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LUM 26 AB (1mm)
Interviewer: Lew Barton
Subject: Rev. Robert Lee Mangum
I: This is tape 22. That is tape 2-2. Side one. This is the Doris
Duke Oral History Program. This is Lew Barton and we are recording
under the auspices of the University of Florida. Today is October 4,
1972. I have in my home in Penbruvrk, North Carolina Reverend Mangum
who was kind enough to meet me over here and grant me this interview
for which we're very grateful and a...I would like to ask. you,
Reverend Mangum if you would give us your full name.
S: My full name is Robert Lee Mangum. M-a-n-g-u-m.
I: And your age?
S: I am 39. Born July 2, 1933 in the city of Washington D.C. and was
reared in the southern part of Maryland.
I: And how long have you been in North Carolina, sir?
S: I've been in North Carolina fourteen years and a...four months I
believe it is.
I: Uh huh. Well, I know what a godsend you've been for our people, the
Lumbee indians in all parts of this county in particular. Perhaps
I should include the entire state because you've been a blessing to
just about everybody you come into contact with, I think, and we
appreciate having you so much. You say you've been here how long?
S: Fourteen years and four months. Now, Mr. Barton, I came here to
become the pastor. This was my first full time pastorate after
seminary. I graduated from seminary. I attended Asberry College and
Asberry Theological Seminary in Willmore, Kentucky, graduating from
both institutions and began my ministry in the United Methodist Church
LUM 26 AB Page 2
at PJbro6 at the First Methodist Church here and then also was
responsible as the pastoralcounselor to the MSM, The Methodist
Student Movement Program at Pebook. I remained at the First
Methodist Church at Pe o for five years and then assumed the
pastorate of 0 L ( Indian NINO. Methodist Church, as you
know, & traditionally indian and then assumed the pastorate of
four rural a...three rural indian churches and one mission point
in the city of Lumberton. Ah...those...two of those rural churches
were in South Carolina because, as you know, many of our indian
-tt 1 O0(7/ M&C l6ro I
people from tme community live in DiBan County and Wa4llbro County
and served at the little Hickory Grove Church down there and the
Fairview Churches there. And then the Sandy Plains Church which is
the mother church of this PenrTiuk pastorate a...serving there and then
the other point was the Grass Street Church was meeting in a garage
at that time. AWas a mission project and became organized just a few
days before I became pastor. It was about a year old as an organization
or as a group and the Reverend D.F. Lowry founded the little church and
I became pastor in its infancy right after it was formally organized
in 1963. So a...from that point of serving those four churches then
that four point circuit then became a two point circuit with the
Lumberton work we've got a new building there and you remember that
and did a beautiful story on/npracle on Branch Street. And that story
became a part of a national and international readership in the
Methodist Church because it was carried in the publication of our
church back then called he Interpreter and Methodist potlight and
you gave a great deal of help in getting that national publicity. Then
LUM 26 AB Page 3
after that we became a one point charge in terms of pastoral
ministry because of the birth of the Wiltbrs County Church and
Community Center. The Lumberton work then became the work of
a local indian pastor. So at this present time I pastor the Sandy
Plains United Methodist Church and also direct the Wi+bet-ren
County Church and Community Center which is nearly three years of
I: Yes, sir. Well, that's great. We're so happy that you could come
to us and this would be your beginning point so to speak in your
ministry and a ..that you've been with us just about ever since,...
except for brief times away?
S: Except for vacations) a...my total ministry and life has been here.
As you know,..
I: oL/t. t otj^-'K'
S: We've sought to be a part of the community and identify with the
indian community and have sought as much as any white man can seek to
be unpaternalistic and to be a brother in ministry and a brother in life
in this community and not to be big daddy with something to offer to
some subjects. So as any white man struggles with his own racism and
his own cultural deprivation because of some of his attitudes that
become acquired and then deeply engrained we have tried to though live
out a ministry of identification and of a...sharing in humanity and
in life and in suffering and in progress with the indian communitye4nd
let me say this, the indian community and, of course, my children are a
paroof the schools, the indian schools, our friends basically are indian
LUM 26 AB Page 4
and if we have any identification as people in this county, my..me and
my family, it is with the indian community as a part of it and for this
I give appreciation to this community for making me a part of her and
giving me a home in my ministry.
I: Well, we've certainly and I'm sure I express everybody's view who
knows you we certainly thank you for coming and appreciate so much
what...your choosing to make this your home and this your work and
we certainly thank God for you and we thank you too. Could you tell
us just a little bit about parents, their names and by the way I'm
supposed to ask you to spell these proper names and so forth if you
S: Alright. I did spell our sir name. My mother and father both live
in Brandywine, Maryland a...post office...I mean Box 95, Route 4,
Brandywine, Maryland. At the age of eight I moved or we moved to
the present location where my parents live and we were reared in that
rural community and were part of the school system there. My folks
are protestant and are Methodist, however, my father was Lutheran
originally and I was baptised as an infant in the Lutheran Church. My
mother is from a...born in the southern part of Maryland but was reared
in Deleware and a...and is a nurse by profession. My father is a
contractor. My father at this time...he has had a stroke and he's
disabled to work. He's 63 years of age and a..he and my mother live
together and are very happy in their life together and working together
for his recovery from this stroke. Now I have four siblings. One
LUM 26 AB Page 5
brother a...the brother married the former Miss Betty Jean Oxendine.
Betty Jean Oxendine is the...one of two children and the only daughter
of Mr. Clifton Oxendine who is the former dean of Pembroke State
University. They were married eleven years ago, April eleven years
ago. They had a wedding ceremony here in Pembroke after the legal
ceremony in Michigan and Lew that goes back to the struggle with
miscegenation a...a...marriages and the struggle to get the legislature
to change that rule against Jdian people as you remember and that
rule was changed eleven years ago just before their, right about the
time of their marriage and Sim Oxendine and I and others were pushing
for the change you remember of that law that restricted whites from
marrying Lumbees and as you know when it was finally stricken by the
legislature Cutler Moore introduced the issue and had it stricken and
he said the law was observed more in its breaking than it was in its
keeping and of course as a minister this created great problems for
Indians and whites in marriage because often they'd prevaricate or
often as you know the white party would become anndian and they would
accept a falsehood, an untruth, to give them a license. Even before
that though pastors had refused to give license. In recent years they
were giving license but they were requiring falsification actually)
and winking, you know, Lew, at whites being indians, but they never
S an .ndian be a white (laugh) as you know. Anyway that's my brother...
is now..he went to the university here. His wife graduated from
university. They both went to Michigan and worked there, were married
after they both had gone and worked in Michigan and he met her here of
LUM 26 AB Page 6
course. He lived with me for a while and worked in a local radio
station. Lew, they now live in Sioux City, Iowa. They have two
children,9o I am not an idian or a Lumbee ,ut my nephew and my
niece are Lumbees..are ndian and my sister in law, Betty, since
leaving this community has become very much involved in national
%dian concerns. In the Aethodist church now she is a part of the
general conference commission on Religion and 4ce and just called
me the other day asking for certain nominations from our ndian
community to serve on the national committee. Then, Lew, I have a
sister who is nurse by profession whose husband is a newspaper
reporter for the Star newspaper of Washington D.C. Te Evening
Star. They live in the suburbs of Washington in Maryland. I have
another sister that is Ann, Ann Rowland. Then I have another
sister, Sue Witall, who is married and in the processes ... estranged)
and in the process of divorce I assume. Anyway, she works for the
Board of Education of Prince George's County and is a computer programer.
Then I have a sister, married sister Deborah, who is in Oregon, Eugene,
Oregon. Her husband's just finished graduate work there and they have
one child. So a little bit about my family. My dad I didn't tell youj
is from Mississippi and he went to Washington D.C. for employment as
a young person.
I: Oh, that's very interesting. I'm sure everybody will be interested
in your biography and a ...
S: Let's see, Lew, let me tell you..you want me to tell you about my
family, my children PI, ^ o
I: Yes, sir if you will.
LUM 26 AB Page 7
I: And their ages and names too.
S: Alright. I married the former Miss Nella Jean Roberts from Herin
County, Michigan, Pidgeon, Michigan. We were attending the same
college and were married in 1951.after her graduation and right
after my graduation. She graduated a year before me in '54 and
taught one year at Pineville was the post office, well it really
wasn't but its near Pineville, Kentucky. It was a church then
an Evangelical United Brethren, now a United Methodist Ministry,
The Redbird Mission in Clay County, Bell, Clay and IUaT1 Counties,
the coal mining counties of isolated and desolate eastern, southeastern
Kentucky. She taught one year in that school before we were married
and, Lew, we've got problems here but I tell you they..they're really
isolated back in those mountains. Well, anyway, we were married then
and went on to Seminary and had one child born to us in Kentucky,
Phyllis. Phyllis is now fourteen years of age and attends the Pembroke
Junior High school. Then we had born to our family, Susan, while
living here in Pembroke and Susan is in the a..sixth grade I believe it
is) S&ig twelve years of age and is a .... Susan is a...at the
Pembroke Elementary School. Then while here in Pembroke we had born
to our family, Steven, and Steven Douglas is now about nine years of
age and attends the fourth grade at Pembroke Elementary School.
I: Oh, that's great. You have a great family. We're very fortunate to
have you as I said and everybody loves you and we don't any longer
consider you to be an outsider by any means. When the people say
Reverend Mangum, you know,, a..and you're not, you know.
LUM 26 AB Page 8
S: Well, I'm glad for that because I wouldn't be an insider anywhere
else. (laugh) if I weren't here. I'd be a man without a home and
a man without friends if I didn't have..if the indian community
wasn't my community and I wasn't a part of it then I'd surely
by a loner I'll tell you that.
I: Well, I'll tell you if a..if a..you're not Lumbee in the truest
biological sense we've certainly adopted you a very long time ago.
S: Lew, your b J C /y NC- ,
I: We're not going to let you go.
S: Well, thank you and as I've said I've appreciated the kind of
acceptance and the kind of openness this community has had toward
me and as you say I don't consider myself an outsider but a Robersonian
and a part of the indian community.
S: It will interest you that I had heard in our family tree that there was
%dian blood so I began to search that out. I figured of course it
was very helpful that my brother married a Lumbee (laugh) but I thought
it would also be helpful if I could trace out the rumor that there was
J.dian blood in my family. Well, I traced it out but I discovered that
it was on my grandmother's side and it was in such a way traced back that
it never got to be a part of my grandmother's blood)so (laugh) so it
was officially in her background but it never became a part of her family
tree and lineage so it was a relative who had married and therefore it
never, became a... t was an in-law type of situation as I recall and so
LUM 26 AB Page 9
it never; became a part of the family a..who were blood so a..I was
searching for it and struggling to find it but I didn't get it, Lew.
I: Well, I'm so thrilled about you and your work and your being here.
You know, I think the lord has a way of supplying our needs and its
truely miraculous how he does this and I think you are one of the
miracles that have happened to us. In the past friends of the
Lumbee indians have been often very scarce especially among other
groups and a...its a...the lord knows how to answer our needs and
a..he knows our hearts and the way we feel about our brothers. I know
the way I feel about all people myself personally and I'm sure many
if not most of our people share this that we are brothers to all races.
We like to think we belong to the human race first of all and a..of
S: Lew, let me interject this a..you know, I am a committed follower of
Jesus Christ just like you are, you know, and of course that brings in
the whole aspect of brotherhood and everytime you and I pray Our Father
which art in heaven we say that our God determines who our brother is
and our brother is every person that's born to this world and, Lew, I
think even though you have been able to be a...an expressor through
your writing of indian emotion andIndian culture and ldian concern
and have been an advocate forEdian rights at the same time you shared
with me this desire that somehow in this county and in the world but
particularly where we live here, somehow in this county tri-racial
we come to the kind of reconciliation and the kind of living out
LUM 26 AB Page 10
together our lives that will really give meaning to the word
brotherhood and will really bring about the kind of mutual
self respect and mutual relationship in the whole issue of
human justice and human rights and human opportunities. Now I'm
very much aware, as you are, that you've got to talk.ndian and
you've got to beIndian so long as because you're indian you are
a victim of something less than the humanitarian process of
brotherhood. Then in order to get back to that kind of reconciliation
and that kind of integration where races begin to forget much of
their difference and find unity in the strength of their likenesses,
to get to that place you've got to be dian to get the rights
of indians so that you can negotiate in the process of reconciliation
as people with equal rights and equal opportunities and equal strength.
