This Oral History is copyrighted by the Interviewee
and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of
Copyright, 2005, University of Florida.
All rights, reserved.
This oral history may be used for research,
instruction, and private study under the provisions
of Fair Use. Fair Use is a provision of United States
Copyright Law (United States Code, Title 17, section
107) which allows limited use of copyrighted
materials under certain conditions.
Fair use limts the amount of material that may be
For all other permissions and requests, contact the
SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
LUM 40 A
INTERVIEWING JANIE LOCKLEAR
B: ____ Doris Duke Foundation, American Indian
Oral History Program under the auspices of the University of Florida. This
is November 17, 1972. I am in my home in Pembroke, North Carolina and with
me is a team mate of the Doris Duke team, Mrs. Janie Maynor Locklear, that's
J-A-N-I-E M-A-Y-N-0-R L-O-C-K-L-E-A-R. Janie, are you gonna talk to me
L: Sure am.
B: Uh, maybe we should start with something about you and try to learn as much
as we can about you. You've been quite an active girl uh, in the community
here among the Lumbee Indians and uh we regard you as one of our foremost
leaders and we're very proud of you, as you know. Um, why don't you tell
us something about yourself, your family....
L: Okay, I'm twenty-seven years old. I um, ,;la ______ with a B.S.
degree in Elementary Education at Pembroke State University in 1966. After
finishing there I went to Prince 6 -- Maryland. I thought
school there at ____ plaza for two years. Upon leaving uh Maryland
we went to Charlotte for a year where I had my first child who is four years
old at the time. We lived in Charlotte only a year and moved back to
Pembroke where I taught school beginning in Januaryuh, I taught half a
year and then one full year at 'li Branch Elementary School.
B: Uh hmm.
B: Could we back track just a second and get the children's names and ages?
L: Okay, right. My little girl is Elizabeth Joey Locklear, she is four in
October. My little boy is Mick ____mo Locklear. He is fourteen months.
He was a year on September first, 1972.
B: And your husband is ...
L: My husband if Riet*e Lester Locklear who is a native of Pembroke, North
Carolina and he i- now employed at Lumbee Regional Development Association
as Community Development
B: I understand you're the only child in the family, is that right?
L: Right. Uh, my parents were, uh, they were Maynor and Elizabeth Oxaj-Yl
Maynor. Uh, my parents were married seventeen years before I was borne
and my mother APIC4j ( 2I being forty-one years old. Both
my parents aee retired school teachers uh, my mother has been retired
now, this is her second year. Ah, she taught 42 years and two months.
My father is retired this year for the first time and he taught around
38 years in the Robison County Schools.
B: Well, many of your relatives are also....
L: Right. Most of my uh...
B: Lc M p,14-ppe i^cz? i ,>i 46 ?
L: Most of my relatives on my mothers side ar school teachers, about six out
of eight j-LrA-. six school teachers,
B: Well, could you mention some of those for us?
L: Uh, Mr. Christian Oxendine retired from Pembroke State University.
B: He was dean there for many years? I -k
L: Right, correct. And then he worked in the history department there up
until his retirement. Uh, Mr. Tom Oxendine is uh my uncle, he has also
retired from __-_4_ ___ Schools, Mrs. Bessy Ransom, R-A-N-S-O-M
is my aunt, she is retired from the Robison County Schools. Mrs. Maggie
Lee Maynor has also retired from the Robison County School System.
B: Uh, Janie you mentioned a Mr. Tom Oxendine, that was Mr. Tom Oxendine, Sr.
B: 4 Z/-2 so you're a first cousin then to uh, we call him young Tom...
B: .... -See Oxendine who was the war hero and uh who is uh head of the
department of information for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington.
L: Correct. Tom Oxendine is my double first cousin uh, his mother and my
father are brother and sister and his father and my mother are brothers
B: Uh hmm.
L: There were three, three couples who married within the same family and
they had children.
B: Well, that's great.
L: Uh, a de. e Maynor and my mother are sisters and Elias Maynor, her
husband is my father's brother.
B: Uh hmm. Uh, so uh, we've mentioned everybody but, uh, it seems but Earl
Hughes Oxendine, Tom's brother. You better mention Earl Hughest .
L: Well, Hughes Oxendine is the principal atluma previously all-Indian
school in #,k<_ County. He lived in Maryland, in Michigan for
approximately ten years where he taught school, uh, maybe not that long,
quite that long. And he returned to RIz 6 r2 ao tthereby took
the principal's position at e_ /kiS- Elementary School
in Head County. His sister Magnolia Oxendine Griffith is presently
teaching in the A_/SJC' Administration department at Pembroke State
University. Uh, one other son Jeffry C. Oxendine is a doctor at uh
Temple University and heaJ.. and heads up the faculty um Council or governing
body at Temple University.
B: You really do come from a a clan of teachers, don't you?
L: Right, definitely.
B: I know you're proud of it Janie and we're all proud of you and you certainly
are a good representative of this Oxendine clan. Uh, I'm sure they don't
mind me calling this a clan because uh Oxendine's are very Indian.
L: Right, right, definitely.
B: Uh, Janie, what are you doing right now?
L: Right now I'm secretary of a group which is determined to change Rob son
County by changing the way in which the Board of Education for the Rob/son
County Public School are elected. At present Rob/son County has six
different school systems, 5 city systems, 1 county system. And these city
systems, they have the privilege of voting on the Board of Education
for the County system. We feel like they're getting two votes to our one.
