Title: Interview with Vicky Ransome
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007038/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Vicky Ransome
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Spatial Coverage: Lumbee County (Fla.)
Funding: This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00007038
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location: This interview is part of the 'Lumbee County' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: LUM 48

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Full Text


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and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of

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Lum 48A
Lew Barton
Interviewing Vicky Ransom
typed by amy levenson

B: This is March fourteenth, 1973. I am Lew Barton interviewing for the Doris

Duke Foundation's American Indian Oral History Program under the auspices of

the University of Florida's History DeDartment, Dr. Samuel L. Proctor, director.

With me today I'm very privileged to have Miss Vicky Ransom. Um, I'm not even going

to try to enumerate all her titles. I'm going to ask her because I'm all

excited about this interview myself and I'm sure you'll be delighted to meet

Miss Vicky Ransom. Uh, Vicky, may I call you Vicky?

R: Yes.

B: Good. Uh, that's R-A-N-S-O-M, right?

R: Yes, like money ransom.

B: You're such a lovely person, not only in appearance but your personality is, is

such a lovely thing and, uh, all of us admire you. Uh, your first title was

Miss Lumbee, is that right?

R: Yes, that was my first pagent that I ever entered which was in 1970 and that

sort of gave me a start. And once I got into it I couldn't seem to get out

of travelling and I really enjoyed it.

B: Oh, that's great. We certainly had a great representative and of course you

still represent us in a very great way and we're all very grateful to you because

you've brought a lot of honor to our people and we have a great people. And, uh,

I know you're just as proud of our people as I am. Uh, would you tell us something

about your parents?

R: Well my parents are Mr. and Mrs. Julian Ransom. They, they are also Lumbee Indians

and they've been a native of Pembroke, or Robtson County in... they were born

in Robion County. My father is a purchasing agent at Pembroke State University

and also a Methodist Minister and my mother is a housewife. And I have, uh, the

LUM 48A 2

greatest parents that anyone could ever have. I'm sure that I couldn't have

done as much as I've done if it hadn't been for the support of my parents.

B: Well I'm, I'm certainly glad you you recognize the contribution of your parents.

Sometimes we have a tendency to sort of overlook this but I know they are

boosters for you, supporters and so on. You have so many supporters. And, uh,

what are you doing right now?

R: Right now I'm still in school. I'm a senior at Pembroke State University and I'm

majoring in Sociology. And I had to go out and do my graduate work in guidance


B: Oh, that's great. How many titles do you have Vicky?

R: Would you like for me to name them or would you like....?

B: Enumerate them? Yes, I certainly would. I...

R: Well, like I say before I was Miss Lumbee in 1970. I also represented in

1970 Robtson County as Miss Princess Sawyer. You know, Robtson County is...

has a lot of farm area so Princess Sawyer represents the soy bean crop.

B: Uh huh.

R: Then in 1971, I was Miss Tobacco Festival. And, um, this was also a great chance

for me to travel. I travelled around the state. And also, um, made different

appearances out of the state representing the tobacco, um, industry.

B: Um, wonderful.

R: I was also, um, this past year, elected Miss Young Republican of North Carolina,

which I was really proud of. It gave me a chance to meet a lot of people. I

attended the national convention in Miami this summer.

B: How wonderful.

R: I also attended the governor's inauguration and also the president's inauguration

and I also rode in the president's parade in January.

B: Oh, wonderful.

LUM 48A 3

R: So I really had a real good time.

B: And you've been travelling, haven't you?

R: Yes and I've been enjoying every minute of it.

B: That's wonderful. Um, we're not supposed to ask ladies their age or anything

like that but, uh, if you'd like to tell us your age?

R: I'm twenty years old.

B: Amen. Well you, you certainly have had active years. Uh, were you ever,... were

you a majorette or anything in high school?

R; Well, in high school I always enjoyed playing in the band so I played the

clarinet in the band in junior high and high school. I never was a majorette or

a cheerleader. But I always, um, playing in the band.