Now white people have always wanted reconciliation on the basis of
paternalism, of big me and little you, of me with priviledge and power
and you with only what I let you have if you're less that white. So its
only justifiable for you and me who are christian, are humanitarian,
who believe in reconciliation and brotherhood to also be willing to think
in terms of the ethnic self-determination of _dian people and black
people and disenfranchised low class white people. So a..a...you know,
whites so often say why all this indian stuff or all this black stuff.
Let's get on with being brothers you know, but you'll not get on with
being brothers until rights are equal and opportunities are equal and
a..and a.. there is the freedom for the pursuit of happiness for every
man regardless of color without impedment and without barrier that's
based on racism and prejudice and a social injustice. So I just wanted
LUM 26 AB Page 11
to get that in that you and I are men who are the followers
of a christ and men who want brotherhood and we want real
interacting Christian community, humanitarian community, but
we make no apology for being Lumbee or for being an advocate
of self determination for ndians or self determination for blacks
in Wilbeson County and of course, you know, that's very much
a part of my commitment to ministry is to be a...to being a
neighbor, to be a servant and to somehow help people in every
way I can to have the political and the economic and the
educational tools to arrive at their own self determination and
arrive to their own self impowerment and their own self respect
and self dignity and a..of course, whenever you work for those
things you've got to combat certain types of institutional racism
and you've got to combat personal types of racism. You get
misunderstood and all of thatAnd so, anyway, thank you for letting
me interject that little.
I: Oh, I'm so glad you did and you express it so well and I wouldn't
be able to you know put it in precise words a..the way I would like
but this is it exactly and this is the way we feel and I'm so glad
you put that in because this is so important. We don't want to be
misunderstood. We don't want people to think we're anti-anybody.
S: No, that's right.
I: But we do have to begin at the beginning and the beginning is us.
S: And if you've been victimized, if you've been victimized by social
process that denied to you your rights then you have to break the
LUM 26 AB Page 12
very means of victimization by identifying with who you are and
what you are because that's basically the reason you've been
a victim .*c climb out of that oppression you've got to climb
out of it not simply as a human being in W+Lecrsen County but as
an ndian human being.
I: Right. Well, it isn't easy and I think here again I know really
that you and I have the advantage of God's favor on this work and
I know it has, now this is my personal opinion but I believe
with all my heart that a...God's hand has been on your work and on
the work here in Wilbtrsurand I wouldn't attempt to do anything
myself without first consultin with God and a ...
S: ________ I really dd4.
I: You know, seeking his will because it would be very futile if..unless
we were in his will and attempting to ascertain his will and I'm
sure he's willing to work with anybody in the field of human relations
and if they...its so/ery delicate ) a C_- a very delicate
and involved basis Unless you have his leading and guidance of how..
we can make so many errors.,,.
I:,,I tremble when I think of all the errors I have made and I tremble even
more when I think of all the errors I could have made but I've made
such a few in comparison with the ones I might have made just from my
human limitations and I'm sure you could say the same thing and feel the
S: Yeah. Its a hard reconciliation for the christian to espouse truth, to
LUM 26 AB Page 13
espouse truth, to care about the issues that are real justice
issues and to so deal with those issues and so expose the truth
and so fight, you know, is the proper word but fight and resist
and alter systems that are oppressing people and at the same time
to really be a..with integrity a christian mystic, a person who
is related properly in his experience to Christ and who loves
people and who is not slandering or..or in any way hating or in
any way doing less than loving the people who are often the enemies
to the systems of justice if you want to espouse and to a... and
to effect in your community. So what you're saying I think every
christian feels who has gotten hold of the concept of love with
integrity that somehow the follower of Christ, the Christ who drove
men out of the money changers who were exploiting poor people, drove
them out of the temple, the Christ who said to the pharacies, "You've
done all these good religious things but you've left out justice,
mercy and honesty. And, Lew, you know, really that put him on the
cross. He went cross-grain with the systems of his day and a..and
human emotion couldn't stand the competition that he presented and
couldn't stand the truth that he espoused and couldn't stand the
courage with which he stood against injustice and so they tried to
eliminate him. Now for you and me as christians to be a follower of
Jesus Christ if we understand what it means to love people we not only
care about the symptoms that reveal themselves in the lives of people
that we love but we care about the reason these symptoms have
developed, the reason these people are victims and that means that we
then have to counter system and often stand in contradistinction
LUM 26 AB Page 14
and opposition even to people because they espouse certain policies
that are injust and are victimizing people. Now for us as christians
its very difficult to maintain a balance and a reconciliation between
the commitment to loving persons, loving in the sense of not...of the
willing the good for every man and love is not just a sentimental
emotional thing. A God C love is willing the best for another
man and willing the best even for people who are the enemies of the
justice we seek for every man. So on the one hand you've got you
know this christian desire and this christian motivation to love
everyone and we do if we're christian we do.
I: Yes, sir.
S: But on the other hand you also have the realization that if you love
people then you hate the things that cause them suffering and you
must address yourself to the issues that victimize and that exploit
people. So here you and I are you know with a commitment to love
with integrity that often then makes us misunderstood because when
you deal with the issues people think you're dealing with personalities
then they think you're a big bad wolf you know and so forth and you
know what it is and so do I. Now, Lew, I know your time is limited and
I don't know just what the best thing to do...I'd sort of love to be
able to share a little bit of what I believe about theJndian church
and the progress she has made and about the willingness of the Methodist
Church to put money into the.rdian situation to bring about greater
self-determination. I think this is sort of a unique thing that I
could contribute to in this history.
LUM 26 AB Page 15
S: And the development of the church and community center and the
direction the center is able to take toward indian self-determination
as well as treating the system of suffering. So what do you think?
What should I do?
I: Oh, this is great. This is a great idea and you came up with such
interesting statistics that I ... the collection of statistics that
you published, the church center published in that little folder.
I:think we want..we should include those somewhere and we don't
care how much tape it takes because we've got plenty of tape. We
would like to pursue any line of thought that you would like to
pursue because this is all so much a part of you and we're so much
a part of each other and a..I would simply like to go along and a..
if I ask you anything mostly it will be for detail. Sometimes I
get carried away and interject some things usually in agreement and
enthusiasm but a... anything you can tell us about your work here
and the problems that you face and a..any specific things would add
to it or general things either.
S: Well, the problem that you're going to have with me is that I'm
pretty loquacious and I'm pretty emotional too and a..
I: Well, I am too.
S: I take might take me a day almost to tell some of these. Let me try
to be specific.
I: That would be fine.
S: Well, let me try to be a...zero in on certain areas of concern that
maybe I can speak to that others in your gathering of information may
LUM 26 AB Page 16
not have spoken to or may not in the future speak to. Well, you
know, in coming here to the county and being involved in ministry
there came this growing awareness that the church of Jesus Christ
and this is important in understanding indian history because our
people are very religious and our churches predominate the culture
of the %dian. Its not the school really, its the church that
predominates the culture because the church belongs to thejindians.
Now the school has never belonged to the .Eian and I speak with
emotion here because this is the area that some of us, you know, if
necessary would die to see change because the present system of
education a..60% of the children of this county system approximately
of the county board of education judicatory area, 60% of those children
are ldian and those 60% of those Vdian children are probably 80%
to 90% of all the Jdian children who are educated in -WbrTsotn
County so when you talk about the County Board of Education-and the
education of indian children you're almost talking about all ndian
children and the opportunity for education. Now thejlndian people
have never had their educational system, have never had the decision
making power to educate their own children and this has been a form
of slavery and victimization of theTndian people over the years. In
past history and others can tell you more eloquently and factually the
ndian people didn't even have schools but when they did get schools
a..the predominant population, the white population, saw to it that it
was so arranged that white people would control the ndian educational
system. That means they control the jobs. The white color jobs I guess
over 50% of all white color jobs byndian people are controlled by
LUM 26 AB Page 17
the County School System. Now up until about 1962 that County
Board of Education was made up of five white people and because
of the system of double voting that others in other tapes will
explain in detail, ndian people had never though their children
made up at least 60% back then it may have been more at least
60% of the county educational system of the constituency and about
20% were black a..80% minority ndians nor black had ever been able
through the elective system to put a man or a woman in a decision
making position on the school board of education. Well, jdians..Vwi1 & -
leadership of Mr. Barton here and Dr. Brooks and others, Jdian
people had gotten so disgusted that they ran for the board of elections
in about 1972, Dr. Brooks and Reverend Harvey Lowry, they both lost as
others can tell you why because of the double voting situation but
anyway a promise, political promise came out of that situation that there
would be an indian and there would be a black appointed to the school
board of education that would at least give minority participation and
then they from that point would be subject to the elective system.
I: Excuse me, was that 62?
S: Somewhere back there, Lew, now I don't have exact dates.
I: I believe you said 72 excuse me for ...
S: 62 right, excuse me, it would have been 62 right and I think it was
about then that this happened dll anyway, the mocratic "arty,,,
we're still on tape aren't we?
I: Yes, sir.
S: Yeah, the mocratic party did appoint persons but it wasn't as agreed.
My understanding was that they had said that the high .ndian, the Jdian i4ko
LUM 26 AB Page 18
got the highest vote would be the one appointed. That was Dr.
Brooks. They didn't appoint him. They appointed another man to
that board and they appointed a black man. Now the man that
appoints you certainly is the man with power over you and you're
subject to that man.
S: And the man who appoints you and sees to it you get an office can
also be the means of your losing office. Now to my knowledge right
now this past election the black man lost and I understand the
black man did not agree with the persons and the powers that had
originally put him there and continued to elect him and he lost this
time because he didn't agree with certain things and he bucked them
and he's out now. Now we have the deplorable situation instead of
the progress of the democratic process we have now only one jdian,
the same indian, on that board of education. He was not up for
re-election this time. We have now a..a.. nominee-elect but there
are three white nominee-elects and one Tndian on the] mocratic
side and there's one white republican. Now, Lew, I hope it doesn't
happen but its very, very possible that that Indian will lose because
there is one white who could receive votes and if whites split their
vote and if'ndians split their vote that Lndian who won in the
primary unprecedented and the reason she won, her name is Holmes
and many whites it seems, I feel confident and I think the record will
bear it out, that in areas that voted for George Wallace they voted
for Miss Holmes and they didn't vote for Moore and they didn't vote
LUM 26 AB Page 19
for Oxendine. They knew they werej]dian. So I believe many
white people thought that Miss Holmes was white actually.
I: Right. This is true,
S: But anyway she can..she possibly will lose, now hopefully not, but
if she doesn't lose that will mean that out of a seven member board
of education we will have two Idians. One who is there because
of an appointive system and the power of the white to keep him there.
The other is there as a desire Tndian people but really as an
accident and not by the power of thenndian people. And as others
will bring out the three, the four minority people in this last
primary election the black and the three ndians got the highest
number of votes in the county area where the children are educated
by the system. It was only by the power of the..of the..charter
unit that are immune to the administration of the county system, it
was only by their voting power that theseJndians and the lack lost
and I'll tell you the most deplorable injustice in Wilberson County
is the double voting situation that denies "adian people through
the elective system denies Jdian people the right to have decision--
making power over the education of their children., decision-making
power over the jobs for their popu...their white color jobs of the
schools for their population. So that really, the indian people are
enslaved in a special way through the educational system that is
supposed to in the American dream be the means of freedom and liberation
for every man. In the ndian community its a means of slavery.
I: Would you tell us..could you explain to us how this double voting comes
about and what..how its possible..if it were engineered or how it
was engineered or if it was an accident.
S: If you want me to share that..if you think I can share it better
than someone else.
I: I'think: you to clarify it as well as anybody if not better than
anybody I know.
S: Alright and then I'll get back to the church eventually (laugh).
I: Right. Well we're still interested.
S: I'm not sure, well, I want to speak especially to the church because
I see her with a unique role in Wi4.beisen County. In some other
f40 Z ksc ,I
county it may be different but in Wilbersen County the church has
a unique role and if the church becomes a church we can have some
of that brotherhood we want but if the church cops out in Wilberson
County then we'll never have that brotherhood because the people who
control the money, the people who control the political power are
church people and who want you to believe that they're followers of
Jesus just like you and me and we've got to come to an understanding
and we've got to suffer together or a..or we're jst not going to get
where we belong in this process of humanity in WiibtsTh. Now about
the double voting. 4ES Sidney Oxendine ran for the Board of Education,
and I think I can illustrate it pretty well just by these incidences.