We're determined to change this because the majority of the i4aiend people
live in-the county district. Fifty percent of the children in the county
district are-inland children and only seventy percent of the Board of
Education of the Rob/son County Schools, seventy percent of that is white.
In the past we've only been able to elect two people to the Robtson
County Board of Education to island people that is. The people in the
city always seem to vote down any Indian candidate that runs for the
Robison County Board of Education. we have no control
of our school or no control of the destiny of our children. We feel that
this has been a grave injustice the Indian people and is very much
discrimitory possilut .
B: Um, Janie, you, you've taken part in so many campaigns and .uh, so many
efforts and you've been so successful and uh we all certainly look up
to you sort of as, as our first real Indian leader, you know. Uh, Commissioner
Brantley Blue called you this one time when he and I was talking, were
L: )Ir-O- talking 0 (y a T c> ,
B: Uh, one of your-most noted successes is uh uh the campaign to save old
Maine, uh, could you tell us something about that?
L: This is the first time, 7 no one looks at it as my success because
it was a group of us, you included that worked so desperately hard, I was
only the secretary of the group.
B: But you kept us all together so well Janie and you have such a gift um, for
doing this and so much determination and everything. I think all of us
uh, want to give youjong share of the credit for that.
L: -- even though you do have determination,
we all find periods of uh, periods where, where you so frustrated in the whole
thing that that times it seems like everywhere you turn you'rernet-bu king
_/2_ _iA,_ we all become frustrated. I think we're going to face
even more frustration than Iknpow -1bd e gh to break the double o
situation even more so than what we did on Maine and it took us several
months to do that. And that was constant daily working. I guess we
should explain exactly what Old Main# is that we're talking' about. Old
Main is a building on the campus of Pembroke State University that
represents the first and the only four year college which conferred degrees
upon Indians and was established for Indians only1in this country.
So we felt like that, this building was very definitely a part of our
heritage, our culture, our very being and our very beginning, uh, not only
for us but for Indians across the country, And Qld Mairg was doomed to be
demolished in order to replace it with a new art center. And so for seven
hard months we carried on a fight to preserve Old Mait so that she may
once again return to her rightful place. She is uh, part of our culture.
B: Of course we know there were many victories along the way and some
disappointments and so on. I've always wanted to ask you Janie, what do
you consider to be the most spectacular success uh, during the Old Mainp
L: Gee, I guess um, I guess really the most spectacular sue, success would
be the uh, uh, that's a hard one I guess more or less
it would probably be, another first for the Lumbee Indian people was
when we went to the State Democratic Convention. We had a resolution
presented to save Old Maine on the floor and it was passed and-_irttn in-
to the party platform. This is something that we had never tried to
do and we worked very hard and diligently, Brenda Brooks and myself
to get the resolution even on the floor was just almost an impossibility
but we did manage to do that and get it to b nZila1 rY ____F
party platform or resolution.
B: I"m sure you did better than men could have done because uh you, you
girls uh, make a great team and uh of course she's speaking of Mrs.
Brenda Maynor who is uh....
L: No. it's Brenda Brooks.
B: Sorry. Mrs. Brenda Brooks who is uh also on the, the interview team.
L: Correct. Uh, you know I guess the very reason that we were able to do that
when we was lobbying with people and they saw how determined and how
convinced and how much it really meant to us and how caught up in the
whole thing we were, and he would say to us, "Oh, you really want to
save that building don't you, I can't go against you, you know.
I can't get over anybody being so uh fond about a building you know.
And they said uh il4, you know, you're really fond of that and, and
once they saw determination and enthusiasm, theylsaid Wk1b we just can't
uh rat support yJu anymore and uh....
B: Once I remember that an associated press reporter caught you uh approaching
a democratic candidate for governor. Uh, was th, was this uh....
L: Pat Taylor.
B: Uh hmmmm.
L: Uh, I met Pat, Pat Taylor down at f[iiCO town house, merely by
accident, I didn't know he was to be there that day and I walked up
toward him and said, "Well I am Janie Maynor Locklear and I want to
save Ld Main#" and uh there was an AP reporter there at the time
and he said to me um that he would see that I got to meet with the
Council of State d /!4 WO at its next meeting in order to
present our case.
B: Maybe we should explain that Pat Taylor was a member of the Council of
State at that time.
L: Right, Pat Taylor at that time and will be until January the Lieutenant
Governor of North Carolina. Of coursethis press release ame out
over the state about the confrontation iff7 7 at that time.
He wanted to know how he could help and I said well you're on the Council
of State ,,-,:-f and how about letting us meet with them because before
we had been ignored by thehI 4 V4 Council of State.
B: And they didn't let us uh present our case as we thought, did they?
L: No. None, I haven't heard from Mr. Taylor since that day. But uh, I did
speak to him on one other occasion and he did tell me at the uh convention,
that they had not met yet that he, he remembered hic promise and would keep
it. But shortly after that the Pembroke State University Board of, Local
Boad of Trustees met and decided to build their art center somewhere else
-but I guess we found-a need for pursuing the matter.
