate organizations.

And if they are 0 services in consequential to self-perpetuation.

B: Um huh do you think we .possibly have people um, who's maim

purpose in becoming um, an employee of the social services is to

warpnate it to warp the program to restrain it rather than

a love for people and the desire to actually help people.

D: Certainly speaking from the observations and um, reports that I've

received, there seems to be this kind of a thing happening, I can't

speak from a standpoint of authority because I haven"' experienced it

myself but it seems that when you ride by the road down there and

you see fifty or sixty elderly people standing outside the road, that

can t go inside the building for shelter, maybe it's sleet or snowing

or raining and they still have to stand out and wait for food stamps.

Often times they get there at six o'clock in the morning and have to
i,
stay until later in the afternoon and then are told, ,;oll we can't

see you today,vo've had our .. fi@-Hyou'll have to come back

tomorrow and try it again". .i'nd sometimes they go as many as three

times or more before they can even be seen. This sounds to me like th

there's some kind of insensitivity. Certai nly the observations

will tend to to um, well, I, observations would tend

to point, they're the people are not necessarily sensitive to







13


the need 6f the people. They're serving their own interest rather.

B: Well, there has been some um, I don't know rather you'd call

it protest or demonstration or what, but there has been some

complaints recently, haven't there?

D: Right. There was some complaints recently. Um, there has been

several cases that has recently been protested. .he decisions

that the Social Services had reached in the cases were protested and

um, um, all the information has not been received yet. I know one

case was not it was a negative decision on the protest and

actually all that we accomplished was the right to protest and

fec- A inalienable rights. But I think since the protest

there has been more sensitivity at least more consideration given to

the people down there and that have gone down there. And I think

they have been better received and have been accorded a better

treatment, a more humane treatment.

B: That's great. .. I think we do have to complain in any area rhenn

it ja functioning ^..- ) and um, certainly this is um,

um, a very sensitive field and a field in which um, unfortunately,

um, we are involved, the Lumbee Indian are involved to a great extent,

simply because um, um, the Lumbee Indians and the Blacks of the county

are at tfe bottom of the stack, so to speak, financially .

D: Right .

B: (-VI#0 A considered ..

D: Right um, the Indian people, it seems, are paying a price because

of their traditional, I'll say because their traditional love for the

land. The Indian people of this area hnsve hben following us for centuries.

And bince the recent training in the county has been to large industrial-

type agricultural operations, farm management systems, supervised by

the large industrial giants in this area such as the banking institutions,






14



And so forth. Um, the Indian people preferred to remain on the farm

and in many cases, 4r had to suffer. Due 6o this, the farms have

dS 1F larger, and if you didn't have the money to buy it, um, very

expensive equipment to go in the farming operation, you either

took a sharecropping or daycropping um, type of operation which in

most ins1ancrc-, does not produce any sizeable income over a year. We

still have people working ten and twelve hours a day for five dollars

and salaries like this for gathering tobacco and puli' cotton and

especially in the communities that are somewhat isolated in the county.

B: The minimum income laws don't always get enforced in this county,

do they?

D: Right um, they're not always enforced, probably for many reasons.

Urn, one of the reasons is probably because the people are not informed

and another reason is that if you are informed and you protest, you

lose your five dollars a day or six dollars or seven dollars or eq"

wat you're making on the farm, which is seasonal to start with. And

leaving you with t an income for several moAths of the year. Now,

where do you go from there?. If you want to wvl: for a living V-
)
V(f~SS SC-/'. -to cial rvices for a living, or

either wise take the minimum that this farm owner pays or you cqn just

go without and actually you can go hungry.

B: And plus would you say, the love of the land, the love of the homeland,

our pno:!.l, would you say, are reluctant to leave even to better

opportunities?

D: I personally am reluctant to leave and I have no plan whatsoever to

leave. I t ink I'll stay here and rough it out. It doesn't make any

difference how rough it gets and I think that um, I speak for the

majority of the Indian people in the area. There's something they

love their homeland. "aybe it's because that when we leave the community,







15



there we don't necessarily find Lumbees that we can identify

with. p personal feeling is if we go into another area

and there's another Indian, this Indian has not, perhaps .or

perhaps doesn't have the same background that we have and he's

probably just as much a stranger to us as as the white eorple

in the other area that we would move to. So, consequently, unless
-^
we moveto an area that has where there's a sizable population

of Lumbee Indians, we're somewhat isolated and have to take the main-

stream of American life and forget where we come from or at least um,

assume a role of living in that community under its standards or we

stay at home. Most of our people, I feZl, are choosing to stay at

home and accept whatever they can find here and try to make it better

for an few some people um, that come behind 'em.