Sidney Oxendine ran for the Board of Education back four, it was four
years ago wasn't it? Right. That was it. In '68. Yeah, '68. Sidney
lost. Let's see they run every two years don't they? That was 1970,
Lew, not 1968 that Sidney ran for the Board of Education.
I: Oh, yeah.
LUMI AB 21
S: Sidney lost. Now in that election, uh, Sidney actually got
enough votes in the county to have won. But here again, it
was the buble voting that defeated him. Now there was an
Indian running who is that man who was originally appointed.
And that many that's staying there by the powers of the white
establishment. That man and Sidney were in essence competing
against each other because only one of them could have won in
that electionessentially. Maybe, both could have but in
terms of practicality, uh pretty unlikely that two Indians would
have won. But the reason it's unlikely that two Indians would
have won is that the whites were supporting this original Indian
appointee to the School Board and they were not supporting
Sidney Oxendine but the Indian people wanted Sidney to speak for
tem and their educational desires. And the Indians gave Sidney
more votes than they did this man the whites put there. Yet
Sidney lost the el tion. Well, you can imagine how upset he was
and it's because of the double voting. Now, we had heard that
in Columbus County that the attorney general had ruled that the
vilti v; //
city schools of Whitefifttd--the persons of the Whiteftfit city
school charter unit were voting on the county board of education
bit were immune to the administration of that board. That was
double voting and that's called nonequal votet( protection. So
the attorney general was asked for an opinion. Attorney General
Morgan, that was a string)too Lew. The very string that Sidney
was defeated because of double voting in Robegson. He ruled that
LUM 26 AB 22
it was unconstitutional that it was wrong. Aed they abode by
his ruling and had an election whereby the city was no longer
able to elect--participate in the election of the county board.
And vice versa--had never been true. The county had never voted
on the city board. So, they gave equal voter protection. The
county could elect their beard and the city elect theirs and
there was no cross voting. Now, in RobeVyon County, the situation,
exactly the same.
S: We had by legislative action, five charter units: Maxton,
Eairmont, St. Paul's, Lumberton, and Red Springs. Two of
those units had special levied taxes for the quality of their
education and its improvement, Lumberton and Red Springs.
Now, this has been, I can't give you the dates of when these
charters were set up. But, this essentially became a sanctuary
in the segregated system for white education for their children
and their grandchildren. Now, the blacks were educated in this
system also but the blacks were educated in segregated schools
in that system. However, all, get that word"a double 1 g,
all Ihdian children were relegated to the county system. And
their education was relegated to the responsibility of the county
system. Now, in not only having those sanctuaries of white ed-
ucation of their white children. And mind you, through the years
there was only a small percentage of white children were educated
by the county system per se. In this process, then, when the cities
LUM I AB 23
would make their districts. They would make their districts
to take in certain white families and white people. Then they
would have in Red Springs and Lumberton their special levy of
tax. Often, Indian people, and we can produce copies of tax
receipts where Indian people pay taxes to the Red Springs tax
district yet were farmed 0/. /s U- rr CJ
END OF SIDE ONE
LUM 26 AB 24
I: This is side two of Tape 22, continuing the interview with
Reverand Mangum. Reverand Mangum, I'm sorry we were interrupted.
Well, we were but--I hope you can pick up there and continue
because this is the heart of the problem in Robertson County
as you are pointing out so eloquently. This is the big issue--
this is the thing that has kept us dowrn, a 4tually in a sense
it's legal or it's been made to appear legal. Uh, your ex-
planation is so clear on it and your eloquence and your fervor--
we need all this.
S: (laugh) Well,
I: Because it's very real and very close to you and me and people
S: Well, uh, it--you've got me started on this--on the real, you
know the real bread and butter of my sole concern right now.
And, uh, I want to go ahead then and share with you, step by
step then my involvement with this and the way I see it. This
will take some time, but if you want it, I will sure give it to
I: And we certainly want it and we have plenty of tape.
S: All right. So, you know, it's a clear case of a nonequal vote(
4? protection. It's a clear case of the ability of a political
system even when we promise in the"pledge of alligence'L liberty
and justice for all and the pursuit of happiness with equal
opportunity for all and all of our preamble and all of our first
amendment and fourteenth amendment and all that we say here in
Robertson County. There has been means to enslave people politically.
LUM 26 AB 25
Now, so this is very practical. I mean, it is easy to see
what-has happened. So, Sidney Oxendine then was a victim of
this enslavement. He was not able to become a decision
for quality in progressive education for Indian children back
in 1970 this was. Well, so, the next thing was that he knew
that Morgan, AttorneyGeneral Morgan's office had rules that
it was unconstitutional in Columbus County to have double voting.
S-flcon S, M ac i W LA t1%
So S9neey and I, 4rdney Oxendine and I and Oxendine--that's
the fellow's name, isn't it?
I: Yes, sirE o
S: All right. The three of us, I don't know we may need to scratch
Hugh's name. He was a school principal that day. He took a trip
to Raleigh for another county. But anyway, as an Indian he went
that day to Attorney General Morgan's office and we talked to
Attorney General Morgan and he told us, Yes sir, it's unfair
he said just like Columbus County, it's unfair. He suggested
that we deal with our legislature that we try to get changes
through out legislature. Now, Lew, let me regress a bit. Uh,
Dr. Brooks, you know, is one of the real pushers for changing this
whole system, years from the very beginning, back in '62 and back
I: Yes sir.
S: Now, it seems that there was little opening for at least getting
some quality into the Indian school system back, a few years back,
when the former dean of Pembroke State University, uh, the late
Dean, Doctor Hubert--Herbert Oxidine volunteered to be principal
LUM 26 AB 26
of Pembroke High School. That was back in about in about '66
I: '64, 1diiv'*
S: '64, somewhere back there. He volunteered to be the principal
of that school til the ladies of the college make it a laboratory
type school really get one school with quality education for Indian
people. Well, as you know, they hired another man who had a
master's degree but who had very little experience in the work
of being a principal. I will not express my opinions about the
quality of the man, about his production or whatever. Simply
to say, if the county school system, that--as it was then and
always will be until we change double voting was white dominated
but if they kept up to their, essentially their pledge, the pledge
of their being educators of quality education for our children--
there would have been no way under, uh, under, you know integrity,
that they could have denied this Dr. Oxidine the principalship and
he would have sacrificed money. He would have sacrificed prestige
and all of that. But here was a man and he died because of this
thing. You know that. He had a heart attack soon after during
this time or after he had heart condition. He brooded, I think,
over this thing. Honest, if ever a man was killed by offering
himself on the altar of service and then when he offered himself
as a sacrifice, then he was refused as a sacrifice. The system
would not even accept the sacrifice that he made professionally--
to give quality to Indian education. Well, anyway, Lew, they
denied that man or in the process of denying him the principalship,
Dr. Brooks and others gathered together and I was a part of a group
LUM 26 AB 27
o people to go to Raleigh and appeal to the State Board of
Education, public education. To appeal to them to do someding
for Robetson County situation and appeal to them as Indian
people and to,.appeal to them, I went as a white who came and
idenfied with the community and simply said that in the case
of many whites, they send their kids to Lumberton. But then
many whites who identify and whose children are part of the system
of education that's inadequate in Robepson County.
S: Well, anyway, we were told, "go home and do your homework"
essentially. Well, one of our good friends, Mr. Jimmie Chavis,
Mr. Jimmie Chavis, the son of the lateReverand Jimmie Chavis.
Mr. Jimmie Chavis, you ought to get a tape from him on this day.
It-was.a dramatic thing. He stood up before that group and he
began to speak of how the Indian had struggled--how he had gotten
the rebuffs from the state, and rebuffs Lesu the local level, etc.
And the man told him as he spoke, you need to go back home and
change things yourself, don't depend on us to change it. Well
with that, Mr. Chavis was so frustrated he sat down. And later
he said--he said, I felt something coming on me and I didn't want
to be standing when it arrived. (laugh) You've go to know Mr.
Jim Chavis to know he feels, how deeply he feels.
I: Yes, we have a tape on him$.
S: About this injustice against Indian people in thsschool system.
Well, anyway, we came home Lew--I mean, Lew, we come home and we
tried and we've not done anything to change this system. Well,
LUM 26 AB 28
anyway, so there we were again up there at the Attorney General's
office and there he was telling us, "you o to your legistgrq
you go do this and that and the other. And here we were again
trying to say, "is there nothing under law, is there nothing
under law that can help break this kind of injustice against
Lumbee Indian people? All right, so, from that interview
there came, and let me go back a little further. Even before
that when, in about the fall of that same year, or a little before
that--I had appealed to the legislatures when H.E.W. was forcing
the closing of district lines, immediately I saw there a change
maybe a chance for merger. For getting education set up on the
basis on the priorities of student--not on .the domination of
the power structure. And ask for our legislatures to meet with
the tri-racial group of Robebsonians who wre disgUbcd with #t_ m
this injustice in the education system and since they were forcing
the closing of district lines and I knew, you know, there already
hubub around :.airmont, white people were going to put out of the
Fairmont system who had been coming into that system. And so
immediately they were going to want to redistrict Fairmont to
get their white kids into the schools legally. And immediately
-Garman Pinefwanted to redistrict to get their kids into the
Lumberton district. And I saw this as a time of dynamic--when
there could have been through aggressive courageous leadership--
there could have been a bringing together of the whole of Robertson
County and say, now this is the time to take about merger and
talk about a educational system that will representation to all
LUM 26 AB 29
the people and give quality education. Well, I was told then
that if we wanted to take a delegation to Raleigh go on up-
there, that they'd hear us. But they didn't have time then--
they were so busy to come to Robe pon and to sit with a group
of citizens tri-racially to discuss this. Well, you know the
results. Immediately, the whites got their lawyers. They
redistricted f.airmont so they could still educate those white
kids in that white system. They redistricted Lumberton and
aI &,or vie,
Claermen Pine:got put into Lumberton. And there the starch
was taken out of the fact that in the sales of those white people,
they would lead for change and if leadership had directed it
properly 7 at wind for change could have been the means and
leverage to have gotten the system of merger that wouldhave
given representation and quality education. But instead they
allowed that power of white people for change to be used to get
I I It
right back into the old sanctuary system that they had had for
years. Now, so here the Attorney General is telling us, you
know, he was saying essentially, you get your legislators to
do something. And if they asked for a hearing from male opinions,
then he would give it. Well, uh, the next sep was that finally
Gus SpT-ets. And you've got to give Gus a lot of credit. Gus has
had a lot of courage ingetting out from and saying things were
wrong. And I have a lot of admiration for Gus.
I: Now this is the member of the House of Representatives from our
district, which includes Robetson County. Well, so Gus.finally
I guess there was some discussion with him after this, about this,
after this visit with Morgan. And Gus then asked for an opinion
from the Attorney General's office. The Attorney General finally
gave an opinion from his office and he said, and I have a copy of
that--it's not with me. But he didn't sign it--he had his aid
sign--one of his associates. But anyway, he ruled that the system
of Robefson was constitutional because. Now he told us it was
unfair--it was similar and like a Columbus County. Later on,
and I'm going ahead of myself. Later on, uh, in the spring or
late winter of '71 it was, right. I met him up in the legislative
building in Raleigh. And he said, it's still unfair. I'm sorry
I couldn't have helped you any more than I did on that opinion.
Now, here's a man who says one thing out of his personhood and
says another thing -atur. And this is the reason he said it
legally, Lewf Attorney General Morgan's office said that because
the Robertson County Board of Education administers all of the
S+r%, 0 .S-rn()
busing of the county. These are-.tzrng men--these are s-ang men
and I will show you how to knock them down. Because they administer
the busing of Robertson County and because they own the property
of the charter unit, Fairmont and because they approve all bond
issues if subject to the approval of the county board of education--
that there is definite constitutional representation necessary
for the people of the charter unit because of busing the property
of Fairmont and the bond issue tht is controlled by the county
system. Now, those are eotsrg men, Lewf the city of Fairmont,
f it doesn't own its property, then sell it to it. Let it own
its property if it wants to stay a charter member.
I: Wants to change.