B: And so where do we stand now Janie in the, in the matter of uh restoration
L; At present the North Carolina History and Archives Department uh wrote to
Mr. Barton and myself stating that when the building becomes fifty years
old in 1973 that in January they will re, uh, have no reason to believe
that they cannot reccommend it to be placed on the national uh list of historic
sites and places. Uh, this will more or less help up to prevent any future
destruction because um once it's placed on this list uh certain procedures
have to be followed before a building or, uh, or sign on this place can
be demolished or, or changed in any way of manner. Um, at present the
administration is kmocrat and Ct / V1tl / the people of
North Carolina elected Jim Holdhouser governor and uh Mr. Holhouser is the
first Republican to hold that seat within, in the past seventy years they
have been under Democratic control. Mr. Hol house was one of the first
politicians to come out and support saving Old Main1. We've talked.to
members of our legislative Gengrss who have told us that they will be
wil, willing to present it to the legislature to uh gain funds for the
restoration of Ld Maine and I feel like between Mr. Holthouser and
the Legislative 44igags that we will be able now to get funds for the
B: Uh, Janie, I believe it was right here that uh Governor elect Ho lhouser
began his campaign and ended his campaign, isn't that right?
L: Right. Uh, Jim Holdhouser uh came to Lumbee Day what year was that?
L: ... 1970.
B: July fourth.
L: July fourth, correct. Um, Lumbee Day is uh a homecoming day that the
Lumbee Indian.people have and it's always help on July fourth with a big
parade, uh, Indian festivities and celebration and Mr. Holjhouser was here
in 1970. And at that time he, he spoke to the group and told us
the Indian people of uh, the state of North Carolina and apy ____to
you all. Uh, we really needed a two-party system in order to make accomplishments
and to get things done because we at the State of North Carolina had been under
a one-party rule for so long. Mr. HoAlhouser returned to Pembroke, North
Carolina uh about four days before election day. Uh, he had a rally at the
station in Pembroke where approximately two thousand people attended.
B: Oh, that was a gala occasion, wasn't it?
L: Right, it was very gala in the fact that so many of the Indian people came
out to see Mr. Hol house and at that time Dennis Banks of the American
Indian Movement was in Pembroke. And uh, Dennis said he didn't traditionally
endorse political candidates because they had always lied to the Indians,
but if he. were going to 10d it would be a man like
B: Did-'t you see, didn't you think that was very colorful, the, the Indian
dances and like you know....
L: I know.
B: .... drum beating and all that, all the....
cx Verj v S <\K& "t\\A -
L: Really, pa-u you ncd a situation for a political rally- / .
Probably a first.
B: Probably a first in the nation uh, uh, uh, when so many people come out
in,,in full Indian dress and do full Indian dances and chants and, and that
sort of thing and everybody stood, didn't they?
L: Right.. Correct. It was like, really uh, almost wildly enthusiastic crowd
B: And they stood from that mo, from that moment to the end of the rally, I
L: Ritht. Correct. That was just a tremendous occasion.
L: When M) my dad CS 0Ec,h registrar of the Pembroke
precinct and the uh, the republican party's effort to help us with OLd
Maint was quite evident in our election. But previously, um, the re-
publican candidate in 1968, Mr. Jim Gardner, received, I think it was
somewhere around 180 votes out of the Pembroke precinct. Um, and Jim
Hol/houser this year uh received 491, almost 500 votes to Lt the ball
to the democratic candidate, 0i, received approximately 150 more than
he did. And uh, Doug (?) Scott, in '68 received 815, he was the democratic
candidate and now the present governor so the Pembroke precinct has
traditionally been a democratic uh, precinct and uh most of the votes
always went to the democratic candidate.
B: You think the ice-is.broke 4Bt now that we will definitely have a two-
L: Very definitely. I think it's going to be quite evident that uh, the
Indian people will be turning to the Republican Party.n fact I had
uh a man come by my house yesterday to change his registration...
B: Uh hmm....
L: ... to Apublican.
B: That's great. I think where there's competition you always get better
service af i .....
L: A 7- Ua- Indian people have always been ignored
politically. They've been loyal democrats for years and years and years and
uh, they were ignored and taken for granted that their votes were sewed
up. And it was so evident to us AFrV-\ 1- lave Old Maint
campaign was that the mocratic party just almost turned its back on
us when uh, the Rob/son County Democratic Executive Committee refused
to call the committee together to um have a take a vote on the (ld
Main9 issue but of course they kept saying it was not a political issue
but the Robfson County Republican Committee immediately called their group
together and after. the North Carolina Young Republican passed a resolution
at their state convention long before the )mocratic party would ever have
anything to do with the save ld Maine issue. I think, one uniqueness
however about the whole save old Maine movement was the uh, unity that was
created amongst other Indian people in the countryO The National Congress
of American Indianswhich is the largest and oldest Indian organization
in the country9 It's executive director, Leo A S-tm 'came out in support
of saving the building. The National Indian Education Association also
did the same thing. The United Native Americans uh, which is a California
originated group came out in support of saving the building. And Donna
Harris who is president of urn, Indian AmericanS' -a Opportunity
came out in support of saving the building. Uh, Grace Thorp#who is the
daughter of-Jim.Thori, the athlete, um, wrote in support of saving the
building. So this is um, a building that any people across the country
were interested in, not just the Indians here in Rob/son County or the
Lumbee Indian people, but it was a joint effort by every Indian organization
and the other Indian groups to uh, support the state of North Carolina
to preserve I _....
B: Uh hmm.