B: Um huh .. .well um, a similation has been thought of as the solution

to oUr problem by some people. How do you think our people feel

about this generally?

D: Generally, I feel assimilation is, is um, somewhat equatable to

anialization in .in the minds of the people. And as-;imilation

in the majority of the people's mind, is looked upon as a fate,

probably worse than death itself. I personally am against assimilation.

I'm in I'm I'm highly in favor of competition. I believe

that we hear- the intellectual capacity to compete wit he society at

large, and I think we can live in our communities and make it a better

place to live to provide opportunities for the um, the people

that follow us, which takes a eonserted effort, which takes a group

of people that are willing to sacrifice um, their social positions,

that are willing to sacrifice their economic ..niti r.s to um, attempt

to make it a better place to live. And really you can r:et in this modern

day America, there is such a thing as economic repraisal.






16



B: Right. And um, this is especially true in this county.

D: Very, very much true. Especially in your professional levels. If

you don't get the um, the mode the local society has established

for you, if you're a professional such as a teacher, which is um our

main professional area, then if you don't fit in that mode they um,

seemingly will um, make it difficult for you to get jobs or make it

difficult for you to um, um, enjoy your work.where you're living or

where you're working at.

B: What usually happens to a person who complains um, about injustices,

however justified those complaints may be?

D: Basically he's ostracized from the um, I guess you call 'em the old

O 1', Cos ',C from the people that um traditionally operated

the um or spoke for the Indians. Um, there's no room in .

in the past um, system of operation which is still operating quite

efficiently, presently for dissent...um, if it's dissent for better,

for the Indian peoples If you complain because you don't have supplies

in your classrooms, many times you're considered a troublemaker. If

you complain out in um, publicly about how the Indian people are treated,

you're considered um, an idiot um a fool by the um, the educated um,

elite in the community. Often times this is, it's not necessarily all

the time. But it my impression, my personal opinion, is that this

is the basic truth. It if you do stand up and complain and if

you say that I have a right to he an Indian, to live the life of an

Indian without being penalized for it, without having to come up to the

standards that are established by the establishment, whether it be white,

black, or red, and you are penalized socially and economically.

B: Um huh .

D: So actually there's no room for you unless you want to be a hermit.







17



B: You know I've I've I've heard an expression by um, a high

official that's at PSU now, something he said years ago and I wish .

perhaps you'd remembered it, and I won't call his name. But he said

it's possible to be dead, while yet you live in this county.

D: Well, I I agree.

B: So um .

D: You can be dead so far as as achieving your personal um, oitimum

um, level of um, existence. Um, because even in our schools my experience

has been that um, if you question decisions that were made by the people

in Authority, maybe this is not just unique to our area, but um, that if

you're inquisitive, if you don't accept the everyday ( ) and if you

want to know why o if you want to kn9w why we: don't have supplies, why

thil answer is correct. If you ask questions tMOMS you're considered

a trouble-maket. Consequently here you go to that social ostracism and

um. .

B: r Professional ostracism?

D: Professional ostracism as well, if you go into the school system and

go to complaining, you'll you can be professionally ostracized

and um, um, now you'll kind of stand out like a sore thumb if you don't

just follow the. the leadership o& the people that are in authority.

Um, I've had this experience a couple of times, especially in um, 19...un,

69(1969 un, when the um, Indian school were being fully integrated

at that time. This particular school that I was working at was Prospect.

Um, I dids$ excellent I considered it an excellent administration

one of a few people that I would say that about, in the county, is an

administratIW Mr. Denford S. Um, we went to a meeting with the

county superintendent to discus the plight of the Indian teachers. Would

he give us assurance that all Indigan teachers would be placed in the county

as a result..tone paced as a result of integration and there
as a result. ones v,-ore placed as a result of integration and there






18



were a couple of the guys in there, I, myself being one of them that ..

that questioned this. That we wanted some kind of assurance that all

teachers would be placed and these kind of things. Just assurance that we

would be treated equally.

B:

Um huh .

'D: And um, there were a lot of people and Indian teachers in there that
I,
said, you know, what kind of fools are those. Look at them just

making a fool of themself .. because we asked questions. And I think

this is true all the way from first grade through um, high school and even Qf

through college.
; kl.^I; 4i c Affce e
B: Do you think the Caucasian group um those who are --4-------

A=sE and so on, have um, um, seized the integration thing and

turned it to their advantage turned it to a disadvantage of Indians and

Blacks. in the county?