S: Right. If the busing is a problem, understand it as a contract
basis and it's not a basis of representation for people on
the county board of education. If they want the county board
to contract to do their busing, that's a contract issue. That's
their decision and they have the power to elect their school
board and to make that decision in each of these charter units.
Don't use that as an excuse for them to have power over the
school board of edcuation for the county which they are immune
to, really, actually immune to in terms of governing their
schools. The busing is a strawman--strawman completley. And
finally, the bond issues--let the county commissioners decide
on bond issues if someone other than the local charter units
must decide on the approvability of bond issues. Don't let
it refer back to the county board of education. That's unnecessary.
So, even though the way it's set up now, it may be, in a court
of law, it would be decided that these are real issues. They are
straw men and because they're straw men, a court of law and it
may have to come to this. A court of law would defy the double
voting as unconstitutional. I know it and you know it. So,
finally there was that hearing that came--there was that opinion
that came out of his office in about the spring, the fall of
1970. All right, now along in 1968, along with this whole school
picture, came also the hearing of the study by the State Study
Commission on Merger and.Dr. Pierce was the Robedson County
person thatRaleigh had designated I guess to get together the
study commission in Robertson County to study the situation.
As you know, that study was made--they pointed out the disparities
in the educational system. i pointed out that in Robertson
County about 14% of the children leaving the schools of Robertson,
the high schools, 14% went into four-year colleges, and about 43%
or 49% went immediately Lew, immediately into the work force.
Whereas in Lumberton, about 32% of the kids went into four-year
colleges immediately and about only 15% complete& reversal Only
about 15% went into the work force* And the charter unit system,
that was the very poorest, is Fairmont, and they put 22% into
college and the Robertson County system was 24% it was I believe.
And RobetSon County was only 14% evenxin-the weakest charter
unit, they were putting about 10% more of their graduates into
college than the county system. So, uh, the study showed that
all of the education was pretty weak in Robertson, that's true.
But, if it was all weak, look at the terrible disparity and here
we are in the county on the bottom of a generally weak system
in Robetgon County and no means of changing it. The Indian people
still had no means of making it better. They are subject to the
white determination of what the education will be for Indian children.
Now, we then heard out of this study commission. There was proposed
to the legislature, legislation, that there be a referendum or merger.
That referendum lay with, that proposal for referendum, lay with
the legislators until it was supposed to have a deadline of March
1, 1971. It died, Lew, in the legislature with our legislature
caucus, the representatives and our senator. Now, I was told, I
guess I can tell this. I was told by one of our Indian county
commissioners, the only Indian county commissioner at that time;
I was told by him that it might help if I got together a group
to go up there and to lobby with the legislatprEs to reopen the
issue. And so I, and I got my Indian friend Henry Bgssell who
was at the First Methodist Church, who was white who has left
the community. Uh, to help make contacts and we devised a
Methodist group of ministers and one lay person who was em-
ployed by the church, triracially, whe-weastri-racial as I
recall, essentially we were Indians with some whites; I'm not
sure, we may have had a black. Uh, I'm not quite sure. But
anyway, we got an appointment with our legislators and it was
in the month of March as I recall, 1971. And we went up there
and we said now, this is the school issue. And we shared our
feelings about this whole injustice and the lack of equality.
So these men said all right--we'll have hearing to see whether
or not to institute a referendum. Because it had already died,
you see. So then they called a hearing. And I was the spokesman
at that hearing. The County Board of Education was a spokesman
to speak on merger. There wasa group from one city, St. Pauls,
to resist any talk about merger. And, uh, so after that hearing, it
was decided to make merger a referendum. And the legislators did
put it on the docket. And they worked out a little bit of the
mechanics and a bond issue. They attached the bond issue to it.
Now the bond issue essentially is 4 ay of killing anything.
To attach.it to the.issue of principle. The issue of principle .
is that there be justice and representation in governing the
education of children. And the issue is that we have quality
education that puts the student ahead of the political system
and the head of the employment of adults. Now, those were the
real issues. But, uh, when you attach a bond issue to it. The
money is necessary. Then it puts it in the financial realm and
it makes it difficult to pass the bond issue on the basis of
principles. Well, anyway, you've seen what happened to the
merger issue. It will be voted on this November. The city
units, as you can expect, they all coalesce. And, boy, you
know common enemies have a way of bringing separate people
together. All of these county units--all five of these city
charter units met in concert and put out a statement that
because of--that there isn't enough money being appropriated
for a merge system and because a lack of quality--because a
merge system would deprive the city units of some of their
quAlity education--they would not favor merger. So, it's--
the things going to be defeated.They're against So the merger
was one means of possible bringing about a better system and
giving Indians some power and better education for their children.
That will be defeated. Well, the issue before us, though, of the
double voting and this last primary, Mr. Moore, Robert Moor7 who
is Methodist and is a community developer under the Methodist
Church in the Prospect community of our RobetEson County, pre-
dominaiely t all-Indian community practically. Uh, Mr. Moore
felt that in his desire to get better education for Indian children,
that he ought to run for the school board;and run he did. He
canvassed the white communities as well as the city units as well
as the county. And he continued to have them saying: "well, we
shouldn't be voting on the board of education anyway." You know.
And they wouldn't let him--the injustice of the system. But,
he ran; Mr. -O iirfe ran again and Mrs. Holmes. Well, as you know,
Mr. Moore got the highest number--he and Mr. ,lxid4ne. Got the
highest number of votes in the county area that is educated by
the county system. In that Fjudicatory$? he got the highest
number of votes and so did Mr. Oxidine and they both lost. They
were the choice of the people to guide the educationcf their
children and they both lost. And they lost because the city charter
units are able to vote on the county board. Now, I think that
dramatizes and explains clearly enough that system and its in-
justice. Now, what are we going to do to break it? As you know.
I: In other words, they're thwarting, so far their legally, end quote,
thwarting the democratic process. In the name of freedom, they're
depriving people of freedom and this is taxation without representation?
S: Yeah, they use that same argument, taxation without representation
an4 say because. .
I: This is counter to the one man, one vote process--it's counter to
every--several things fundamental to American democracy.
S: Right. Correct.
I: And this is horrible. This is blasphemy to me.
S: It's the democratic process--it is. But, you know, you and I are
the victims of it. My children are victims of it. I don't have
to be Indian to be a victim to it, because my children are a part
of this educational system. And my wife teaches in it when she
can get a job, when she wants a job. I don't know how to explain
that. I'll tell you one thing, uh, you know, she has certainly
had--had deep, deep emotional feelings about the fact that
our system is prostituting the education of our children--the
fact that we have no power to make that system a quality system
for the sake of our children.
I: Right. We have no power at all over the schools that educate
our children and this is Horrible. Uh, it's repulsive; it's,0.
S: And how do you get to it how? You see, this is the issue. Now,
uh, there will be no merger. You and I know that. We'll not
get to it that way. Now, uh, now the legislates are going to
be approached. The legislators are going to be asked--and by
the way, I want to interject this: that-t e4two civil rights
hearings--one secret hearing--I mean a closed hearing. This
county board of education refused to appear on the basis that
there was litigation and process and there is a Lumbee citizen--
Lumbee parents' litigation against the school board. And Mr.
Barton you are a part of that in trying to get something done
legally. Uh, but that litigation has been used as the excuse for
them not to appear before the Civil Rights Commission, the Cunty
goard and its leadership two different times and this past weekend
in the civil rights' hearing, there was no one representing the
county board of education and that was the reason because there is
still litigation in regard to the $ard of 9ducationEA legislation.
So, you are not even able to get them to appear to answer questions.
I: They won't even answer questions about this.
S: Yeah, about this whole system. Now, back to this process of trying
to break it. Uh, now the two directions that can be taken are this:
merger will not win--we feel sure of that; therefore, the legislatures,
the legislatures set up the charter units. The legislatures can
if they will, break this double voting. They can simply legisla-
tively establish a situation that denies the vote to the charter
units for the county board. They can do that legislatively. Now,
they are saying, though, that if the attorney general is that it
is constitutional we as legislatures are pledged to the constitution.
And how can we introduce legislation that's unconstitutional? Do
you follow me?
I: Um, hum.
S: So now the legislatures have a way of saying, it's not our baby,
you know. We excuse ourselves from breaking double voting. All
right, we're going to press them Lew. We're going to press them
for all we're worth to get them to do it. If they don't do it,
the only recourse. Now, I'll say something else. And this
isn't to be gone everywhere, but there is also the thought that
maybe these legislatDr) would be asked to redistrict the voting--
to put the voting of the county board on a districting system so
that as the county commissioners of this county are voted and elected
on a district basis so would the county commision--the board of
education be elected on the same districting system. This is an
undesirable compromise in my opinion, because you still have a form
of double voting. At the best out of the seven-board, seven-member
board, the Indians only predominal Pand predomina C-with black help,
the minorities only have the power in three precincts vote-wiseito
get a man to the county board. And only is it really sure in two
precincts. So what am I saying? I'm saying that even if you
redistrict this system, you have only given a small voice to
the minority people in the education of their children. So
I'm not interesting personally in redistricting on this basis.
S: It's a compromise. My interest is breaking double voting and
if this county doesn't want merger, at least let the people who
are educated by the county system determine who their decision-
makers will be: black, white, or Indian. Now, you and I know
that essentially most of them will be Indians, because most:of
the people under this county system are Indians. But the Indians
are fair. Now, whites are saying you give Indians the same powers
and the same rights--you let them have their rights, they will be
just like white people. I'm saying that Indian people believe
befeviLein the principles of freedom, and the principles of equal
representation. I can illustrate that in the Prospect situation.
Whites had such a small percentage of the population that according
to the democratic party, uh, structuring rules, white had no right
to expect representation. But the Prospect executive committee and
the democratic committee in the Prospect precinct, which is the
Smith's precinct, they saw to it that whites were represented in
their democratic committee. Indians didn't treat whites like they'd
been treated# Indians gave whites representation. So, what I'm saying
is we've got to give the rightsA the people's rights and we can't
justify injustice because Indians might become like white people
and be unjust too. I'm saying Indians, when they're given the
opportunity in this county have been just and have been fair and
have been willing to recognize the rights and white people
and black people tooJnfow, uh, the only recourse it-seems to
me, Lew is the courts. And, you know, I don't have that much
confidence in the legislature, I don't believe they'll do it.
They may. But, anyway, the courts can do it. And, uh, it
seems to me that if the present suit washes out, which as,
you know, it may. If it washes out, it has as a component
double voting. Then I think immediately we need civil liberties ,_,L. L'
has-already agreed to take a suit if it's necessary to take a
suit. Uh, now, and this is for this tape but this isn't for
publicity now, because over these next six months, we can't talk
publicly some of these things.
S; So I assume that this is safe in telling you this that it's not
going to interfere with the procedures that take place in the next
I: Right. Because this won't be, in general circulation in the next
S: All right. Well, anyway, if unnecessary, then preparations are being
made already, quiety and rather secretly to enter a court suit and
civil liberty and other bodies are going to help and we might get
it done cost free. And we might be able to build on this new suit--
build on what information has been gathered by Caleen Caley for the
suit that you're involved in this Prospect situation and the suit
against the county board. So, uh, you know, I want us to break
double voting--I personally. And of course I must-give deference
to Indian leadership. I'm a white man who is not a man of power and
I'm a servant. So, if men who are elected by the system--they
feel and our Indian leaders feel and particular our elected
leaders and eventually we're going to have two county commissioners
if they feel the best process is to go for the compromise issue,
I must go with them, you kow. I must have deference to them. But,
to me it's a sad mistake if we don't challenge, the double voting,
on the basis of double voting and break it. If we enter into a
compromise, we're still not giving the power that the Indian people
deserve over this school system. Now, this, uh, brings up the
reason why certain Indian people feel that they oughtn't to go
all the way to break double voting. They have known that white
people don't like the districtLng system for the county commissioners.
And many white people would like to break thatlup and put the
county commissioners on a county-wide basis, just like the county
board of education. Now, if they did that we would have the same
problem--we would never get an Indian county commissioner, see?
And until we get a lot more political power throughthe voting
process a lot more people registered until there's coalition be-
tween blacks and Indians and so forth. Minority people again would
only get the people on that the white establishment wanted onr-the
county commissioners. So, by the process of the election through
districts, we're able to get an Indian voice in the county government.