L: So, there were articles C /t Uh, there
was uh a New York Times story done on the movement. Uh, there was
a letter from Leonard Garment who is special assistant to the president
on minority affairs in support of saving the building. But he told
Governor Scott that they did not wish to interfere on what is a state
matter. But they would uh, were very pleased on uh, in the efforts to
preserve the building.
B: And of course this had its effect, didn't it, I mean?
L: Correct, uh, we felt like it definitely had effect on the uh, the stt:
leaders. I think the one thing that really turned the tide was that the
accounts of statements, sometime in February;of 1972, made their decision
to go ahead with the demolition. Two law J* professors from the University
of North Carolina Law School parey Necarol and Thomas Shengbaum.
B: We'd better spell those names.
1: You might better spell thembut I don't think I can go with Shengbaum.
L: Can you?
B: Oh, well, we'll get to them at the end of the tape how, as a note, how
L: Okay. Um, these two law professors came down to Pembroke and held a
press conference and uh, and at that times told the state of North
Carolina that they were asking them to follow the law that had been
ignored, the North Carolina Environmental Policy Act and uh, National
Environmental, Federal Environmental Policy Act because ndfone -C
study had been done on the demolition and the decision was made before
an impact study had been filed. So, they held a press conference
asking the state of North Carolina to comply with the law and if they
didn't an injunction would be filed immediately to stop the destruction.
B: Um hmm. So uh, uh, the state in effect had, had not only broken the
Federal law but had broken its own law, hadn't it?
L: Right, correct. Uh, it had really ignored the I at that time
in, at present, at present the Attorney General, Robert Morgan uh was
a member of the Council of State and I'm sure that he was aware that
North Carolina had passed the Environmental Policy Act which included
historic preservation in the year 1970. So, uh, he just chose to ignore
B: The same way he chose to ignore the civil rights meeting?
L: Right. He, he refused to attend the um civil rights hearing that was
held by the North Carolina committee on evill ights uh and they study
Lumbee Indians employmen6and political participation. Uh, also during
our controversy a great asset was um, the republican candidate for
Attorney General, Nick Smith and Nick wrote and held a press conference
um, stating how absurd it was for the Attor-ney General to ignore the
'LN ^[!S of the law that that was his job to see that the state did
not get in hot water about the situation and Nick is a laywer he is
also a professor at um, at Duke University where he teachesanthropology.
Um, Nick was very helpful in our efforts to save Old MaiVn, not only
giving us legal advice and consenting to be the attorney at record in
case,'the case had to go into court. But he also had a group sponsor
effort at Duke University where he collected uh, carried on a ca,
petition drive and received about uh, 1400 signatures I think along
with um, Presidential candidate jerry Sanford who is a former
governor of North Carolina and is presently president of Duke University.
B: Well Sanie, he certainly proved Nick has, Nick Smith has certainly
proved to be a great friend the Lumbee Indians 1 .
L: Very definitely. Um, um, it didn't matter what time of the night
or:-day that I called to ask for advice um, he would alw as cope
through VAjL and um Darey Neearol and Tom Shengbaum were
D&7t1 C (2 T 1P/?
also very, very helpful and um Darey Necarol went before the North
Carolina Legal b1f jtFC-Fund and asked him to foot any litigation
t *' in case the case had to go into court and several of
us, a delegation of ts went to check, you know, to meet with their
14 D ?
defense fund and they consented to do this and ;um, Darey Necarol has
also consented to give us assistance and uh, legal help l r A( 0 /C "
doCVI/C Vo 0 A C case.
B: Janie wasn't it great encouragement when uh, white friends came in,
when we found that we really had some, some great white friends
in this strange state where we'd ... been isolated in so many ways
for so long...
L: Right, it was really amazing4 L) I was calling around the state trying
to get some legal advice and had written several letters and um,
I 've forgotten exactly now what organization I was talking to
but I know the organization gave me Darey Necarol's telephone
number and asked me to call him. They thought perhaps he might
be interested uh at that time he was president of the North Car...
of his local chapter of our civil liberties union. So I called
Darey and um, he was immediately interested and said he uh, hoped
that something can be done and he would talk to some friends of his
and gett back to me the next day and he did do this and offered us his
services, the three of them, Darey Necarol and Tom Shengbaum and Nick
Smith offered us and did give us their services free of charge.
B: And that was certainly a formidable team of lawyers, wasn't it?
L: Oh, very great, very great in fact I think that's really what changed
the of the w'ole movement is the fact that uh, the Council of
State had ignored the whole ...
B: Uh, Janie, do you think one of the reasons we felt the way we did about
it is, is because uh, we've been criticized so long as- people who didn't
care about education and uh, here we were the first people to -nh uh
you know to award degrees, had this building and yet the state was ready
to uh demolish it without any consideration for the Indian,
L: Dr iq\iirq!i Also I think one thing that caused us to feel this
way is that Pembroke State University wo-1lld rather hav less than ten percent
Indian there. You know that was established -fiA ."f the government .
It has lost its In, Indian identity and seems to desire downward trend
as far as t 'l^ >V lf> goes about the University. And we felt like this
was one of the main things there that we could hold on, hold on-po and um,
old Maine as my mother can very well tell, tell you was um the first brick
building amongst the Indian people. And it's something that the Indian
people have always held in pride in the school itself and now the whole
university has lost its Indian identity and tries very hard to disassociate
itself with the Indian.