D: I think um, personally the thing has been a disadvantage for the Indian kids

from my observations. Um, and actually working in the schools that have been

integrated and um, that were predominately well, they were White

before and had an influx of Indians and Blacks. And um my observations

was my personal observation again, that these Indian kids were not

treated equally. They were not accorded the un, general services that um,

were available in the school bS as far as possible, they were put into the E,

lower um, educational classeS .4he classes that were not headed to college

but was headed to just a high school diploma and hopefully to a factory or

back to the farm where he would not cause any problems. And um, I've heard other

other kids talk about the treatment their were accorded. I've heard profes-

sionals in the schools system talk about the fact that um, the Indian Kids

seem to have been put into the lower classes not and not accorded equal


treatment. And um, the. basically it seems that the only Indian Kids,from my







19


experience and observation and from talking with other people that have

really been able to go in the school system and and un, rake a Go

of it, has been the ones that can make it anywhere regardless of what

ace they were. They were exceptional people.

B: Um huh Do you think ur, being obedient to the master um could

account for the success of some of our teachers un, do you think

they have to do that. urn, in order to stay in the school system? Do

you think there are certain things they have to follow which, indirectly

or directly are dictated by the power structure?

D: eHll, ur, let's bring it hp to what's happening right new. This year the

teachers in the county were faced with the um, the um, permanent ur, faced

with the evaluation. the ..5r the first time in North Carolina

lIteachers a permanent status. They would eitherwise urn, at the end

of this year be rated as um, professional or nonprofessional teachers, which

I'm not sure what the term is. you it's professional teachers
I
and what s the other term. nonprofessional?

B Un. I somehting like this. I'm not sure wither.

D: I'm not sure. anyhow you take a teacher that .

B: Do you think this is a dangerous tool in the hands of$Ahite power structure?

D: Dangerous in the hahds of the establishment. I'd like to refer to .

not to the establishment. not as a white power structure, but as a

conglomerate of um, Indians, Whites and Blacks that have achieved power

and $a . content to have thispower and they're not ready to

share it with other people, which makes them an watablishment versus the

um, I in my mind. versus the white power structure.. Maybe they're

synonomous, I'm not I'm not sure. I have some reservations 10 /Pkcf



B: We have we have a few have so few peopleS s* you

know .







20


D: Right...

B: this is why we refer to it this way.

D: Right this is basically true. If you want to get to the absolute

truth, I think we have the Indians and the White in the power structure.

So, I use the term establishment. It can be dangerous especially if you

are a teacher that is concerned with injustices, and concerned with %E6-

quality education, regardless to what race the kids are. And if. if

you speak out on the injustices likeewhy the school starts and it takds

a week for the kids to get enrolled. to get their classes straightened

out. something that sho .d have been done during the summer, f you

speak out on these things, you know, you're a trouble maker, if you
11 I
speak out on urn, why urn, my class does t have iark./) facilities, if

you speak out on or questions why um, do I have to follow this order when

it's against all the rules of of. .um, proper educational .

proper educational& process. You know, you become a troublemaker. So,

this year it can become a tool, and I hope this is the last year it can

it can become a tool ur, to be used against us this type of indivi-

dual that does not satisfy with the vuadeamAand um .

B: Do you thinkAcould even extend to the area of voting and registering and

practicing our rights as citizens.

D: Definitely, whennyou come into a county that hM& a thirjt democraticc voter

registration to ur, one republican ur, ratio, urn, you can get into problems.

Um, personally being a republican, I'vebeen in BSS60 that I was the only

republican and many times I've been in this situation. "nd un, in the
-tkreA-h
end they kind of tolerated us because there was noJheate from me no

political threat and many time ,um, there's been many instances that I've

talked to other people where there were reprisal or tentative rep3isals

because of the voting process or urn, the people were told theyjhad to

stay home today because this was voting day. Well I've got to get this






21



crop in today. You don't have time to vote, it's not important

and this type of thing. .., and the importance of voting and the rights

of citizenship bfe somewhat yeen played down. And this is Bgi. .
e -fectli VC P
tAtA eAf&fs C-( l/^y the establishment to maintain their power.

B: Um hh ..

D: Because there's no threat as long as you're not voting.

B: Well, do you think we have a unique school systems in this county and that

we have six administrators

D: A very. a very unique and inefficient system of operation.

B: Would yoq say expensive .?

D: Very expensive.

B: And do you think this was something that was designed over the years

in order to avoid any real integration or ur, any real equality of

races and this sort of thing?