B: Um huh. Well that's great. I know that you take on a lot of activities in

school, I mean your work load in school I understand has always been, uh, very

heavy. You never, uh, sort.of, uh, took advantage or anything like that, uh, to

lighten your load or anything like that. I don't know that you could have but

I guess if I'd been in your position maybe I'd been tempted to try. But, uh, uh

we all certainly admire you and, uh, we're all indebted to you, really 'cause

you, you've done so much for so many of us. Um, how about, uh, the many things

that you've gone around and done, I know it's wonderful to be able to, uh,

go to the White House or to the Governor's Mansion and other places like this

but I just wonder, uh, which of these things impressed you the greatest? Uh, do

you remember, do you have memories of any one ocassion above all others?

R: Well Mr. Barton, I've had so many great experiences that I just couldn't

pin point one and say specifically that this was the greatest experience. I

guess one of the most thrilling and inspirational experiences I had was when

I was Miss Lumbee in 1970. Um, I rode in this parade and afterwards this little

girl came up to me and she said, can I ask you, she said, what is Miss Lumbee?

And I explained to her, I said, well Miss Lumbee, I said, I'm a Lumbee Indian

LUM 48A 4

and we pick a princess every year and then they represent the Lumbee Indians.
And she was so excited and she said, well, I've never seen an Indian before.

She said, where's your feathers and your war paint and all this, you know.

But she was so excited that she had met an Indian and I think just to see the

5 i .-C' in her eyes and and to hear her talk and everything, she was so

thrilled with it. I think that was one of the most, uh, inspirational

experiences because it gave me a chance to show someone else something that

they had never known before.

B: Right. And generally people know so little about Indians. Do you find this

a fact?

R: That's right. They have... they have such... they have this stereotype about

Indians and when they see someone who is dressed like they're dressed and

who looks similar to how they look they just can't grasp the thing that they're


B: Yes. I, I uh, remember when I was over at Kings College in Wilkes-Barre,

Pennsylvania offering residence several years ago, they expected me to come

wearing feathers and so on. And I said, you're a little bit disappointed in

me, I know, because I'm not wearing feathers. I say, I'm a little disappointed

in you because you don't know that even Collins Foster hails from this state-

and I do. I was just kidding. Uh, do you get to talk to other young people

a lot? Do people call on you a lot to speak to, uh, groups of young people,

girls and...?

R; Um, I've had the chance of speaking right now since I'm Miss Young Republican

I do get to meet a lot of young people and I talk to them. I go to different,

um, dinners and, um, and this type thing and I do speak and I always mention

the fact that I'am a Lumbee Indian and that I'm proud to be a Lumbee Indian.

B: Right.

R: ... and, um, I do get a chance to, um, speak to them and I get

LUM 48A 5

to hear a lot of their problems. Sometimes we go to meetings and they have

open discussions and it's just like a young person to a young person basis.

We get to sit and talk over different problems. And they... it's funny...

they're always asking me, well... are the young people around your home.. are

they different from other young people? They seem to think maybe that we

have to... different problems than other young people.

B: Right.

R: ... and they're really sort of amazed to find out that the young people, the

Lumbee Indian young people are the same as other young people.

B: Vicky, I'll ask you the inevitable question, what do you think of our

young people? I want to tell you before you answer that, that I'm all for

this generation. I think it's great.

R: Well I think I admire the young people of today 'cause some people may think

they're very liberal or rebellious but yet they have enough spunk in them

to speak up for what they believe in. I feel like after all we're the young...

the adults of tomorrow and if we believe in certain things so strongly we should

be able to feel free to express these ideas and opinions to the older generation.

Whether they accept them or not. And I think... well I don't go along with

certain things that go on but I do think that, um, the young people, they're

sincere about what they believe in and when they tell you that they really

believe in something, you can believe them. Of course like this summer when

I attended the national convention, republican convention in Miami, I was

really surprised because there was so many young people there protesting against,

um, the whole governmental system and here was another set of young people there

really trying to contribute something. And I was thinking' that a lot of people

there's a generation gap between the young people and the older people but yet

there seems to exist a lack of communication or a gap between the young people

LUM 48A 6

themselves. There seems to be, um, some difference of opinion between young


B: Well, do you find this generation gap is pronounced as, as people generally

think it is?

R: I don't... I think people have played it up a little more than it really is.