B: Um hmm...
L: ... which I feel is directly uh directed by the administration at P.S.U.
B: Um hmm. We know that uh a rapport between P.S.U. and the Indian community
is definitely lacking Janie....
B: ... what do you think we could do on both sides ) ta- ___ ?
L: Uh, I feel like there's been a total divorcement between the Pembroke State
University and the community, And I feel I can tell the administration why
that the Indianness about the school is not a stigma as tkey-em quite
that tAhe "
Um, I just don't know what can be done to help. Um, I, I
feel that very definitely we should try to have someif4 4e e but uh, I
don't think f I/ lkf''/ "L/K "/ '/ r te
B: Um hmm. Uh, I've talked to some of the students on campus and they, some,
a few students had talake to me and they are definitely interested in
trying to establish rapport between the university and the Indian community.
And they, some of them say they don't quite know how to go about this and
they quote professors 0 two were saying that they're not sure just how to
go about this or whether their efforts .would be- 44f'i._C..
L: Right, um, you see it's such a dictatorship up there and that's the only way
I know to describe ituum anybody who mixes in there ft O0) to' loses his
job. Um, it's just no good to associate with the Indian people and the
professors there are told upon coming to Pembroke State University,* you don't
live in Pembroke you live in Lumberton and um ...... until there's a change
of heart and there has been evidence that a few things are beginning to look
hopeful, until there's a, a change of heart I really um don't see what can
B: Um hmm. Do you think there's some willingness on both sides?
L; Well I know I .... I, I feel like our side is definitely willing because um,
as I stated previously it is something the school itself was something that
we ggFhold pride in.,.
B: Um hmm...
L: Well, uh at the same time I think we've become sort of bitter because of um,
the way the Indian people have been treated and uh the way they've tried to
destroy the school's Indian identity and um, I, I have seen evidence um
Svfta 1- r V>
in the last couple of months of um -hm- tigi willingness to communicate
c-y1 the issue and I hope they will continue to pursue it and I'm
sure we will be receptive to any type of correlation that we might be
interested in following.
B: Do you think the uh the new Republican Governor will uh open up opportunities,
I mean just the fact that the administration, state administration
L: _____ ) whether Jim Holdhauser can open up that much himself
because he comes from a Democratic Legislature I don't know but I think
it will open doors because P.S.U. uh.traditionally supported democratic
candidates and they did in the past election and uh I feel like they will
have to work with the Indian people in the community who did support the
Republican candidate in order to, for it to be to P.S.U.'s advantage
um, financially and every other way. So, and uh, I feel like uh this will
be some type of negotiation L \A ...
B: Um hmm... Janie, there seems to be a reluctance on the part of our Indian
teachersrwr me fear to uh, identify themselves with uh, uh, any candidate
who is unpopular to the uh power structure. Do you, is, do you think
I'm phrasing that question correctly?
L: Yes, I think that's, well in fact there's a general feeling um on every
issue you might think of as far as the teachers um go. They, they just
have a +0Iuss fear of losing their jobs or being pressured by the um
public school system, if they buck the system or do not concur with the
system's thoughts and uh I think this stems back, way back to the day
when Indian teachers did lose their job if they spoke up and they di
lose their jobs if they did things that the um people in power didn't
i / -- lightly o and uh I feel that um they're still carrying this
fear and I don't know whether it's really necessary today because I don't
think they can go around firing teachers like they have in the past but
I think this fear has been instilled into, to them. And this is their
very basic economy and um their very basis of survival and they feel like
um, if they don't walk a straight line and keep their job then their
family will, will. lacking.
B: Yes, I, I know myself that on the night that Jim Holfshauser concluded his
political campaign in Pembroke, a teacher called me up and wept on the
telephone and said, Lou, I've been forbidden to go to that Republican
rally and I want to go. If you uh weriI, ..., what would you do and I said,
knowing this power structure like I do and you want to continue teaching and
you being you, I would suggest that you not give into it. If it had been
myself, of course, I would have gone, but uh....
L: Uh hmm...
B: I'm not in the system and uh so uh if there were two different things...
B: ... uh so uh, it, this is very in... unfortunate, do you know what we
could do to sort of remedy this. It, it seems that there should be
something that, that you could do..... because we know this is very
L: Well I feel like the first thing's gonna have to be done is to ae this
Indian teacher that they do not have to yield to these type pressures
and carry this fear and the very first one that is affected, we need to
show the Indian people that there are free legal services in the state
of North Carolina and that the thing can be taken into court and won.
B: Um hmm...
L: -... and we need somebody that will stick their neck out far enough to
make an example then to show other Indian teachers that this fear is
not really necessary.
B: Um hmm... It seems that uh, uh, Young H. Island, who is the County
Superintendent, is very unpopular F.t the moment. Uh, do you think
L: At themoment, #e's always been unpopular amongst the Indian people.
B: Ha, ha.
L: ... he's the ___ he has depressed the Indian people I guess
more than any other man that's now in because he has run the schools
in such a situation and such a shape that uh children are not responsive
to the schools and they're not getting the education they should be getting.
They're not being taught any pride in themselves, they're being taught that
uh, the Indian people are second class citizens and we have teachers that are
afraid to speak. Uh, this carries on to your young.
B: Uh hmm. Do you think um there might be political pressure that could be
brought to bear on him so we'd get a little bit better service or
do you consider him a lost case?