D: Looking at a surface .. if you take a surface look at the situation,

it would seem evident because if you're not a part of the establishment,

then you don't have time to prepare. You only react o:;ce a situation

follows through. And a very good example was the way way the

school boundaries were drawn when the government said you had to establish

boundaries and um, brigg the things into your schoel,sys into federal

gS. The only thing that the Indian People could do at that:time was

react. Because the lines were already drawn and everything pretty well
I
solved when the major portion of the citizens became aware of it. So

what could we do but react which um.. a reaction to an action that has

already happened is nothing like preparation for a situation that's impending.

B: But they didn't console us and they didn't. .

D: I. .

B: give us a chance to express ourselves did they?

D: That's right. It's about like being in







22



D: That's right. It's ab.ut like being in in the batters box in

a baseball game when this pitcher is pitching a no hitter and you're

batting anlr m ..



SIDE 2


B: This is side 2 of Tape 19, continuing the interview with Mr. Deese.

Ur, I'm sorry that we were interrupted because it was getting good along

that time when the tape run out. I wonder if you can recall. *

D: Well, we were talking about the quite separate but equal um, school

system that was supposedly, that did exist in the county and the impli-

cations of the this type system. Um I tend to fehl that there

were a lot of pros and a lot of cons in this type of school system. The
i t It
pro was that we could operate our own schools to a certain degree. Un,

we could have some independence in the. in ur, our school system,
II ,t
but the the con was probably that even then, our school system
absolutely
was controlled by the system, by the board of education. Um, the people

that were on the board of education usually the system-oriented type

people and consequently you'd get system-oriented un, teachers in the

classroom and you'd just be producing ur, year agter year, the same type

of person, the person that accents the yoke of the system and doesn't

rebel. nd you get a few-- Ceople 6n the process, but, you know,

if you're one in a hundred or one in two hundred, the masses have a way

of taking care of ur, quote, "problem people," unquote.

B: Um huh well, somebody has to ur, somebody has to stand up and

complain when things begin to be intolerable. Unfortunately some people

are doing this today and umv. can you see any change in that attitude

you just described takinalace within the last year or so?







23





D: I think .

B: Well in the last few years?

D: My observation has tended to be urn, tended to lead me to think that the

teachers, the people that are concerned, especially in the school system,

are finding it so difficult even now and. .. and as they reve into the

integrated school systems, if they speak out, if they stand up, the pres-

sure is so great, um, that rather than to continue under alsmst unbearable

circumstances, they opt out atfind. *:aa a i n other places. I I,

you know there's countless other people thatyou can call.., efr names ,,)

haw done this. But, if you stay in the system, you either wise. you

learn to sublimate your true feelings and. and go along and do as .

actually. um um. become part of the system or you know, you

just get out. That's the two options that you have.

B: I am for this kind of thihg. Urn, I've been very vocal about it and I

haven't been shot yet. Ur, I haven't had a dob yet either. Um, so I do

know that um,. um, these things do operate and they operate very effec-

tively. Ur, but ur, I think our people are standing up more and more.
,I //
I was very encouraged by a iFemendous victory in the case of Old Main(,

D: Yeah ...

B: Um, and I believe you were pretty outspoken too on this particular issue

and very instrumental in helping with it.

D:i; I guess whqt I did then was confirm what a lot of people had said. That

I was a'troublemaker.

B: But, I'm afraid,. I'm afraid I'm guilty of the offense too. Um .

D: BUt I. I stand today in my personal esteem, I feel ua, a better

person. I feel I'm a better person. I feel that um. I'm able to

li(e with myself somewhat better because of the standdb>I've taken. I'm

not a brave person by any means when it comes to violence, but I feel that






24



a person any person to really be um, a person that that can

take pride in himself, he has to have ideas that are worth fighting

for. And these ideas, somewhere in his mind, have gotta come when they're

to a point when they're not only worth fighting for and being ostracized

and being unemployed and being pushed from place to place for and they're

also worth dying for and um, I, at that time, had reached close to that

stage when un, I told my wife this was one decision that I'd made and I

hoped it didn't cause any family problems but I had reached & point in my

life where I had found something that I believed in. And I believed in

it to a point that if I had to fight for it to defend it, I'd defend it

and if I died, although I did not want to,that's the last thing I wanted

to do,but um, I'd reached a point where I had to sublimate the aspirations

that I had in lifd to a point of defending it up to the death, as long as

somebody else was there with me. Now. I'd be there regardless of what

it took. If it took havin' to lead the county after it was over or havin'

to dig ditches for a living, this is what I'd made up my mind to do.