S: These people feel that are in that--on the county commissioners--
they feel that if we try too hard to bust double voting that it may
backfire and that the whites then would see to it that the county
commissioners uh, basis was put on a county-wide basis rather
than district basis. But, now I say fear, you know, fear can be
its own biggest enemy.
S: And I say go all the way for the rights of the people and deal
with the backlash when you get it. To me, the backlash would be
a constitutional issue that would deny minority people represen-
tation and it's just as much a court issue that would succeed
as would be the double voting. So I say, don't be afraid. I
say break double voting if there's a backlash then that becomes
a court issue too and I believe we're on the winning side there.
Do you follow me?
I: Yes sir. In other words, we ought to go ahead and do it, uh,and
not worry about the..
S: Backlash. Correct. Because the issue is justice.
I: It's moral--it's moral.
S: It's a justice issue! It's a moral issue of nonequal represen-
tation of disenfranchisement of the people.
I: It's American--it's, it's the violation to me--it's the violation
of the very basic American principle--that is, representation--
taxation without representation and it's the violation of the
principle of one man one vote. And these--and this is what I
attack it on. What are the results? Even if I knew it would
accrue to our disadvantage in certain cases--I still would have
S: Fight to break it.
S: I would say--and there again, Lew, if you really break, you
know. Suppose it were to backlash and the county system were
to go under the commissioners and you couldn't change it were
to go on a county-wide voting situation. Still, in terms of
producing an Indian community, an Indian mind, and producing an
Indian person to be able to have decision-making power over the
quality of education would be far more important than even having
power with the county commissioners in terms of the future of the
people. Well, I think I have gone pretty fairly through that.
And, uh, we're hoping for changes there, Lew, hoping for changes.
I: I'm glad and appreciate your explaining this because the people
on the outside, they can't see really what the problem is unless
it is explained you know, clearly.
S: Now, let me explain too, with my work, you know, with the Rob7pXson
County Church and Community Center. It will be three years old
December as an official project. It's older in terms of a past
course that helped the development et cetera. But, it was founded
essentially to give the church and to be the church and total minis-
try to the whole man. We have a slogan that says: that we exist
to help the churches of Robertson to become more involved in the
ministry in the whole gospel, for the whole man, in the whole
community with the whole church. And so it becomes very much the
concern of mine as a part of the church and community center ministry,
the school system. This is an issue that deals not just with symptoms
but it deals with the causes of uh, persons economic, educational, and
social privation. So the community center is not just committed to
dealing with the symptoms but the causes that bring about these symptoms.
We're seeking to bring people in confrontation with facts and
figures and each other so that out of this kindof concentration
and dialogue we can get it the gut issues of injustice, and
racism and nonequal employment and all of these things so we
can move toward a more humane and Christian community in Robeason.
So it's very much P--- -of my calling, my profession and my work.
Not just as a pastor, but as a director and a leader of this church
and community center. Now, the church and community center as well
as doing work with persons--ref6eral activity and counseling activity
and emergency aid activity. Of course, I could explain here---
I won't go into detail. The high incidence of poverty is still about
38% of the families of Robefson of the people of Robertson fit
within the government guideline. Still, thousands of Robertsonians
have less than an 8th grade education; functionally illiterate the
last figure used in the last decade was 20,000 Robertsonians. Many
many of those people are Indians. The Serris Committee, you see,
to not only dealing with helping people in their need, helping to
get them on social security, welfare, being a champion, being with
them to get their food stamps if necessary, helping to be their friend
in their hour of need--helping with emergency aid so that they can
be tidied over with rent or utilities or food until they can get
permanent aid. Uh, we're also involved in the gut issues of trying
to bring about the tools for people for their self-determination
and trying to confront and break the injustice that deprive people
of their rights. Now, one of the things we are seeking to do is
raise the level of awareness of the minority people, particularly
of their need to use the political process. And we're making in-
formation, such as this little brochure we printed: facts about
Rob?*son County. Wa make information available and we work with
two self-determination programs; one for Indians and one for blacks.
In trying to help bring about a greater awareness on the part
of minority people of their need for registration for voting;
the need for their participation in the process. Now, last year
we saw that the system was rigged against minority people so we had
to become involved with the Indian caucus program in confronting
the system. That system has 117, tri-racially, 117 elecdtoa officials,
including registrars and poll holders and poll judges. Of those
people, only 21 were black and Indian; and only five were Indian
registrars and only one was a black registrar. Now this denies the
political process, because, Lew, if you've never invited me in your
kitchen to eat with you,in your living room or parlor to sit with
you because you consider me second class because I am Indian, don't
expect me to come into your living room and register to vote if you're
the registrar and a white man in that community; psychologically it's
been tough. So there had to be a fair system of giving Indian and
black people registrars so that they could register their people.
And furthermore, there were three members of the ?Oard of elections
and everyone of them was white and had been white for years. And so,
with the Indian and Adolf will have to explain this. Adolf has been
a great leader in getting monies and programs in here for the Indian
self-determination. He will have to tell you about the process of
confronting the board of elections and seeing the change. But anyway
that confrontation took place last fall. As a result of that confrontation,
our Indian Republican person, Robert Jones had already done his homework.
And we already knew he had lined it up to get on that board of elections
as a republican Well, when we, after this confrontation trying to get
a Indian registrar, a roving registrar--it hit the newspapers and that
publicity went throughout the state and it helped through the light on,
the spotlight on the terrible disparities in the elected system in
terms of having Indians and blacks participating in that system.
Well, you know the results. The democrats then put up three names:
an Indian, a black, and white. And so, the state board of elections
was able to choose from four people--uh, two Indians, one black,
one white as I recall. And, the appointment was, one Indian, who
was a republican, one black and one white who were democrats. So
now we have and of course there was a big hassle, but now we have
a tri-racial board of elections that's trying to do everything
they can to make the election system as easy for people to participate
in as possible. And immediately our Indian took the leadership--
took a little, I can tell it now I guess, took a little bit of paper
that the community center had developed on the population from the
last census of Robegtson County by precinct and every area that a
certain percentage of one race got a registrar. That meant that
about 15 became Indian registrars. That meant that a number of blacks
became registrars. When that man finished giving up this system of
117 officials, there were about 60 that were Indians and were blacks
who were either registrars or poll holders and there wasn't a precinct
that had a black or an Indian in it, of any number at all, that didn't
have a black or an Indian on that elective board within that precinct.
That was beautiful!
I: Oh, that was.
S: And it happened in a year's time. It didn't just happen--it
happened because people needed fixin because people confronted
the system and said it's got to change. And it did change.
But it didn't happen because white people wanted to give you
fairness --white people wanted to admit that there was unfairness.
It happened because people challenged the system. And that's
the pressure that has to take place in the school system. We've
got to challenge it, boycott if necessary in the schools, dem-
onstrations at the Board of Education at Raleigh:before the legislative
caucus. Lew to change it, we've got to do everything less than
violent and less than Christian and dishonest--we've got to do every-
thing we can do to change it.
S: Now that'change Lew--and that to me the most beautiful picture of
change that has taken place in Robertson in decades, in one year.
I: Maybe in a hundred years.
S: Well, now we've got five blacks, just this past week or two, we've
got two more Indian roving registrars--we've got four Indian roving
registrars can register people anywhere if people feel reluctant
to go to their registrar because he's white or because he has his
registration books in his home; these roving registrars can register
them. It means that it has opened the door completely to the regis-
tration system. And two of these Indians that are registrars, are
aggressive Indians. They are determined that Indian people have their
voting rights and they participate. Brenda Brooks is one of them;
Herbert Moorepanother. And, uh, well, the blacks then and of
course, I was involved in pushing forthe blacks to get their voting
registrars, to get their voice. And so, two blacks went--the
legislator, George Johnson, who is the second legislator since
Reconstruction to electla black legislator. He and the leader of
the black Methodist caucus went before the Board of Elections and
appealed, as I understand got five blacks as roving registrars.
Well, now we have a beautfiul picture--of having four Indians,
five blacks, and three white roving registrars. Everybody can be
registered and participating. Last year, you know Lew, because of
this Indian Self-Determination Program funded by the Methodist
Church. There were over 2,000 people, Indian people, put on the
books last year. This year there will be a couple of thousand
to o yet to be put on the books. Things are changing) and beautifully.
And we at the Center are trying to help facilitate this process
by making statistics and information available wherever possible.
For instance, we've got up with the help of Mr. Moore and others--
we've developed a chart now which shows the population of each
precinct--it shows from the census those who are 18 years of age
and older. Those that are registered and those then that are eligible
to register and what percentage are registered by precinct and by
races. And then we're going to show in some precincts the percentage
of people registered tha participated in the last election. So,
we're going to be able to show graphically anAdemphatically where
the weak areas of Indian participation, black participation and even
white participatiorLn poor, white areas), So, the community center
you know, cares about these, uh. .
END OF SIDE TWO
LUM 26 AB
I: Tape 23, side one, continuing the interview with Reverand Mangum.
Now, Reverand Mangum do you know about where you were when the tape
ran out, just now?
S: Well, we were dealing with the elective system, I think; the fact,
that I was mentioning to you our interest. Uh, I sort of slide into
the involvement of the church and community center. And, uh, I
will get back to talking more about the church in a minute. But,
we got some issues then I got the saying too, that the center is
involved in issues and concerned about issues as well as symptoms
related to those issues. I did mention a letter that was circulated
uh, in talking abou fie Board of Education situation. But, there
was a letter( we don' know how widely it was distributed during the
primary) that simply stated, you know, very boldly--that white
people must not vote for certain people if they want to keep control
of Robeson County. And then they listed Mr. Moore and these
Indian people who are running and blacks who are running for office.
So, at least it's interesting, you know, if you stroke something
if someone says, "ow" you now at least they feel you're around. And
that's better than being ignored. So I don't people are ignoring
Indian people anymore. And this letter, of course, was submitted
as you know, as evidence in the civil rights here this past weekend.
And, the letter is just an indication that people are very much
aware that Indian people are insisting on their rights and that they
no longer going to sit idly by and let people mistreat them.
I: Uh, who wrote the letter. I mean, who was this letter from, uh,
sort of a political body?
S: Well, no; It was written by an individual. But, I'm not
free--I've heard but I don't knowif it's so even. It's one
of those things where nobody's going to tell who wrote it.
It's written in such a way that it says my name on the outside
of the envelope. So the letter was discovered but not the en-
velope. But anyway, it is a part of this picture of racism in
the county. It goes on to say, you know, about our interest
as white people and that we want to maintain our power in Robertson,
that we should know certain things. And that Indian people are
trying to get power of the county board of education and the city
board. So, you see, the whites know that the boards of education
are the wrong places for anybody to have power unless it is white,
see, in terms of converse thinking. So they just admit that having
power over the boards of education is quite an advantage to any people.
And they're saying that they just don't want--they want to be sure
that Indians a4d-blacks don't get any of that power. Well, it's an
interesting letter and I'll not read it or say much more about it--
just to say that people know that Indian and Rack people are expecting
their rights in Robe&on, and they're going to get their rights, too.
Now, Lew, in the elective system we mentioned how beautifully things
have changed. I didn!t-mention-the:fact that there was a full-time
employee, executive secretary of the board of elections, and that
person now is Indian of all things--so that elective process--that
elective system the whole stuff has just changed radically. It re-
lates back to the church; it was church money that made possible an
organization and certain confrontations to finally cause the situation
4,so be that change to take place. Now, in the employment situation--
uh, we're going to be able from the community center to publish
hopefully in the near future a compendium of data on socioeconomic
conditions in Robertson. Employment is one of,our concerns. And
of course as a justification of my ministry in terms of causal
issues with the community center and as a pastor in the county.
I am a member of the civil rights commission. I'm a member of
the advisory committee to the ciil rights' committee of North
Carolina. That's calledtateAdvisory committee: the North
Carolina State State Advisory Committee to the Civil Rights
Commission of the United States. And we recently has a hearing.
It was my responsibility to chair the employment section on the
local level; Mrs. Brenda Brooks to chair the political participation section
for the Indian. And Mr. Adolf Dial was the chairman of the committee
project itself, here locally. Well, anyway you are a part of that
program-- a testimony, and you gave a very eloquent and beautiful
and powerful statement, Lew, and I had deep appreciation fcrit. And
I hope Florida gets that--I hope the University gets a tape of that.