L: lAfi the best thing I see for Young Island is to get rid of him.
B: Ha, ha, ha....
L: ... I don't see any point in trying to bring in pressure or anything. I
think they need to break double votin' and he needs to be fired.
B: Well that's...I guess I'll have to echo a name into that myself, Janie.
I don't have to but I'd like to. We certainly have had trouble under him
Ag$t i i tt (j r Uh, how long do you think it will take before
uh, we do have a, a better school system in Robson County?
L: Gee, I you know, I....
B: That's a big question..
L: Right, I so....
B: Do, do you recall in 1964 when Dr. Herbert Oxendine volunteered his services
to try to bridge the gap between our schools and admission at P.S.U. and
uh, they wouldn't even accept him agwith a Ph.D. degree and, and installed
an M.A. degree iastead.
L: Right. He was seeking principalship of um, at that time Pembroke High
School and uh the Robjison County Board of Education refused to hire Dr.
cst, e-' i -
Oxendine and uh hired Oxendine instead who only has an M.A.
degree........ ..... need a person that would uh sit quietly and uh
takin' in the dictates of the School Board and the School Administration
and thereby his application was refused even though there was a great
controversy and, and great support in the community for him getting the
position. And Dr. Oxendine has always been a friend tb, all, was...
was always a friend to all of us uh, he died suddenly of a heart attack
in 1967, was it?
B: Um hmm. I believe it was '67.
L: I believe it was early '67.
B: Uh, he's certainly been sorely missed s'2'fi in so many ways.
L: fcJ' fff was, it was November of '66 when, uh, Doc Oxendine
died and uh he was C /Ic ft amongst our people and he was at Pembroke
State University and was willing' to take the cut inf salary.t and
pay in order to help his own people. And I think um, the thing
that, there is a building now at Pembroke State University that was
named after him. Also one that was named after Dr. Amish B. Jones iet 2
And I feel like uh, the difference in the statements that appeared
in the paper was the fact that it was stated that Dr. Jones,... Dr.
Oxendine's death and... to the Indian community was such a shock and that
he will always be missed because he was always willing' to go to bat, not
only for Pembroke State University, but for his people.
B: And that couldn't be very well stated about the other man, you think?
L: No, I don't think so.
E: That's kind of putting you on the spot though, isn't it?
L: Well, not really. I, I think we all know that during the Rd Mainp
situation that Doctor Amish Jones was opposed to saving the building
and he was opposed to listening to thepax-ei44-eia-community and
finding out what they wanted.
B: Uh hmm.
L: A uh, thi-s history the fact that he took this stand and as Leo
tthos was quoted as saying in speech at the Save Old Maing Day,
or Save Old ainf Rally which was held in March here in Pembroke. Leo
...tair as I said earlier was the executive Director of the National
Congress of American Indians. He stated that Indians all over the
country were wondering about Dr. Jones and why he did not come to
the aid of his people.
B: Uh hmm.
L: And they also stated that um, one thing about Indian people...to... one
way that you could tell about the Indian people, the leaders, is uh,
they're judged by the mark that they have left upon their people.
B: Um hmm... Uh, do you think this uh kind of hurt his image in this
L: Oh, very definitely. Uh, he was looked at as being a leader of the
community and uh, uh, I'm quite sure that most people, myself included,
had Dr. Jones on a pedstal and I thought he was really a, a advocate
Being in Car ton ana oved the Indian people. But, uh, myself
included uh, he did not turn out to be the man that I had always
learned and was taught to / CV- .
B: I know Shakespeare said some men are born great, some men achieve
greatness, some men have greatness thrust upon them. Uh, which one of
those categories would you put him in?
L: Well I guess it was thrust upon him.
B: Oh, um,...
L: .... Zt you know....
B: ... you sure have problems....
L: ... Dr. Jones was in a position.... uh... I'm, I'm sure he had pressures
from the white supremacy advocates in the county and the people who w-ef
uh, controlling the university and so forth, uh, for irtance, Earl Britt.
He has been elected to the North Carolina Super () Board to represent, um,
Pembroke State University which is a new consolidated board that governs
um, the universities in the state of North Carolina, 31...32 universities.
Um, W. Earl Britt, from Fairmont, North Carolina, a white man was self-
elected to that position and he was in a, was very much opposed to savin
Od Maine and he was chairman of the Democratic Party at that time and would
not call the executive committee together. Uh, I'm sure Dr. Jones
had pressures from people like this but uh, no- man could pressure me
to take the side against my people.
B: Uh, Janie, I read in the paper recently that he had had a promotion uh
in the consolidated university of North Carolina. In the light of
his action and his unpopularity in this particular area, I wonder
how they were able to swing this.
L: YCu know, I really don't know. His term runs until 1979 but if I'4
livin', I sure hope he's doesn't be re-elected to that position.
B: That is a long time.
L: Right. This is awful that they'd put a person in a position for that
B: Well it seems that ....
L: Can't understand it,
B: ... he's put in that position because of his stand, because of this very
thing, would you think?
L: Possibly. Very possibly, yeah.
B: Well, Pembroke State University, just a few months ago, has become a part
of the consolidated university of North Carolina and uh, do you think this
will make any difference in the way that Indian students are treated, Janie?...
or can you ....
L: That very possibly, but you know, de, the whole thing just disturbs me.