Fortunately it didn't come to that.

B: I'm sure it wau.fthis kind of dedication that won this impossible battle

and un, that this is one case where the Indians did win. .. where the

Indians actually defeated the state capital, id a sense. They certainly

defeated the governors office.

D: Right. .

B: Um, but ur, we had sympathy and help and guidance, all that sort ot thing

from all over the United States and out people were appalled. It was a

great cause. People were apalled gnd anybody would even dare to tear

down this building, um urn, whish was the first: which housed

the first. )- college for Indians in the United States.

And urn, I'll tell you ua, this has encouraged me a lot. I've been







25



a lot of battles. Ur, but in this one I saw more dedication among out

people than in any other. And it was so inspiring, I felt the same

way you do ur, and did. Ur, I'm very thankful to our people that they

stuck it out .. .

D: Right. .

B: and this was a long,hard, drawn out ur, knock down, dragout fight.

I mean un, we were up against Oity Hall and there's no doubt about that!

D: Um huh .

B: And ur, it took dedication it took everything that. urn, it took

this town's dedication to win it, but this is one time we beat hell out

of Oity Hall. You'll excuse the expression and I'm very proud of it.

D: That was one of the proudest days in my life,kI've ever lived and we had,

and especially the first day that we went out on the street to demonstrate.

Swas only eight of us but I think all eight people came back out of

that better human beings as well as better men. They had a I think

the people that participated in that the hard core people that you

could count on bothe hands being less than a dozen. !he real hard core

people that stuch their nose out in the '. =1: jiland were

willing to gamble with un, th-eir careers, their futures and their friends,

quote, friends, unquote, and all these other things that a person has

to delude to make life somewhat ur, bearable, you know, in these kind

of places. I think I talked to a lot of people after that and un,

all the people that I've talked to, which was all that was in that

original demonstration, said that they would never be the same people,

That they would be much better human beings, as a result of their par-

ticipation in that, they took a stand and became people, human beings

exorcising tA right to protest, in using a lSwful manner.

B: Rikht and a right to exist actually. ..






26


D: Yes, actually, a ri2ht to exist and a right to have a part of the

historical past to rule. What else do we have. we have Old Maint

building now, and that is the only, I guess, the only visible structure

that we have of of our past.

BI The only tangible thing that we have.

D: Right Right.

B: And um, um,it was 6o inspiring though that *his renewed my faith in

America and Americans because we had support fvom virtually all the other

American Indian groups throughout the country, we had um, we had support

from people at the major Universities and colleges and un. un, this

is the sort of thing that just isn't done.

D: Um hih. ..

B: You don't tear down an old building that's so meaningful to the people

without even consulting the people. This is. but they were L-e IBrmze-

enough to try it.

D: But I think the thing that had made the building particularly important

to me was I walkedthrough those hall down there when I couldn't go to

any other school primarily unless because they wouldn't have me, being an

Indian. It's the onlynoppurtunity that I had to get out of the factory,

or even to get out of the cotton-patch=f r'd tobacco patch, to get

a decent chance to to um, be successful in life, to. it was

the only opportunity I had at the time to go to school actually. Because

my parents couldn't afford to send me anywhere else. And ur, for prac-

tical purposes i*.ae very few schools I could have gotten into at that

time, in fifty 1959 when I started. And I look at my parents, they

never had the appurtunity to go to school, they. .. had to work to make

a livi g when they were ten and twelve years old, get out and do the same

thibg that a grown person had to do at that time. And um, to me, that

building was the symbol of a chance. Of a chance that none of my people






27



urn, had had before. And I'm the first person who ever graduated from

high school in my entire family on my mother's side of the family and

I'm the third person to graduate from high school from my father's

side of the family and um, the second one to graduate from college

and the only one, thus far to to make it through graduate school.

And ur, to me it had a truly significant meaning. It had a meaning who

was well worth defending with anything that I had to defend it with..

because it stood out as a door who was opened to me when there was no other

doors opened. At a time when I couldn't go down to a movie and um,

go in the movie and um sit in the bottom part, I had to go up on the

right hand side or somewhere in the balcony just like I was some kind

of inferior ( ulI.r,), inferior human being.

B: That's right and yet these people had the ordasity to come into our own

institution and push us out. And and after we gave it to 'em in

good faith, we were happy to do it and we thought we were making a great

contribution, and here they were ready to destroy the very last vestige

of ur, um, any Indian that's there, the student body being. .. well all

those things together just pushed us a little bit too far, didn t it?