I: Well, you're very kind. I hope that we can get a hold of as much
of that hearing if possible.
S: It was taped, the whole thing so I hope you can get as much of it as
I: I think Brenda possibly was using her tape, most of the way.
S: Right. Brenda Brooks did tape much of it, I'm sure. Well, anyway,
we learned there that, and had known before intuitively and if not
factually certain things1but for instance, we learned there about
statistics and by the returns of information. Now, there were 320
questionnaires sent out to employers, only 88 of them were returned.
So many of employers found it convenienttto ignore the civil rights
hearing. Now we're trying to get subpoena as you know, to get the
Indian Commission to have a hearing with subpoena power--the Eastern
North Carolina Indian Commission. If they don't do it to get the
Civil Rights Commission to come back with two commissioners in
attendance and have subpoena power before the hearing. But, anyway
the employment situation is deplorable in Robeibson. Uh, until
recently, Indians has no jobs really in the system of good jobs that
were governed by a tax--county tax, state tax, and other types of
taxation and jobs that were available here in this county in government.
Now, at present, it's still very bad. For instance, in Social services
Department, health Epartment, and Xntal healthh Oinc combined, those
three agencies to which our county government relate. Those three
agencies out of a hundred sixty two or three employees--there were
only 12 employees that were Indian. And only four of those employees
made $6,000 or more per year. Now, Lew, that's enough to make anybody
bad; it's enough to make anybody stomp their feet and almost refuse
to pay taxes because it's tax-supported institutions that are coming
up with this kind of non-affirmative action in the employment of
minority people and employment of Indians.
I: I have to interrupt just for second there. I hope you'll excuse es
particular tape. Will you please continue here?
S: Well, anyway hopefully we can get a hearing or subpoena power so that
the Indian will not be ignored in his, uh, in his total commitment,
and his total drive for equal employment opportunities as well as
equal empowerment politically. Now, uh, the other employers showed
up bad, as you know, in that Indians and supervisory capacity,
managerial capacity, out of 500 or so employees, only 20 or 40
Indians had any kindof managerial positions in Robeason County
and only that number or so are blacks; 450 or sowwhites had mana-
gerial and higher position and twenty to forty Indians I think
is the way it worked. But anyway, it's the same old story over
and over again. If an Indian's not a school teacher, he will make
a good construction worker or he'll make a good farmer or he'll
make a good laborer or a good factory worker at minimum wage)
but that's about all he'll have to look forward to. So, Lew,
there has to be a lot of initiative on the part of the Indian
community. We've got to take advantage of every program possible
for scholarships in health careers for instance. Uh, scholarships
in other areas to keep our young people going to college and
training themselves and being able to compete for the good jobs
in Robeitson County. Uh, we don't want to just make people to be
good citizens somewhere else. We've got to have them coming home
and staying home to help make this county better.
I: A great many of our people do have to leave home, as you well know.
They cannot find livelihood here, means of a livelihood here and so
they go elsewhere, very reluctantly and always with the idea of re-
turning when they've accumulated a little money.
S: Yeah, right. So, hopefully the Indian community will take this
information that will make it available from the Civil Rights Commission,
the committee. And personally we'll make it available to as many people
as we can of the statistics so that we will see, maybe L.R.D.A. can get
involved in trying to push for jobs and begin to get the people lined up
and start going from agency toGagency putting in applications with certain
people, using certain people to make application. We also must learn
immediately the process by which the board of directors of all of
these tax supported agencies are constituted--are appointed, elected,
and how they're constituted. We must begin to get Indian people
in decision-making power. At the social services level, we've got
Indian power now on the board of directors. We've got to get them
in there on the house department; we've got to get them in mental
health; we've got to get them on road commission and all that kiid
of thing. We've got to go down the line and systematically get
Indian people into positions of power on these boards. And that
often is a political system of appointment rather than the elective
system. So we've really got to do some homework to change the
employment situation. And, of course, as we've mentioned before,
we've got to get control; we've got to get decision-making power
over the board of education in order to help effect the jobs of
our people. So, Lew, those are some areas of concern of mine
and I've spoken in general to employment leads and situations.
I've spoken to political situation and the voter registration and
the elected system and to the education system and thecdouble
voting and so forth. Now, I've just spoken in general thtithe
church and community center, which which I work is trying somehow
be the friend of persons helping them on person-to-person basis
but also providing opportunities for volunteers to become involved;
opportunities for information to be gathered and dissiminated so we
can raise the level of awareness, expose the racism, and cause
the victims to understand how bad off they are in terms of contrast
and comparison until minoer4ty are angry. And that's what this little
green leaflet was all about.
I: Well, that's a very interesting one. And hope you'll favor us
with some of the information, if not all on there, because this
was well-written and condensed and it gets right down to the brass
tacks. And, I'm telling you, this is--this little leaflet was
certainly an eye-opener to many people in the county, including
minority people themselves, because they were not aware of just
how bad things really were.
S: Well, we felt like it was a Christian responsibility that as many
people as possible understand what the circumstancesIthat white
people that is would rick the conscience of whites and disturb
them. And cause them to admit to themselves that things were wrong
and things needed to be changed. That it would stimulate and excite
and anger minority people, until they were willing to say: if it's
going to be changed, we're going to have to get involved in making it
change and we're going to do all we can to change it. Then they
would become a means for people who wrote proposals and were dealing
with creative programs to be able to send this as a panoramic view
of need and of disparity and deprivation in Robertson. And of course
it's been used for these purposes.
I: And we certainly will appreciate your sharing it with us, because
that's very valuable.
S: We printed 15,000 copies of this Lew, and it has had pretty wide
distribution among the Indian community. Pastors of the churches
tri-racially were invited to utilize this little piece of information.
Uh, we start--and I'm not going to read all of it. I'm just going to
read the introduction. Because this gives pretty well the concepts
from which it is written.
I: It is a good overall picture and this is a good starting point.
S: Some of the statistics you'll find here in this are outdated yet we
have a bibliography for this and we make it available. We know some
things are outdated but at the same time, we felt the conditions still
exist that are so similar that we wererit really pushing untruths if
we use some old figures because sometimes this is about all that was
available--old figures, old studies that were made--older studies.
But anyway, we start the whole leaflet by sayingKf can change
Robetson--calling the facts about our county of Robesqon. We
live here, work here, worship here, and rear our children here.
We want the best for ourselves too--we have a right to expect equal
opportunity, justice, and freedom and the responsible pursuit of
happiness. But these facts force the question about genuine equality
justice and freedom in Robeeson--it is not enough to care about our
own--we must care about the work, dignity, rights, and opportunities
of every Robefbonian. It is not enough to know and proclaim that
we've come a long way in the past few years. We must have the honesty
to admit how far behind we are and how far we must go and quickly.
It is not enough to know and to care--we must act to assure a better
more just Robe-son for all. If we care enough, we will help change
Robesson now. Please read the facts carefully--we believe rocks are
for building, not for throwing. And then we come on with a statement
and I wrote the prelude to this and utilized the help of a psychiatrist
from Duke University who is doing community psychiatry work ielating
to the community center. He published this second edition last January,
1972, the first edition in December. We also utilized the work of a
Duke student, a divinity school student who was a native North
Carolinian. Uh, we dealt with income--we pointed out that according
to studies over past years, that 39% of population of Robeison was
within the poverty guidelines. I'm sorr to report that still 37+10
38%, this is a 1972 figure--are within poverty, government poverty
guidelines. We've only dropped one or two percent according to
O.E.O. government property guidelines in six years. Now, I know
by inflation and by the continued rising of the standard of poverty,
that it's a relative thing, Lew, using O.E.O. guidelines we still
have nearly 39% in poverty. A study made by the North Carolina
fund that became the forerunners to the community action program--
tri-county community action under QE.O. here made a study of certain
pilot areas and this is back during the 60's and they learned that
the median incomes and the disparties of the things that we're trying
to bring out in this study--this does not mean the census information
and we're trying to get that on the 70 census now. We haven't gotten
it yet, by precincts, townships as well for the county people. But
when this figure was given, $1324 was the median income of the Indian
families that we studied! The black families were $1618 and the white
families was $4656. Now in these pilot areas, now that's not an average
of the county, it was pretty well populace was Indian, rural people.
This is how gross the disprities which meant in these areas the
white people were used as the land owners apparently and they were
the professional peopleand the Indian people were the tenants.
But, anyway, we have figures here that just point out the general
poverty, figures in this that point out the per capital income. The
per capita income in this county for '72 is only $2,019,
I: Isn't that terrible?
S: Yeah, in 1972, I just got this figure the other day. So, this little
leaflet tells a lot about income. Now, it's something interesting.
We tell because out of this study that O.E.O. made, North Carolina
fund, we reveal a figure and this wasn't published until '67. This
figure I think it is. Uh, in fact, I think the previous figures I
quoted on median income were not published until 67--but this figure
reveals that a family making $6,000 or more per year in these pilot
areas, but 33% of the white families made that much or more but only
1% of the black families and only 8% of the Lumbee families made $6,000
or more per year in that area of Pembrfte. What does it mean? It
just meant that the whites have had the good jobs--they've got the cream
"m^CS a 10 C
and the Indian has the low income and has the poverty-th-ea4 white
poverty in the county too, but look at the awful disparity, terrible
disparity. Now, the employment situation just simply pointed out that
unemployment is high, underemployment is particularly high and we see
here that the Indian has a high percentage of agricultural workers.
And in this study by O.E.O. people or by the North Carolina fund, it
was discovered that 48% of the Indians, Indian families, derived their
basic income, in other words their occupation was agricultural! where
only 29% of the black and 25% of the white families were agricultural.
So this accounts for a lot cE the low income because of a the agricultural
nature of the Indian community, toof the tenant farmer, and the share-
cropper, and the day laborer situation. Well, in the area of white-
collar jobs, only 10% of the Lumbee families, 9% of the blacks. But,
35% of the white families--the white wage earners had white collar
jobs. So this is the kind of thing this little leaflet brings out.
It just continues to say the Indian and the black man haven't had
a fair shake in Robettson County. Now, we go along with unemployment.
We talk about the law enforcement and statistics there, about social
services. And I've already quoted some stuff about the employment
practices of the county. Now, we deal with drop-out situations,
education. When a study was made back in the fifties, information
was gathered. It was learned that 65% of all the kids in the
county who had entered the fifth grade, dropped out before they
graduated from the 12th grade. Recently, figures confirmed this
kind of sitatuion that from 1964 to 1968 or so--those entering
into a higher grade, had 40 to 50% of the children had dropped out
in the county system. So this isn't such a wild figure--it's
fantastic the rate of drop-out. Now when you have non-quality ed-
ucation, you have 6 administrative units and you are not able to
diversify your curriculum where the student comes first and his sense
of worth and accomplishment, you're going to produce failures.
You're going to produce automobile accidents, you're going to produce
illegitimate babies, You're going to produce crime, And Indian people
have been the victims of those. Honest, if we don't change the school
system, Lew, I don't what we're going to do in order to make a better
life for people in Robetson, particular Indian people.
I: And this is the key--this is the key to it all.
S: Yes, certainly it is. So we deal with education here. We deal with
the act that, uh, 57.6% of the children in that school system during
the last school year were Indian in the county system: 22.6 blacks;
19.8 white and yet, a very small percentage only two out of seven of
the Board of Education were minority--one Indian and one black.
And I told you how they got there and that shows how limited their
I: That's right.
S: And I also .
I: The power is nonexistent just about.
S: And I also showed you further statistics showing how the kids of
the county don't go to college and how they do go to college on
the city system. I know that culture has a lot to do with it;
I know the income and you know, opportunities of environment and
all that. But, man, there shouldn't be that kind of disparities
in who goes to college and who doesn't. Then, of course, sub-
standard housing. We deal here with substandard housing in this
leaflet. We point that over 50% of the housing in Robertson
County according to the '60 census was either dilapidated or
deteriorated and the '70 census doesn't help us much either.
The '70 census points out that 56% of Negro occupied housing
units have not complete plumbing compared to 28% of all units
having no complete plumbing facilities. And so the Indian situation
figures right in here with the black situation on inadequate housing.