I don't think that it's as bad as... there might be a generation gap on an

individual basis but I think as a whole there really isn't that much of

a generation gap because I can sit down and talk to my grandparents and we

can discuss issues and they seem to have the same opinion as I have and I

feel like if there was really a generation gap then we would be fighting

and arguing and we would never agree on anything.

B: Well I don't find it myself. I, as poet in residence, uh, here in Winston-

Salem several weeks ago I was very flattered because, uh, the young people

in the high school uh... there... asked me to read some of my love poems to

them... They were unpublished poems that I've never done this before but

they were, um, they were so warm, we did. We read some of them and I just

about trembled wondering what the response would be And they.. they were

just overwhelmed and I don't... I can't get over this... I don't know how

an older person like you understands the way we feel because some of the

poems were definitely on a teen-age level deliberately and, uh, this brought

me no end of pleasure. Because I do, I do believe in young people.

R: But some older people feel like they shouldn't agree with young people. They

sort of feel like they should be different and, um, not think on the same

level you might say. j4//L really young people I guess maybe they get this...

the idea that older people don't understand C 'cause some of the

older people give an impression that they're not supposed tb understand

the young people.

LUM 48A 7

B: Right, I, I believe the, the barrier or if there is a barrier or some kind of

generation gap or whatever... I believe it's bein' broken now. What do you

think about, uh, lowering the voting age?

R: Well I was glad to see that 'cause, um, you know I think eighteen is a good age.

I think when a person reaches eighteen they are mature enough to be able to

accept the responsibilities and I thirkrthey;...one of the responsibilities is

to vote and to decide to choose, uh, a person that they think will be able

to fill the position. I think at eighteen a person is mature enough to make

this decision. And you... I know you've heard people say that if a man

eighteen years old is old enough to go and fight for his country, he should

be able to vote.

B: Right.

R: ... and I agree with this 'cause if he is old enough to have to go over... overseas

and fight for his country then he should be able to have the right to come

over here and vote.

B: Right.

R: So I think that lowering it was a very good thing.

B: Well, our young people are changing the country and, uh, do you think this

is for the better?

R: Well I'm glad to see, um, young people becoming more involved in politics. Like

myself, I haven't been involved in politics too long, maybe about two years but

I'm really glad to see them becoming more involved and they're becoming more

they're able to understand the government more by becoming involved. I know

before I became involved and I would sit back and I really didn't know what

politics was all about and sometimes, uh, maybe, uh, a officials decision

or something I couldn't understand. But once I got involved with it I was more

understanding of their decisions and I think that it is good for young people

to become more involved because some day they will have to take on the responsibility

LUM 48A 8

that the older adults are having today and I think they should have a clear

understanding about it.

B: Right.

R: And involvement is the only way that... or the best way that they... this can

be done.

B: Uh, well you... as you know we have a republican governor elected for the

first time in this century. Uh, you were very pleased about...

R: I was thrilled to death.

B: And of course, Governor Jim- Hiahau er is a friend of yours...

R: Yes.

B: He is a wonderful person. Uh, I'm glad to, to say that I know him and I've always

supported him and I don't usually give public support to anyone particularly.

But he is different somehow. Do you think he.. he is the younger person in

appearance and in so many ways... do you think he identifies with, uh, the

younger group better than most?

R: Definitely I think he does. Uh, he is... well he's in his late thirties and he

does have a real young looking appearance. But, um, like most of his staff is

young people. I think maybe the oldest is around forty or forty-five. He does

have... seem to get along real well with young people. He does seem to understand

them. And he is all for changing things and you know I think, uh, that's one

thing that goes along with young people is change and they....

B: Right.

R: ... and they think that progress involves change and without change you, uh, don't

have progress. And he is really, um, interested in bringing a lot of changes

to the state. I think this is one reason he gets along so well with young

people because he has such a young outlook on, uh, so many different things.

B: That's wonderful. Uh, I think now's a good time to start, uh, well... they've

LUM 48A 9

already started. But if our young people in this state can take a leading

role, uh, with a governor like this then we may be able to lead the nation...

R: Yes I... think so-

B: Uh, I know that, uh, young people always have, uh, pretty much the same kind

of problems. You know we older people have good forgettors. When we get

older we forget that the way we were when we were that age too. This I never

want to do. Uh, for one reason because it would be very unfair to be this way

and, uh, but do you think we... do you think your generation, for example, has

more problems or more complex problems than other generations in the past.