D: I think definitely they did. UM they say that a lot of the people that

were involved in the movement were illiterate and had never been there.

Um, this is true, but they also have the right to be proud that their

people had a chance to go there. They couldn't have. ., They took pride

in the fact that this was the place where people like you and I could

go um, when we had the opportunity to come by and it still is um a

S. .fortress, an< educational fortress in the Indian community when

there was no other one e isting in the United States. fhey had other places

like f and um, wI. but these were not designed to provide

Indians with Liberal arts education. They were provided to train Indians

to do what they felt that the Indians at that time could do which was umn,







28



use their hands.

B: Well, personally I think this is what brought me to complete dedication

to the service. .. to the project to save the building. ^nd this is

one 6O the things that inspiredA Here are these people who never had

an opportunity to get more education and they're ready to stand b) my

side and die if necessary.-

D: Right. .

B: And um ur, if they had no advantage of our school system, and yet

they were willing to do this for me, how could I do any less? TJ3-lCd'c IOo

D: Right. .1agS I went to a meeting during the time that the .

controversy was raging and um I saw this fellow, he probably finished the

second or third grade in school, but he he was talking with tears

in his about the significance of the building to him and to his people.

He said that his ghandfather had ditched during the winter and took his

money that he was making ditchin' ditch6a and donated it to help build

this building and for some one of the structures that were up there
it It
and I he said that it was the 0ld Main* Auditorium. And that while

he was ditchin' without shoes, his feet were so cold that they had cracks

on top of 'em where they had frozen and burst. tnd when you take people

like this, he never went to this school, his grandson didn't go to this

school, but yet still he was a part of 'em. He could look on that school

with pride because he had he had donated something to .. to help

some kid in that school that was more fortunate than he was.

B: Right .andsomof his relatives had v2- I <-D



D: Right, some of his relatives had. But um, when you take the people that

had devoted this kind of um, of their life, parts of their life to. to

um,building a building, establish an institution and take it away from 'em

eo take people that have put a part of their life into the building.,,






29



My grandmother donated um, materials for it, she didn't get totgo to

school.,,.After she went to this building when it was a elementary

school. But she never got anything like a high school or a college

diploma from it, but she ( ) it. It was a part of her heritage.

And um, you move around in the community and you find people that .

that looked upon this building as a symbol of urn. of a life that

could be better. And um, in my particular case I. my mother went

withoutnclothes to send me to school there. And, like I said, she

couldn't have sent me anywhere else nowhere I got pride,

so at that time she couldn't afford. she couldn't even afford to

pay the minimum amount of tuition that I had to pay. 6he had to often

times borrow it. I've seen her change clothes and ur, she only had

enough clothes to change and take the ones she had on off, and wash

'em to wear the next day. She didn't have urn, clothes decent

clothes to wear to church. Her clothes were tattered and torn. And urn,

I watched her sacrifice working day after day on a farm in's station

and ur, go out at night and lari and pick vegetables and gathering

# so we can have food to eat. And um, some guy comes and

tells me that urn, this building is not important to my heritage and .

not important to the people that hale sacrificed to get the building

up and in addition to send thJtr&trough that school and it stood as

a place that was the only ( t7\ C ) open to them. You

know I have I have to take issue with 'em. violent issue.

B: And this is our only hope wasn't it?

D: It was the only hope we had.

B: The only hope. .we couldn't get in the White schools, we couldn't

get in Black schools. .

D: That's right.

B: And this ib all we hadw It might not had been all we wished it to
be, but it wgs ours and we loved it and we still love the building.







30



D: That's right .

B: And um, um, do you think they'll ever be able to get rid of the building

or so thing like that again? Do you think our people won't be on

guard now?

D: As long as you're livin', they won't and as long as I'm living I don't

think they will. As long as we can get together they won't. I know

that.

B: Ur. .. this has really tore me up I know thatJ Urn. I un .

it's so it's it's so ironic and so unjust and there's some

situations in which it's better to die than to live, you know.

D: that's right.

B: Um. I believe in every man s heart there is a. .there is a desire

for un. for equality and for the desire for justice and and the

desire for simple human, you know, recognition. This we're. .

we're human beings. We're not animals. We're not savages. And

we're the first . we're the people who has proved this. And

we're the people who have um, demonstrated this to the world. And this

is the symbol that they wanted to destroy, because they didn't want. ..

because they didn't want their kids attending a college and a building

t$t had been contaminated by In Indian children .-hulB 4- .. ).