But, for the whole county we could say roughly that still about 50%
of the housing of the county is inadequate and a high percentage that
of Indian people. Come to the area of health This little leaflet
points out in the health area, Lew, that Indian people get a bad
deal. Uh, we're understaffing Robertson--we don't have enough.
doctors, enough dentists. Maybe I ought to read this; then when you
begin talking about changing the situation. You become a villian.
You know, and all--this summer I could tell you show I got in
trouble because of misunderstanding with the medical profession.
Good people, but my mind to challenge systems, somebody's got to
get crucified from time to time and misunderstand. And it's going
to happen. When you challenge injusices and inadequacies, people
are going to shoot you down or try to anyway. In this situation,
we had six physicians, two dentists, and twenty-six hospital beds
per ten thousand population in Robetson. North Carolina, though,
had nine positions instead of six, had 3.3 dentists instead of 2
and had 34 hospital beds instead of 26. Aad North Carolina was
behind the U. S. average, which had 14 fiLinrs; Robe*son only
had 6; had 5.9 dentists, Robeison only had 2; had 40 hospital
beds, Robejoson only had 26 per 10,000 population. You see, we
don't even have the health facilities to take care of the poor
of Robegkson County. And so, uh, in forty cases of tuberculosis
for instance, 29 were either black or Lumbee, which shows, you
know, a very disportionate number of minority people with tuberculosis
out of the forty. Only 11 I would say were white, and yet, the
whites have 43% of the population and the Indians in this county,
85,000 people--the Indians have 30% and the blacks have 27% of the
population. Nutritionally, only 10% of the whites in this county
have inadequate diets, but in a study that was made a year or so
back, 29.5% or 30% of the Lumbees, three times as many Lumbees had
inadequate diets. And 43.7%, over four times as many blacks percen-
tage-wise had inadequate diets as whites. We deal with crime and
traffic in this thing and who's in the court and so forth. Uh, and
point out the large number of Lumbees that were sentenced. For
instance, it is not a popular figure but itngoes back to education,
you know, and opportunity--goes back to the courts and the way people
are treated. But in July 7, of '71 the people who were sentenced
in Robertson County courts, there were 66 whites, 107 blacks,
and 115 Lumbees. So, uh, we have some figures there. And then we
have figures on social services and the number of people that receive
aid. You might be interested on my listig of that figure, uh, that
for food stamps, 46.3% of black and 41.6% were Lumbee and 12.1% *C
A40M just a few months back who received food stamps were white--
12.1% white receiving food stamps. In other words, predominantly the
black and the Indian get the food stamps. He doesn't have the decent
job; he can work in these factories. Well, we didn't mention it but
we discovered in some of these factories; Indians and blacks got the
nasty jobs in those factories. Whites refused to take take many of
those jobs. So, we can go back to the whole situation of under-employ-
ment, low wage--it was brought out in that hearing, regarding employ-
ment--that North Carolina average wage was 50, the lowest in'the nation
in June of this past year. And Robepton County was 65 per hour
below the North Carolina average hourly wage for industrial workers
at $2.10 and at where that put Robertson and most of those industrial
workers in some of those plants are Indian. And so, this little
leaflet brings up information regarding social services program--
selective service even then going to education and health. The county
or Robertson has a high incident of rejects for education trainability
and health reasons from the selective service. We rejected 53.5% of
regieters in Robertson County and only 48.2 for the state of North
Carolina. So, you know, in every area, it reflects the disparity
and this victimizing of people. And this little leaflet tries to
point out those disparities. Then we talk about the political
situation and we talk about back when this was written the changes
had not been made, though they were anticipated and back then,
we were able to write in this leaflet that out of the board of
elections, all were white, all free. There were six registration
commissioners--three were Lumbee, three were white and there were
no blacks. Of 39 registers, 39. .33 were white, only five Lumbee
and one black. Of 78 election officials,and judges, 63 were white
and 15 were black and Lumbee. Twenty-one out of 117 were black
and Indian. And all that's been changed and we're glad for that.
What we pointed out are the things related to the county commissioners,
the county board of education had been dealt with and representation
and so forth. So this little leaflet was written up to excite people
and to get them more aware of their own plight, more determined to
I: Well, it was certainly a valuable contribution and I'm sure it was
heeded and it has done so much good. Those four little pages have
done more good than anything I can think of at this moment.
S: I'm glad--that was the reason. And, as you and I, we're prejudiceJ
,ee, it goes back to our faith, you know. To me ,this is a part
of living on our Christian witness.
S: Lew, I'll try not to hold you too much longer. Let me speak
specifically to the involvement of the church of Robetson County.
I: Good, fine.
S: All right. As Lew has told you perhaps in other tapes, or you
have heard from other people; uh, the Indian is very religious
and we have a lot of churches and we have a large percentage of
our people related to those churches. I would say we have about
125 Indian churches in Robegson County and they're about 300
churches in Robe on or about 250 ministers or more in Robefson;
we are a church county. But the church has not addressed herself
to social issues--has not addressed herself to justice issues.
And essentially, the church has dealt in paternalistic ways and sort
of leavened the attitude of people in being good to their neighbors
and being good to each other but allow them to be an accomplice to
and a prt of victimizing structures and a cruelty system. So, it
was felt by me and by others that the church had to be able to do
something creatively to bring about change in Robegson. The Quakers,
the American friends, had put a group of people in here for a couple
of years and spent money and they didn't come for the churches things
but to speak to the justice issues. They helped to register many
people. And, oh my, they've got the wrath of the county powers upon
them and the wrath of establishment Indians and the wrath even of I
guess of some establishment blacks. But they got a lot of people
registered and a lot of things going for people: welfare rights_
organizations, so forth. Well, they were showing some of the justice
issues the church should be involved in. Well, now they took a
confrontation stand. They did not take a stance ofiliving here and
trying to bring about justice and brotherhood within the county. And
we felt that the church in Robertson must address herself to the issues
and must also provide a salvation army type of ministry to be the
friend of people who were the victims. So with that in mind, there
was an approach made by an Indian who is a non-church member who
went to the National Council of Churches and said to them: you
ought to put some money into Robeeson foursome creative program
the churches in Robetspon, the Indian churches an accomplice to
the status quo. Well, I didn't like that but he was telling the
truth because many Imdian people were victims of this school system.
They were pastors but were also school teachers. And they couldn't
buck the system because of their livelihood. The churches were not
supporting the pastors. So, you've got to be sympathetic with Indian
leadership. They were over the barrel.
S: But this boy went up there, this young man, he said now something ought
to be done, the church ought to care. Mind you, this man does not
profess to be as we call, as we call the parlance here, a saved, born
again Christian. This man did not profess to be a Christian. He was
Christian in background and concept but not a Christian in his own
personal commitment. But, he understood the Christian church ought
to be involved and it wasn't. So the National Council of Churches
related to the state of North Carolina Council of Churches. And I
became involved in different leaders from this community. And they
agreed to endorse the program but that program, mo own denomination,
helped to kill that program because it was to be a major contribute.
And said we don't need outside forces in Robeiason County. So that
gave me leverage. This was back in about 1967 that it was rejected.
That gave me some leverage. Because I was told by the administrator
of my denomination, though we don't want to elect a national council
in and have this program for the rights of people and brotherhood
and all, I believe you've got influence and you can help bring people
together. So I then proposed to him that we bring together first
with the Methodist, the Methodist people tri-racially to talk out
the issues, to deal with the real gut level issues that relate to
employment, that relate to the political disenfranchisements in
educational system and all that. Well, he approved the idea along
in the spring of '68 we were to get it started. Well, we weren't
able to come off the ground with it, then in our Methodist denomi-
nation there came a program the "Bishop's Fund for Reconciliation"
whth allowed for creative programs to be established, to bring people
together across racial and separate. and denominational and class
lines around justice and mutual respect to create such programs for
the benefit of people. So, we were able to get funded for a program,
devised passports made up of basically Indian leadership and then some
whites and blacks of this county. And we devised a program that was
finally funded for Robeppon County. .for the Robe-tson County Church
and Community Center. And it was the dream of this program to bring
together the tri-racial church community of Robe)aon in confronting
the justice issues and alleviating suffering on the personal level as
well as alleviating suffering on the system level and on the cruelty
system level of charging these causes of suffering. So, the Center
then addressed herself to total ministry. And that ministry we began
the program in December of '69; we started that ministry addressing
ourselves to person to person ministry to enablingmen. .ment of
volunteers to become in church and university. We helped to get
the university volunteer program started. Now, the university has
a field work program and we were right in there at the outset at
the ground level, helping them create a program of student involvement
in community affairs. Now the sociology department has intern programs;
the community center helps to find places for the students to work and
helps in the coordination of programming for students. The center
was involved in helping to bring about the whole existence of Pembroke's
outreach into the community, the part of the university. Then we're
involved in trying to get the church involved in giving them opportunities
to become involved. We have forces now that deal with issues--a task
force for literacy to bring together government and church and all the
powers we can to deal creatively with this problem of adult literacy.
illiteracy. We have a task force dealing with pastoral counseling
to develop a center in RobeAson County for pastoral counseling.
We've got a task force dealing with nonprofit housing to bring together
the church people tri-racially to deal with housing creatively and
to get money from the government to deal with nonprofit.eto have non-
profit housing and scattered housing projects throughout the county.
We've got a task force now for human relations that's going to be dealing
with the employment situation and so forth, and trying to deal with
the racism of the county and bring major exposure of the injustice.
We've got a task force that deals with emergency aid funds. There is
no money to take care of people in emergency circumstances. There
are a lot of agencies that are referral activity; now, we've got to
raise the money and we've got one in Pembroke, one in Lumberton
fund, now we're working with Maxton and Red Springsj other towns to
devise those funds by which there's money available to help people be-
tween the time they're sick aid the time they get disability, between
the time they're sick and they go back to get their jobsT-to
pay their light bill or to pay their medicine bill and so forth.
The Center itself raises and spends $-$10,000 a year just faith
..,uh, fund raising because it's not underwritten by an denomination;
we just have to get the money where we can to this peron to person
interview. Then we've a task force dealing with nutrition. The
Center didn't. .as a part of this. .the Center didn't start it but
the Centerworked with it, for high protein foods for this county.
Another task force deals with consumer protection to bring about
protection of the consumer, the Lumbee, and others in the county.
And, there's also a task force that deals with. .no, I've dealt
with all seven. .and then of course we enable wherever we can,
these self-determination programs. We spun off the Lumbee Indian
caucus; we spun off the black causus for self-determination. These
programs are dealing with ethnic self-awareness, voter registration,
and voter education. And the center does not own those programs;
it simply helps to spin them off. And we work to spin off whatever
programs we can: daycare centers, helping to write proposals for
program, doing whatever we can as an enablement ministry for the
creation and for the commotion of programs, AA programs, et cetera
et cetera. The Center's involved in person to person ministry,
volunteer recruitment and involvement and involved in also the
enablement aspects of ministry, in dealing with creative issues and
helping people get a job done for the embettermentof themselves and
their community. We're also dealing with information. We're doing
a door-to-door canvass. And we're learning people's needs, literacy
needs, political needs, church needs, health needs, and so forth.
So that the Community Center can be a resource to government agencies
and programs to help them know where the people are so we can write
programs to meet the needs of those people. We're also involved in
publishing as we mentioned--this little leaflet that Lew's referred
to and we've mentioned--a compendium to raise the level of awareiss
of people, of conditions that exist. We're involved in these dialogue
sessions where we bring together people tri-racially so that they
can understand each other and what the dynamics are that separate us.
So, uh, this is some of the ministry of the Community Center. Now,
at present our real concern is that we involve ecumenically, inter-
denominationally every Indian church that we can, black and white,
in this whole process of being the church in Robeftson County. And
of course, we're meeting with a lot of resistance on the part of white
establishment churches because whites find it so difficult to approve
of the involvement of the church and church money in offering assis-
tance. And this is where we've come into conflict. Now how long we
can stay in existence--whether or not we can keep funded, I don't know.
But we're still in there pitching; we have full-time staff of five
workers. The Luteran Church is willing tl help fund us and give us
a staff member. The proposals are before them. The black Presbyterians
are writing a proposal, working to get Episcopal, liberal concerns
and Presbyterian concerns and Roman Catholic concerns. We believe it
can be done. But we've met with resistance and we're going to continue
to meet with resistance on the part of white establishment churches.