R: I don't think it's a matter of having more problems or the problems are more

complex. I think it's just that the problems are different. Like today, maybe

when you were a.youag boy the drug problem, I'm sure everyone's aware of the

drug problem, especially even around here since we have a university and, um,

it seems to be growing worse. But I think it's not a matter of more problems

it's just that the problems are different and I don't think they're really

more complex.

B: Uh huh. I'm glad you mentioned, uh, the drug problem. Uh, I understand that,

uh, well I never heard of, uh, marijuana floating around, you know in this

county, particularly in the Lumbee River Valley. Uh, we just never heard of that.

Uh, we heard of, uh, bootleg whiskey and that sort of thing and we don't claim

to be better than anybody else but within the past few years, uh, we are

hearing more and more about drugs and I think this is not just a local

problem but a, a national problem. Do you, uh, are you ever called on to

to discuss drugs and the drug problem?

R: Well, in our... in our Sunday School class one day, one Sunday, which I'm

LUM 48A 10

an assistant teacher with the juniors. And one Sunday I was teaching and this

problem came up and that's really the only time I've really had the chance

to discuss drugs on a group basis. Of course I've talked to other young people

on an individual basis. But I like to put in a word every time I get a chance

because I feel like... well if a person wants to do his own thing then I say

well it's his... it's his own thing. But I... I was always the type person

that I always thought that a person had so many things to be happy over

and so many things to be thankful of that they really didn't need anything

extra to, to make them more happy. And I think that, uh, young people think

that this is their solution to all their problems but really I think it's

just adding more to them. And so I... I'm not for drugs and I think there

should be, um, some way to cut down on them. I know that you can't just

eliminate the problem overnight but I think there should be something done

to sort of curb it because it really seems to be getting worse.

B: Uh huh. Well some young people are coming out with, uh, lengthy explanations

and, uh, special studies are being made, uh, you know... attempts are being

made it seems to prove that, uh, pot as it's called is, uh, not really as

harmful as alcohol, for example. I don't know what the scientific facts are

on this but, uh, ....

R: I think it's been proven that marijuana does... does have about the same

effects as alcohol and, um, it's not as dangerous to your health. But the

thing I'm really concerned about is not the ones that use the drugs it's the

ones that sell it. I think this is really the problem 'cause even in our

elementary schools they have... they have access to these drugs and I just

can't see a eighteen or nineteen year old guy goin' up to a first or second

grander and trying' to sell him something which would maybe destroy him later

on in life.

LUM 48A 11

B: That is... that is something to think about. Uh, I talked to one young

person not long ago and uh, the statement that he made to me about marijuana

was... was startling it was so clear cut. Uh, he said although these, uh,

studies have been made and whatever the plus things, if they can be called

that for marijuana, still he says it's too hot and too high.

R: That's a good way to lookat it.

B: In other words it's uh, the law is strictly against it. The penalty is high

the cost of it, uh, maintaining a habit like this. This is a verr costly


R: Well I think it's... you have so much to lose just for a few hours of pleasure

or whatever. 'Cause really you're, uh, you're involving your whole life

in it when you take on the responsibility of drugs.

B: Could we talk about some of the problems closer at home. Uh, for example, well

there are many problems that we have at home. Do you see any changes taking

place within your very short lifetime?

R: I've... yes I say I can see some changes. Uh, living in Robison County, there

are three races, white, black and indian and when I was a young child I was

always told that when you go to a nearby town which is twelve miles away there

was always a restroom for the whites, a restroom for indians and a restroom

for blacks. It was always like just three different people it wasn't like just

one group of people. And I gradually saw this change. People became more

open minded and became more willing to accept the the thing that even though

you are a different color or maybe a little lighter or a little darker you

are a human being. It seems like poeple have become more accepting of

this, And I can see that. I think that's one of the biggest changes and now

since we've had integrated schools and everything.

B:. Well that's wonderful. I... I'm proud to see some changes being made. Um, do

LUM 48A 12

you think, uh, there's something we could do in this county to promote better

human understanding among the three ethnic groups.