D: Right. .

B: #%,Some of their P ).

D: And I feel that if this building would have been destroyed, that it
It Ii
would have been pronounced pure. And C .,l. i--..) it would've been

clean then.

B: Yeah. ..

D: Like now. .

B: They meant their victory to be complete.

D: .it stenches like the-leprechaun You know, Mclean clean.







31


If the building was gone, ot it had been torn down, then um, you would

have um, a clean situation and nothing to .. I guess by its Indian

historical past.

B: Well, control of our Indian schools was was eized and um, this

attempt to eradicate the building and our people had been systematically

eliminated or kept down. Um um, if nothing had happened, if we had not

resisted,this um, wouldn't this have amounted to the end of us? Or I think

you've already said that and um .

D: I think it would've.

B: As a people anyway .

D: As a people with pride and dignity, I think it would, would've almost .

completely aaigW&ag us. Because we're living proof today that assimilation

/ is not the answer to our problems. If assimilation had been the answer in

taking on the ways of the the um, society had been the answer, if um,

adopting European methods of dress, if adopting European cultures, European

language and um, life styles,methods of making a living had been the answer,

the we, of all people, would habe been truly blessed in the US because we

had surely adopted this. The education and all the other things that you can

mention primarily of the European people who have settled this area. we
DAt
have adopted modified, improved 40. in some cases, QIsS the style of living.

But yet and still we come back and we're treated um, with the same contempt that u

um, the Black man, the um, Chicanos or any other minority in the US that's

apparently emerging i force has been treated with um, the feeling we're,

for three hundred close to three hundred years, we have been the real

proof, a little over three hundred years, we're proof thatassimilation is

not the answer to the problems of mankind and to the problems of us at the US.

B: Well, um, do you think that being assimilated and assimilating um, can

you see a big difference between the two? Whether you're the .






32



D: The assimilator or the asiimilatee. .?

B: Right .

D: It is a big difference between the two! Um, if you're the assimilate .

if you're the person that that um, assimilating, then um, you;re

taking the things that you want out of this culture and um, and. .

and if given a proper atmosphere or surroundings, I think you're

keeping what the what of your culture you feel is beneficial. In

other words, you're taking the the best of two cultures or the best

of many cultures and um, living your life style as you see fit. Whereas

if you um, are assimilating people then you assume that you are your

way of living and your culture is the correct one which is then the basic

assumption then \hiaMa M 1 t\ I o o /r umL h Indian culture

has been given no um, consideration. It's been bad from the standpoint of

the establishment, and then from the standpoint of um, society at large. No

consideration has truly been 'given to our culture. So, it"s been assumed

all the time that what the other peaWT had to offer to the INdians um, was um,

the best for the Indians and we re beigg treated like little children. And

um, it's it does not wori, it has not worked and it will not work. I

think tht only way any group of people can ever become9 ( um, human beings and

um, ---------. ---of equality and maintain dignity as for them to be allowed to

live as human beings and to be treated as human beings. You can legislate

um, integration. You can legislate equality all day long. But until people

in their hearts are willing to accept other people as human beings on the

basis of what they are and not who they are or where they come from and

legislation is a -- c-------- because you can'tLegislate love and that's

what the whhle things about.

B: Now and do you think the relevent sizes have something to do with it

because um, the American Indian is the smallest of all the minorities and um,






33



um, Caucasian um, group is the largest. So um, it would be possible,

maybe for them to swallow up the Indians completely without being effectdd

or um, or affected too adversely. .

D: Um huh .

B: But in our case um, we ceasv to exist if we are assimilated. And .

D: Um huh -1 -- l )--- -----has been a policy throughout the

history that the United Stated too, that um, .. the Indian person whose(

structure is bad, that he was a savage,he couldn't learn certain things, he

couldn't be um, socially educated and um academically educated to a

level of a white person. And um, he has never been given credit for the

things that he contributed to the major society. Um, the government for

one example, we have this everybody talks about it, the um, -i-

the democracy that we are using. Actually it was the.--------

^ i 3b^,G tnfederacy-type democracy,. I found that probably the US

had an intention of making the union a part of the society at large. Their

whole intention was based on um, anni ing the Indian even through assimilation)

or actually um* taking his life. So, it's been a bad flight and we .

in this area has been somewhat fortunate in some ways but in other ways we

have been equally as unfortunate as the the um, many of our brothers

that have lost their lives and their and their tribal up,organizations


.even
B: Um huh .it seems to me that we've proved too, thatAwe cooperated and helped

fight the wars. Um, in one case, the war against fellow Indians and um, in the

Tuscarora ar. Um. an action for which we received sixteen bushels of

corn um, you know, in early history. And these things um, these don't help

help us. What ever we do, to cooperate um, don't seem to help us and we

don't seem to find any appreciation. Is that your .