So, we're going to build our program with staffing from denominations
wherever possible whether than our having to raise the money to hire a
man, we'll have the Lutheran Church give us a staff member; we're going
to try to get the Catholic Church give us a priest for a year or
two or a lay person that would work just with our area of community
development and housing perhaps, something such as that, to give
specially, people that would carry out specialized ministries under
our program. But, anyway, we're dreaming big and our ultimate goal
is a changed Robetson County where people can live mutually with
human dignity and with the pursuit of happiness. Now, uh.
I: We've got a big job.
S: That's right. And God's people care,and God's people are getting the
job done. And I applaud all that is happening. And I applaud, I've
got to put in a plug.
I: I certainly applaud you and Li- --L j'L----/" -
S: Well, I'm just a part of the picture;now I applaud the Methodist Church
particularly because the Methodists have been willing to give up monies
so that creative things could be done even when awful criticism has
come from Methodisl for the expenditures locally of that money. In
fact, last year when we were a part of confronting the Board of Elections
and seeing- change there; d& three members of the Board of Elections
were white and members of our prestigious Methodist Church in Lumberton.
So you can imagine there's flack. But, uh, we believe, you know that
the churches of Robesopn really are the answer and the remanant,we
don't expect to win them all. They don't have t be a part of our
program. But we're giving people a chance, Lew, to live out what
is means to be a Christian and not affiliate officially with the
Community Center even but to be a part of a task force and to help
carry out there ministry of concern for people. And we're not empire
building. These groups as they set up their ministries, they can
have nothing to do with us if they don't want to, as a community center.
But we're involved in getting a job.
END OF SIDE ONE
TAPE 23 ( LC,. r?3" .
IC I('" cT/hwi' X5 \-:<<; r W3-^3^. .th ^ 7^, /,,.,
S:l7Thouand indians and twelve--eleen thousand blacks under the age
of eighteen. So in a few years if we don't have too much migration
problems, uh, in a few years, we'll be almost a perfect three-way
division, tri-racially in Robetson County. Now, I don't know
who had patience to listen to all that I have had to say. And some
of it, I know, was pretty disjunctive and maybe irrelevant to Indian
history but I, as a person, would like to speak to the Indian church.
Now, being a pastor in an Indian church and with an Indian church
over these fourteen years, as you can imagine, I've had a great deal
of concern that there be full-time Indian ministry. Now, uh, we
have had so few Indian ministers who were full-time. And by that
I mean, who derived their livelihood from the occupation of ministry.
Now, this is changing beautifully. And, uh, one of the examples of
this came out of our. .and of course, you know, the Methodists are
far fewer than the Baptists here. We have about forty Baptists
churches among the Indians. We have about ten churches that are
United Methodist among Indian people. We have about, oh, about
a dozen churches with the Church of God among Indian people. We
have about, oh, about four or five Assembly of God churches among
the Indian people. We have, oh, about half a dozen, eight or ten,
Freewill Baptist-churches among the Indian people. We have signif-
icantly enough no Presbyterian churches; the resbyterians, you
know, were able to make slaves, had black slaves; had slave galleries
in their churches but never made slaves out of Indians. And never
were missionaries out of Indians. And so the Presbyterian el black
churches but they have no Indian churches. And this is sort of
distinctive in pointing out the separation of the races over the
history of this county. So, there are no Presbyterian Indian
churches. There are no Episcopalian nor Roman Catholic Indian
churches, per se. There are no Lutheran churches, per se.
Of course, you know, I intend--that, uh--capitalize on the guilt
of that situation as much as I can in getting help for the community
center and support to be able to be involved in ministry with Indian
people and to Indian people. But, anyway, with all of these churches,
uh, when I came to this county fourteen years ago, you could count
on your finger the full-time ministers that were Indian. We had one
who was a Methodist who had quit the school to become a full-time
pastor# W had, to my knowledge back then, one Baptist, no parsonage,
there was one Baptist who was a full-time minister. There was one
Baptist church, such as the church I pastored thatemployed white
ministers that were on a full-time basis. There was a man who worked
as an associational missionary when I came here who is Indian. But,
when I came to this county fourteen years ago, there weren't over,
I guess, two or three full-time Indian ministers. Ministers who derived
their main livelihood from the church. Now, that has changed and
beautifully. Many of our young people hae gone to seminaries. We
now have, uh, back then when I came to the county. There was only
one Indian parsonage to my knowledge, at that time--one Indiag parsonage
in Robe&son County. And I lived in it and I was a white man. Now,
we have a beautiful of a number parsonages among the Indian people.
We've got a number of full-time minister, who are Indian, who are
pastoring Indian churches. And out of this kind of full-time
ministry, there is the time to become creatively involved in
the total ministry isaahe concern about the social issues and
the causes for deprivation and the causes for emotional problems
et cetera, that relate to the social issue. So, I just speak
to, very applaudingly, the wonderful progress that the Indian
church has made in going full-time with their possess, am* in
providing parsonages) Ond in encouraging their young people to go
on to school and to seminary. Now, we have a long ways to g I
know. Right now, among the Indian churches, uh, there is only
one, two, three--to my knowledge, there are only three Indian
ministers who are siminary graduatesserving Indian churches
right now in the community. But, there are a number now that
are full-time though not formerly trained, or seminary trained.
But the trend is now for an educated, well-trained, full-time
minister. And I am really happy about that because of te great
changes that can take place through the church and the energy
of the people of the church because of the Indian people, without
exception almost, relate to some church across this county. I
spoke before to the fact that theAMethodist church had made monies
possible to help Indians in self-determination. Some of the great
thrust has come in helping to bring about self-determination and
self-appreciation has been the fact that the Methodist Ehurch has
provided the funds for funds for Indians from this community to go
to places over the nation--to Farmington, New Mexico to Esters Park,
Colorado, to Indian conferences, to other places, Oklahoma, across
the nationr-so that Indian people through the church have begun
to become aware of their belonging to an Indian community. And
this coming now, a growing sense of responsibility to other Indians
across the nation in the church particular to provide leadership
and monies and help in total ministry elsewhere. Because, really,
in the Indian situation, the Lumbee situation, as you know, is
beautiful compared to most other Indian situations across the nation.
And the Indian here has so much to offer to other Indian communities.
Well, the church has given the opportunity for this travel and this
mixing with other Indian people so it becomes inevitable that this
community going to make a terrific contribution and already is.
From this community and our denomination has come de leadership
for the national advisory committee for Indian work in our own
denomination. Uh, and many things are happening because this
community has been allowed to become a part of the total Indian
picture. Just this week-end, Indian people from this community
A ,IVt C'
went to an Indian conference r Cherokee the first time in history.
And, uh, this is beautiful that the Indian community here feels a
part of the brotherhood of Indians around the nation. And I must
say, and unapologetically I must say that the church, in particular
the Methodist church has helped to make some of this community of
Indians around the nation possible. Did speak briefly of the fact
that the Methodist church accepted and funded a proposal that was
a spin off from the church and community center for ethnic self-
determination for blacks and Indians. The black program received
$20,000 last year and 15 this year. The Indian program received $C2O?O
Blast year and 15 this year. And they are simply involved in ethnic
self-awareness in bringing church people to the challenge of
participation in the elective process,and they're involved
in getting the registration done and changing the elective
system and dealing with the school issue and et cetera. Ad
primarily voter education and voter participation and voter
registration. But, uh, here again, you know, this wa-smet with
a lot of disfavor on the part of Methodists and Baptists and
others among whites. It's met with middle class Indian disfavor
at times. Uh, a small minority because so many middle class
Indian people derive their livelihood from being an accomplice
to the white power structure and the white status quo. So you
can imagine criticism often comes from all angles when creative
things are done and when church money makes it possible. Now,
finally, I would like to just say a word about the fact that,
somewhere in the tapes I'm sure there will be discussion about
the fact that here is a small Indian faction of people who have
arisen and who have a certain Indian name that they call them-
selves and uh, they're wanting rights for themselves and they're
adamant in their desire for rights. Well, let's hope that somehow
the Indian community will understand these poor disenfranchised
people and will unite with them around principles that relate to
the victimization and to the issues of justice and injustice so
that, uh, and I think it will happen. There will be real progress
together, as Indian people in these next days and in next years.
I applaud personally 4 what has happened in our county--uh, among
Indian people the kind of leadership that it's had)to the kind of
writing that men like Mr. Barton do, the kind of leadership that
men like Mr. Danford Dial gives, to causal issues, the kind of
determination that economically that's made possible by men like
Dr. Brooks and Mr. Adolf Dial and others in the establishment
of the ank. The kind of political leadership of men like Mr.
Robert Jones, who's chairman of the board of elections and who's
gotten so much there since he's been there. There are so many
Indian men that need to be applauded--te Indian church men over
the years who have stood with such insecurity and so much to lose-
who have stood and have forced issues and have gotten education to
the point where it is even though we want so many changes. If it
hadn't been for leadership and particularly church leadership,
we'd be so far behind what we are now. The leadership of Janie
Maynor and others in this Old M-in issue and our people in Washington
who are Indians that have given help and how we've been able to say
together that Indian people want to be heard and they want to preserve
their heritage and want to be able to be able to have a voice in the
destiny of their future. And Old ain has done so much to unify
Indian people. And I applaud what happened in that. I applaud the
leadership, uh, though, I don't always agree with things, I still
have a lot of admiration for President Jones and for others Pem-
broke. I'm much concerned that Pembroke faculty become more Indian.
I'm much concerned that Pembroke address herself to the problems of
Indians, that she not be so status-quo, middle class white, regional
white in her orientation. That if necessary, she establish an Indian
college. And along with that, I applaud the efforts Mr. Barton and
others and Mr. Howard Brooks and Mr. Ackley and Mr. Carrons in the
Henry Bqrry Lowry College promotion. Uh, this activity that they
worked to bring about Indian self-determination and ethnic self-
appreciation. And I applaud that. There are many good things that
are happening in this community. And, honest, it's a privilege
for me to be a pat of it, to be a part of the community and to be
able to say that I'm a servant with, uh, this community for more
Christian and more humane and more just and more truly democratic
community in Robeeson County. We can applaud dF the L.R.D.A.
and the possibility it has and the work it's doing. We can applaud
the development of the, uh, the Indian, the Eastern Indian Commission--
Eastern North Carolina Indian Commission. And, Mr. Early Manor
who chairs that. Uh, my, it seems that so many good things are now
happening. And with the momentum, and I feel the momentum is that
of the Indian right now. With the momentum that we have, if we'll
work together and work courageously and work with determination,
we can see the changes that we need in this county. Now, I must
applaud also Mr. Herman Dial, who was our first Indian county
commissioner. I must applaud the commissionerelect Bobby Dean
Iocklear who pulled off a political upset, an Indian over an old-
time white power structure man. It was just a miracle pulled off)
so to speak. Uh, we must applaud these men for the kind of work they
have done to bring about change. Uh, there are many people and Ii
sure I'm forgetting so many. But there're many people who deserve
applauding and there're men like Harbert Moore who just keeps
fighting away with all of his energy to expose the system and
to bring about facts and figures to make people know that he knows
what he's talking about and that changes must take place. Uh,
there are many Indian people living today that deserve a great
deal of credit because they are the reason that changes are
taking place for Indian liberation and true Indian participation
in, as full and as equal citizens in te democratic process and
in the dreams of our democracy. It's always dangerous to applaud
people because you leave out so many. And there have been people
Lv-'fVife r ileCL 0(=- tyreiCrc
like Miss Mary Lttlea r, the late Miss Mary Latelemaoe-.who
has been a real friend in the church and the social realm to the
Indian. Miss Anna Mae Locklere who has been a lay Baptist woman
who has done so much. The Reverand D. F. Lowry who has been
a real father to Indian concerns in education and other issues.
There are so many good people who still live, as well as those
who are deceased, that need to be applauded. And, uh, those that
are deceased--any Indian person would remember men like the Reverand
Mr. Venus Brooks who gave so much of himself to his own Indian com-
munity. And Mr. Lonnie Jacobs and on it could go. So, I understand
definitely, please, that I have not mentioned the names of all of
the key people, of the key leaders, but just a few off the top of
my head. There are so many that deserve, who live now and have
passed on deserve to be applauded at this moment. Thank you for
listening and I hope I haven't bored anyone too much.
I: Thank you so much for being with us and giving us this very infor-
mational and very inspiring interview. It has meant so much to the
Doris Duke Foundation Program. We thank you from the bottom of our