R: I think one of the biggest needs is people becoming united in their own race. I'm

sure you're aware as well as I am that even in the Indian race there is some

conflict between the group within themselves and until you become united then

there's really no way how you... that you could solve these problems. I feel

like if each group will come more united within themselves then they will

better be able to unite as one group as a whole, Black, Indian and White.

B: Um, one interviewee said recently that, uh, uh, that he felt that the church

should take a more active part in social problems among our people, do you think

this might be a good solution or a beginning.., of a solution?

R: Right. Right now we have this Robfson County Church and Community Center

which I think is a very good thing. I thin k if the church would become

more involved that it would, um, help solve the problem more.I think that a

person, if they see that people in the church are interested and they are

wanting to improve things then they will really have a more positive attitude

toward helping themselves. And I think that this would be one good way

is really get all fte ministers and all the church people involved.

B: Uh, there's certain social attitudes, uh, perhaps sometimes we might add to

our own lot, you know?... by our own attitudes, uh, we... it's been said that

the Lumbee Indian has a negative attitude toward himself, that his self image

is not, uh, all that it should be and that, uh, he just sometimes doesn't

hope for better things and... do you find this to be true or do you think

we've accepted defeat maybe or....

R: Well I think maybe years back people felt, the Indian people felt doomed.

They were born poor and they felt like they would die poor and they really

didn't feel like there was any need to fight 'cause once they would fight

they would just be defeated again. But now it seems like they're... this

LUM 48A 13

idea is, um, gradually fading away and they're really seeing some hope and they're

really trying... they're really seeing... being encouraged and it seems like now

they're really trying to make something and to really make themselves better.

Such as-.. well like even education among the Lumbee Indians have really taken

a, a turn 'cause I think maybe before education really wasn't stressed as much because

people felt like, well why get an education there's really not any jobs available

or, or anything like this. And I think now that education is being stressed

a lot more and people are really seeing the need of advancement.

B: Uh, you, uh, chose to go to Pembroke State University, uh, and I'm sure you

had good reasons. You could have gone just about anywhere you wanted to. Um,

is this a choice for which you're.... are you glad you made this choice?

R: I'm glad I made this choice and maybe I should tell you some of the reasons

why I chose it. I did.... ell 3 could have gone to other schools. But here

I had lived in Pembroke all my life and here I saw this college grow and at

first it was just ariormal school I think they used to call it. Then it became

"a college where people could get certified and then all of a sudden here it is

"a university. And like I had...

B: Almost unbelievable, isn't it?

R: I know and like I had been around and I had seen it growing and I felt like well...

you know... there's just no telling how... how far it will be able to go 'cause

I... I've just in my short life I've seen it improve so much. And I felt like

that the college did belong to the Indian people. This was their contribution

to, you might say society. And I felt like that I had the chance to go and

to become involved and really maybe contribute something to the college. And

I felt like that it was just as good a college as anywhere else. You know,

I feel like if a person going to college, they... no matter where they go if

they really want to get a good education they're gonna get it no matter how

LUM 48A 14

small or how large the college.

B: Right.

R: It mostly depends on what you put into it yourself. So I made up my mind that

I would go to college in my own home town. And anyway I didn't think that I

could stand to stay away from home... for about three or four years. So I

decided to go and I made up in my mind that I would become involved and let

pe... other people into the college know that ;the Indian people were going

to their own college and really getting involved and wanting to become a part

of it. And I feel like this would be a good way is to go to the college

and take up advantage of all the things that was there.

SB: Well that's certainly, um, an admirable attitude. I've heard the complaint

made that maybe the rapport between the university and... and the community

surrounding... the community wasn't as good as it could be. Um, I'm not asking

you if this is true or... is... whose fault it is or we're not pointing any

fingers or anything like that but, uh, we'd like to approach it on a constructive

basis. If you would like to comment, do you see anything we could do if, if there

is, uh, some lack of rapport to improve, uh, relations on both sides?