I think it should have been the last predominantly Indian right. Uh,
several state universities are less predomineant-y white instead of um,
giving it all to the white man, that was ours, and uh, uh, uh,
I'm bitter that it's not ours any longer and I think that the new
consolidated board should do something if it's to put a Indian college
within the University itself, not a separate college but a college
within the walls of Pembroke State University that is a Indian college.
And, and I hope and pray and I... that the new super board will put more
favor into the 30,000 Lumbee Indians that live here in, uh...in, around
Pembroke State University and, and will see that we have our own
special needs and that the university should have special obligations
to the Indian people. And uh, I hope that new cosolidated board will
be able to see this and do something about it.
B: Uh hmm. Well I've heard it said that we have only three Indian professors
at P.S.U. now....... uh..
L; I think there's about eight_
B: .... about eight.
L: Uh hmm...
B: Uh hmm. They must have added some since I interviewed the other person.
L: Yeah. I think therets about eight now.
B: But uh, Janie, do you, can you think of some people that we do have that
are qualified um, professors... .ioe.uh, I mean college professors that we
might be able to use if um we could get them placed here, um?
L: Well, yourself for one, a very learned and knowledgeable scholar.
B: Well you're very flattering.
L: ... about Lumbee Indian people and uh also in the English language and uh
I feel like um, there are many Indian people who are working in the
"public school systems that have masters degrees that have tried to go to
Pembroke State University. Dr. Walt Maynor presently had the, the application
at Pembroke State University, whether he'll be hired or not I don't know but
I would like to see him go there because he has some very definite ideals
about a Indian college within the University and he has very definite
ideals about federally funded programs that can be obtained um, for
the Indian people in order to change the status of the university
in it, the way it looks at the Indian community. So, I feel very
definitely that he would be an asset if uh Pembroke State University
would consider uh giving him a position there.
B: Uh hu. Janie did not the &Ivil L, administrationn invite P.S.U. to
come and give an account of its... practice, hiring practices?
L: Right, the um...
B: ... at the recent hearing.
L: P.S.U., the civil rights commission invited Dr, Amish B. Jones to
attend but he did not see fit to attend so he sent his business manager
Mr. Bill Mason and uh his Dean of Student Affairs, Mr. James B. Chavis
who is himself with the Lumbee and during that conversation uh it came
out that um, Mr. Chavis was quoted as saying um, I'm sure, and he was
talking about special responsibilities and obligations to the Indian
committee, community when he was asked if Pembroke State University
has any, he said uh, I'm sure that there are some but don't ask me what
they are I right now I can't think of any
they are, I, right now I can't think of any.
B: Ha,ha. Well they uh, uh I understand that the records uh don't show anybody
by race but you can go there if you know who's what and ....
L: Right. And I think Mr, Chavis was.quoted aasaying that this year they
are compiling racial figures where they had not been doin' it in the past.
B: And that's certainly news because last year when I tried to get information
there not even the, not even the propaganda had-ftew. cQ
L: Right. Perhaps we could get that information now since the records should
be compiled but j, did state at the civil rights hearing that they
were being compiled at that time.
B: Janie we know that many colleges and universities are very happy to have
Indians and that they do have an active recruiting program and that they
offer scholarships and other inducements Is P.S.U. doing anything
like this for the Lumbee?
L: Oh, very definitely not. It's not doing anything special for the Lumbee
B: Umm. Do you think uh, we would have a chance if we made a proposal to
the P.S.U. administration suggesting that they follow some of these ex..
L: Well I, I made a proposal at the Pembroke State University Alumni
Association meeting on April first of this year which included that.
Um, my motions were tabled.
B: They wouldn't even talk about it.
L: Did not care to discuss it ,.'^/ 7 But I hope at the December meeting
we will be able to resubmit those points.
B: Well maybe the atmosphere, well we know it's changed somewhat, uh, do you
think we'll have a better chance now of uh...
L: Probably. Yeah.
B: ... getting these thingss considered? That's good. Well uh, uh, what are some
of the other sayings you've uh found in the Indian community that....
L: Well, I think one thing...,
B: ... needs saying.
L: ... that was really a first for ps was our activities politically uh where
we went to the uh local Robpson County Democratic Convention. Uh, we tried
very hard to get a Indian seated as chairman of the party but when it were
voted down again by the whites and were unable to do that. We've never
had a Indian or a Black as chairman of the Democratic party in this
county but we were successful in getting a delegate to the national
convention in Miami, a Indian, Lumbee Indian delegateMr. Adolph Dial)
iP represented Robison County or uh this congressional district at the
Miami convention. And also John Robert Jones who is a brother-in-law
of Mr. Dial represented the Republican party at the Republican National
Convention in Miami. So these were really two firsts um from our people.
B: I guess that's great, Uh well did you think uh theNave ld Mainpmovement
precipitated these others.
L: Right. I very definitely feel that the Save ,Id Main# movement was
not only important to but it was an effort to bring our
people together to make our people responsive to the point that....
B: .... I wanna borrow one of your cigarettes,
L: the workers, there were people in the community that would speak up and uh
join together with us in our fight and this is something that had not
happened since Henry Barry Lowry days, I guess. Only the other time
was during the Klu Klux Clan rally which was
was during the Klu Klux Clan rally which was Robson
County by the Lumbee Indians in 19, what year was that Lew?