34



D: This is my feeling that we're still.-eserT of the land this is the reason

that I made the statement that we are living proof that assimilation um,

culture. at least cultural and part racial assimilation has not bean

the answer and willnot be the answer unless there's a great change in um,



B: Do you think um, this country's big enough and that um, the the

principler- pon which it"s established are broad enough to accommodate all

races and algroups)no matter what?

D: I feel there is. If theprinciples are extended to 9 minority people
O 'c r v'tn {'''< r
without the um, ---------- assimilation. without the

basic assumption the um, European um, type society that we um. that

was brought over here and )----------- ----- --- today,

is the correct one. If one of these things are taken out if there is um,

like I said you can't legislate these things which is in respect for individual

dignity and if these things are are um, coped with there is no

hope. At least for the the minority people to to maintain

anything but a symbol of dignity and ..- rmeaei m ----------

B: Well um, we could I've certainly enjoyed this. I we could go on

forever .

D: Yes .

B: .You know, um, we have something to talk about. And um, I certainly

do appreciate your coming, and and um, giving us this interview and

we're appreciative for the opportunity of um, saying how we feel, for the first

time we are being given a chance to um, to express ourselves and um, I xIMMID

think we should express ourselves freely and make ourselves understood, as well

Sas possible without um, without um but anywaythatk you so much

and um, I'm keeping you from your lunch. .







35



D: No. I'm not gon' Aave lunch. .

B: Is that right?

D: right I've already had a sandwich so it's been mypleasure and

I think if I could solve what I .my feelings are a bout the situation

j you look on t'il-r plight on a surface like lohkiAg on a -- -----

it's beautiful. The scenery is beautiful and um. it looks like we don't

have problems, It looks like we have a core of educated people. We have a

core of blue-collar professional people, we have a core of private businessmen,

and um, we have a core of almost all the things that um, that go to make up

the society at large. It's when you start looking under the surface that it

brings tears to your eyes and burden to your heart that's almost unbearable.

And you know, when you start looking down truly at the situations of the peopel

um, in this area, you find that >.um, the surface is only an illusion an

illusion that um, that we're in a pathetic to say the least. tyke

situation if we attempt to better the plight of our people to be progressive,

to take hold of some of the um, reigns that are deter um, that determines

our destiny .. and we find out how helpless we are and how little control

we have over our lives and how we're just pawns of a system that just uses us

in any form that think fit to use in um. at the spur of the moment or in

precalculated projections for years to come and finally we're probably helpC

less.

B: Well, that's certainly ttue. Um, I believe that in well, I've heard

it said that um, I believe it's true but in some cases um, the power structure in

the past, if you all it the power structure. tm, whatever the purpose

happen to be determines how they. classify us ae--e. If they needed um,

so many Blacks people to make out a quota a send out some bankc.to

Washington, then we became Black. If they needcthat many people to um, send
4t o
out a quota of White people toWashington, then we became Thite. And if it was






36




the quota who required Indians iell then we became Indians. on the

spur of the moment and we had been used in this way and I think all our

people deeply resent this. And um, when people say that we're racist or

that um, we'rlprejudiced! against other races, um, this this just doesn't

tell the story because it's simply that we. we like to maintain our

own identity and um, I don't .I don't think you-'re prejudiced against

Blacks or Whites. I think you're realistic. Um, I think we have to be

realistic in order to survive. Then I don't consider myself to be um.

prejudiced against my Black brother or my White brother of my Red brother.

But um, there somes a time when you have to stand up ourself .

D: That's right. .

B: There's nobody else in the world to do it but you. .you know.

D: Since we are the people that living in this plight, I feel that we're the

people that are going to determine the methods that we are going to get out

of the plight that we're in and nobody else can come in and do it and

legislation can't do it.

B: Right .

D: We have to do it ourself and sometimes we're going to make a mistake and

.sometimes te're gonna do things that on the outside looks bad but we have

to determine our destiny or we re gonna be lost a lost people.

B: Right. And um, 'course we certainly are we do have friends among

other groups that are well meaning people and we have certainly appreciated those

and um, we try t Lake a distinction .. you can't always recognize a friend

from an enemy. But um, I think in most cases you can. .

D: um huh .

B: Um and um,



THE END OF THE TAPE





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