R: Well I think at one time the community felt like the people were coming in here

and invading maybe... maybe their privacy or something. I think they felt like

that people were coming in here trying to take over something that they...

that belonged to the people in the community. And I think this'is gradually...

this attitude is gradually changing as the communtiy is becoming more involved

in the university and visa versa... the university becoming involved in the

community. I know right now I'm a member, um, well I'm working on this project

under Social Services which, um, we have community activities but they are

carried on by the people in the university. And like on Saturdays we have

recreation for the young people. Every Saturday they could come down a jII ,

which has a swimming pool and also they're able to play volleyball and

LUM 48A 15

basketball and other sports. And also now we're, um, in the process of

having a senior citizens day in which the older people in the community can

come and see what the young people at the university are doing. Then the

university, um, students can contribute whatever they feel they need to to

the senior citizens to sort of give them a responsibility of being involved

and being a part of, um, the growth of the university. And I think this

is good. I think that, um, the main key to the relationship is more

involvement of both sides, the university and the community. And this

seems to be coming along pretty good.

B: Well that's fine. That's very encouraging. Uh, do you think maybe there

is, uh, a reluctance on the part of, uh, the Indian community to come, uh,

you know, this defeatist attitude, if it does exist, you know, out of

fear of rejection and this sort of thing or, uh, a cold shoulder maybe...

R: I think maybe they at first they have a fear they're the outsiders and, um,

they're coming' into someone else's territory. But really it's not this

way and once you get them there and they see that it isn't this way then...

then there's no turning back. They're really, uh, they're really excited

that they are being accepted in everything. The problem is getting them

there and getting them involved and getting them to see this, that really

you know, they're not the outsiders.

B: Uh huh. Well, uh, this certainly seems to be a... a constructive approach

to,uh, you know, to help people to understand it. Now listen, we're not here

to shur you out. We want you. Uh, and I think something is being done

in this direction and, uh, and I'm very pleased about this. Uh, uh, for

example, recruiting Indians, uh, sometimes it's, well this is nothing

unusual. I mean I know we... I don't know just what the story is... all

the details but I know that P.S.U. does a certain amount of this and, of

course, this is not unlike other institutions and, uh, I'm very pleased

LUM 48A 16

uh, that we are moving in this direction. But don't you think many

of... many of the problems, uh, are just plain growing pains, you know?

R: Well I think that really there wouldn't be any good chance of progress if

you didn't have any problems. I mean that's just um...

B: Right.

R: ...that just goes along with it because if you were trying to, to accomplish

something and you didn't have any problems well there'd be something

definitely lacking. I think like you say the problems are a good sign.

B: I'm certainly very pleased, uh, to see other people come into te

community. Have you, uh, have you noticed an attitude, though,

uh, among some of the students that perhaps they're not welcome in town,

in, or... you know that perhaps we resent them or something. There should

be something on... you know every story has two sides. And, uh, do you think

have you come into contact with, uh, this kind of attitude among the

students and maybe even some professors who come in from other places and

don't know, you know, uh. They're sort of uncertain.

R: Well I think a,,.. a lot of this comes from the thing of hear-say. Before,

naturally before students come to a college they want to know a little

bit about the town and the people around. And I think a lot of 'em have

heard that... that it's just not safe to mingle with the people in the

community because the community people sort of have a resentment

toward the... the students. I know I've had.... I've been talking' to

some students and they'd want to go to a restuarant or someplace and they'll

say, well, will you go with us 'cause maybe they lqJ1/don't feel like they're

welcome. And they're really so uh, thrilled and appreciative when they

do go and the people in the community re... receive them so well. And they

say, well, youknow, they are really are nice and they really don't seem

to resent us being here.

LUM 48A 17

B: Do you think they're actually surprised?

R:- I think definitely they're surprised because they've... they've heard that

they wouldn't be accepted this way and I think that, uh, they're definitely


B: As you and I know, uh, our people are very hospitable people, uh, they're very

friendly, easy going, in spite of, uh, you know, some things, uh, you know

singular things which may point in some other direction. But, uh, I'm just

wondering if, uh, if we had some kind of organization, you know, maybe a

student organization that would focus on... on this sort of thing, you know

acquainting both sides you know, acquainting the community, uh,

of course you have your public information department, um, but sometime,

as you, uh, may be a personal touch in addition to that wouldn't hurt

and maybe, uh, working from both directions, uh,...

R: Well I think one thing that will really make a difference like over on the

campus we're getting this new auditorium which is just fabulous, it's

really beautiful. And after we get this auditorium we will be able to

have things there that both... both the young people on campus and the

community people will be able to enjoy. And I think this will, uh, be

a good chance for both sides to get together and sort of mingle and get to

know each other better because like they'll be functions at both

sides will be able to go to at the same time. And I think this will be one

of the turning points.