L: 1958. Um, and I feel like this was a rally initialled for our people and
this is why it was so very definitely important that we would C5e.+ 7 rCe 6
and all the other desires and efforts for change have been brought about
because of the efforts to dave 9d Main@.
B: Right. Well it's uh, certainly encouraging uh I wanna ask you a real
pore'y question now if I may?
L: f .
B: ... and that's about uh the attitude of our people, um, militancy and um
some of the things that happened recently in Washington. Uh.
L: I think the general attitude is um more for peaceful demonstrations
to bring about change but I don't think the Lumbee Indian people in
general look kindly on violence. I am sure that violence sometimes,
uh, a person can be a victim of violence and uh, this happens sometime
when people are seeking change and I understand how people can Lt "-'
.CCC\t- frustrated to the point to turn to violence because I, myself,
and the Lumbee Indian people share the same type of frustration. But
I feel like we've uh, like uh, and it's very evident through @ld Maine
that things can be done to bring about change without violence.
L: And we feel like this is the way that change needs to be sought peacefully.
B: Well we proved then that the system does work, didn't we?
L: Correct. Uh, we definitely.....
B: That's very encouraging, isn't it?
L: Yeah, I guess it is uh, w..w..we did prove that things can be changed if it's
done in the right manner and channelled peacefully and there were peaceful
demonstrations but uh at all times you must be in control towhen/
violence will erupt because I think it turns sentiment against you.
B: Yes, that's, that's the unfortunate part of it, I'm afraid. Um, do you think
the same thing perhaps is happening to us that happened in the Black
movement, you know, when uh uh, Reverend Martin Luther King who was an
advocate of non-violence for so long and eventually uh, the Black people
got their spread and uh, there were many sad things hap, which happened
in Watts, California.
L: Right, correct. I think it's very dUSM similar to the same situation
and I think um, eventually, or probably now we will have the same
equivalent in, in, militancy as to the Black, Black Panthers in Indi -
American Indian uh, amongst the American Indian people in this county uh,
uh, in this country.
B: Uh hmm.Well I certainly hope we don't have any more violence or anybody
going into Washington 'n taking over the B.I.A. building.
L: Now I, I really don't feel like the takeover was wrong, I think that was
just and I think they had cause to do that. But I cannot condone the uh
destruction that took place there. I really see no need for that because
I feel like in, in that _C_-"' they hurt nobody but Indian people because
it was their records that were f and, and it were, was their records
and documents and proposals that were destroyed.
B: Yes, this is very sad, isn't it?
L: Very much so. But a, again you look back at Watts and you look back at
Washington and, and when the Black people became militant and begin to
destroy and uh became violent, it was their own neighborhoods that were
B: And this is the strange part of it, isn't it?
L: Right, very much so.
B: The tragic part of it. Uh, do you think uh, uh, the Indian movement will
suffer because of this as the Black community suffered uh, because of uh,
L: Yes. I, I, I think some politicians and some people in power will hold this
against the Indian people, not all but some.
B: Um hmm. Well, Janie, uh, you go ahead and discuss anything you like and
L: Well I hope this is uh, I 4' we pretty well covered just about
everything uh other than the fact that uh I am personally a person
that desires to see changes made, in fact I'm determined to see changes
made. And uh, I hope that when I am old and dead and gone that uh,
people will be able to look at me as for what I've done for my people.
B: I'm sure they will, Janie. Uh, there's one thing I want to say about
you, and see if you agree with me as to your self, uh, you strike me as
being different from the militant type person uh who uh is always
engaged in confrontations and this sort of thing. You do work always,
or at least nearly always through the system and you have been effective
uh, is there any advice you could give other people, Black or Indian,
uh, in the way of encouragement that would uh encourage them totake
advantage of the uh, uh, you know, whatever channels, legal channels
L: Right. I, I, I feel like if a person is determined and dedicated to see
the change be made. Then when one avenue s he must immediately
go to another avenue, rather than asBieribitter to the point to
of destruction, that he, he must continue to try and uh / ." -
uh pretend so to speak in those moments of frustration you just get up
in the morning and start at it again at a different avenue.
B: Right. And what you're saying....
L: You must be quite flexible, you know, what worked one time won't work another
B: Roll with the punches.
L: Right. Right. Very much so
B: Uh, then you're saying, Janie that uh, uh, people should explore all
channels and all avenues uh, and I think this is a good example of that
in theild Maine effort, you know?
L: Right, right, because once you get started into a movement you're always
constantly coming up with another way to attack the problem, you know.
B: Uh hmm.
L: Uh we, we started our local campaign by getting' resolutions from local
groups and then before you knew it we were getting' statements from the
White House and uh you, once you start moving you can always see another
step farther in which you can go.
B: Uh hmm. Uh, we, we worked through legal channels, political channels
through the press, uh through um uh local petitions and ...
L: Right. Right. Local petitions.
B: Everything we could think of.!
L: Right. Just about any way that you can think to help it is what you go do.
B: And doing it all simultaneously ....
B: ... is a good idea?
L: Very much so. Right. Correct.
B: Well, Janie, it certainly has been a delight uh recording this interview
with you. I'm sure that you've added much to the program, the doors to
the American Indian History program and um, I'm certainly delighted with it
and, and delighted with the entire program. I wanna thank you so much
L: Well I'm looking' forward to bein' able to doin' an interviewing' myself.
L: And thank you.
B: Thank you very much.
L: Hmmmmm .....