B: That's great, uh, this is a fabulous auditorium, isn't it?

R: Yes.

B: Uh, and I'm very proud,um, do you think that the programs will perhaps

then be geared, you know, to appeal to both, you know, ordinary community

people like myself?

R: Well I think this is one of the main objectives. It's not gonna be... it's

LUM 48A 18

gonna be something that just the average, every day run of the mill person

will enjoy. And also I think a lot of them will be free because maybe some

people who would not go because maybe they didn't have the money to come

I think a lot of the things will be free which will be another good aspect

of it so...

B: Uh, Vicky, I, uh, I personally have, uh, initiated a few campaigns and a

few causes and things I consider to be constructive. I try to be constructive

in my approach and so on. I don't know how well I've done in this direction.

But there's uh, uh, one man, uh, who is the father of Pembroke State

University, Hamilton McMillian who is white, who was white and who, uh,

did Lumbee Indian history investigation over a period of about fifty

years and who was a friend of the Lumbee Indinans at a time when they

had few friends. Uh, do you think there would be, now this is my personal

desire. Do you think that there is any possibility that we could initiate

some form of interest that might lead to some type of memorial to him on

campus. I mean among students as well as faculty. I, you know....

R: Well Mr. Barton, I'm glad you mentioned that 'cause a lot of people have

asked me well who really is the founder of Pembroke State University. And

I would say half the student body is not even aware of Mr. McMillfan's fine

work that he did and the founding of Pembroke State University. And I think

maybe if, um, the students were made aware of this that they would be more

than anxious to set up a memorial. I think the only problem would be just

letting them know about this great man who did all these things for the

university. I think that would be most of the... the main problem.

B: I would.... I would personally like to push this cause. I've... I've never

done so, I've always dreamed of doing so and hoped that somebody else would

uh, would go ahead withvit but may I enlist your support in....

LUM 48A 19

R: Yes, I'd be the first one to sign up.

B: Oh, that's great. I appreciate that so much because he was really such a

great human beling as well as a leader and, uh, our people have never had

a greater friend. And, uh, I'm very pleased that, uh, so many people have

had certain honors and I believe that none of then were... was misplaced.

I.believe all these honors were worthy and deserved and I've been happy

about them all but one more, uh, if we could, uh, figure out someway,

some kind of memorial. I don't even know what to suggest. But, uh, I

certainly would appreciate your support in this direction... talking

with students,4 / We don't want to show a lack of gratitude toward

the founder... toward the father of P.S.U., do we?

R: No, that... I think that would really be a good cause, a worthwhile cause

and a much deserved one too. And, uh, I think you wouldn't have much

trouble getting this memorium set up.

B: Well I certainly hope so. I'm wondering if, um, I don't think we'd

have any opposition, do you?

R: No, I don't think so.

B: He UOS most certainly I think everybody recognizes him as a friend

and one ironic thing about his, that he died and left no relatives AJ.

Well, his... all his relatives are dead in his family... passed away, completely

and, uh, I think it would be maybe very worthy, uh, if we could preserve

his memory in some special way, I don't know what. Maybe you young people

can come up with some idea. Um... do you have any pets... uh, do you have

any pet projects which you like t work at? Do you have any, uh, pet public

things you'd like to push?

R: Well, the biggest thing I like to push is I guess, you know, I guess so

many older people hear this but I'd like to see the young people really

become involved in community things. I think this is one of my main

LUM 48A 20

objectives is to see more young people become involved and not just sit

back. I know... I know that everyone isn't a leader but to have a leader

you have to have followers. And I think that more people...young people

should, uh, get involved in community things because they have so many

great ideas and if they would just let these ideas out it would be

really great.

B: Well I... I certainly hope to see more of this too. Uh, is there a way

you could, uh, encourage young people to express themselves more often

publically, say in letters to the editor, whatever their ideas. I know

they do, uh, express themselves and yet not as much as I would like to

see, es... especially in the student newspaper, you know, your letters to

the editor, of course you have some whoppers, don't you? And you have

uh, you have a great variety of ideas which is very healthy and, uh, um

I sort of have a leaning in that direction. Um, could you encourage

expression more. We do... we older people we really need fresh new

ideas and we need, uh, what the youngsters will have.to offer. Maybe

some of us won't admit this but I certainly admit it.

R: Well I know Mr. Barton, when I was younger I always... people would

express their ideas and I would always have my ideas and I would sit

back and they would be... uL.l it'd be different ideas but I'd say

well I can't Q[0 with any of my ideas 'cause I'm younger and what

difference does it make, you know? But then I began to realize

that really I should force my opinion just as well as anyone else.

I should be heard because even though the other person may not agree with

it, it is my opinion and this is... I think this identity thing, you

know, people are always saying that they want to find their identity and

I think this is really one good way is to express themselves publicly.

And I think now, especially in the more young people are seeing

LUM 48A 21

that more other young people are becoming involved and this is giving

them a little aspirational inspiration to, uh, speak oui'and I think this

is really one good thing 'cause they say they see one young person doing

this and they say well, you know, if he can do it then I can do it... why

can't I do it.

B: Right.

R: Then there's this movement, you know, this do your own thing movement which

is... seems to be taking over and I think this is really good because

young people are beginning to see that they have something to contribute too.

B: Right. There was a time... as you know when young people were to be seen

and not heard, sort of. Now all that's changed now and, uh, do you think

our young people on campus are in the full swing of things as other young

people are throughout the country?

R: Oh, in yeas past we've seemed to have a lot of apathy on the campus .....

B: This is de two of the interview whMiss Vicky Ransom. Uh, Vicky, we

were cut off because we ran out of tape and had to turn the tape over. I'm

sorry for the interruption but could you continue, uh, what you were saying

about, uh, apathy on campus?

R: Well like I was saying, Mr. Barton, the apathy isn't as bad as it was

in years past. It seems like the people were are becoming... are seeing

a need for more involvement. And they're doin' more things now since

we have our Student Government Association. This gives a chance for more

students to become involved and not only a select group to... to do just the

things that are done on campus. But it seems like that they're really getting

more involved and it's really good to see all this participation among the


B: That's very encouraging. Uh, do you think the administration encourages, uh,

LUM 48A 22

more participation by the students?

R: Definitely. Because they're... more and more they're giving the students

the chance to make some of the decisions that are made on campus. And they're

always encouraging the students to speak out more. And it's really

admirable of some of the things that have been done as far as, um,students

being able to have some say E% on campus. Like some of the students

have been invited to attend faculty meetings which in the past was unheard

of I guess. And they've also had the chance to go in and speak to

the Chancellor or to the members of the... other deans of the college and

to, uP, give them ideas on what they think should be done.

B: Right.

R: ... to get more involvement.

B: Well as the college... as the university gets larger and larger, of course, um,

it gets more and more involved and, um, of course, um, uh, I imagine this

presents certain problems too, and problems of growth as we mentioned before.

Um, do you think students, uh, will identify themselves more and more

with P.S.U. in spite of, uh, the cummuting situation and....

R: Well I think more and more students are r.ealed to Pembroke State not only

as a place to go and get an education but also a...a place to go and be able

to grow more socially. Like there's such a great chance to meet more people

and different kinds of people from all over the country. And more people are

realizing that there is this opportunity there and they're taking advantage of

it. And before the students only thought of it as a place where you go and

go to classes and that's all, you never took any, uh, you never participated

in any of the activities. More and more people are seeing it differently now.

B: Uh huh. It didn't have the home atmosphere that some universities have, is that


R: Yes that... It sort of had a cold atmosphere. The... some of the students

LUM 48A 23

weren't, um, too friendly and they really didn't know that many people on campus.

But a lot of 'em only knew the people who they rode with if they commuted or

maybe just their roomates. But now more and more people are beginning to

to get to know the other students

B: Right. Is... and as it grows larger and larger, more and more people will

be living on campus and this will make a difference too, won't it?

R: Yes, that definitely will.

B: Well, I'm certainly hopeful that, um, people will... from all over will come

to love the university and identify with it as part of themselves as we

have in the past and, uh, and I hope our own people, here at home, will

also be able to identify with it more and realize that we haven't really lost-

the university at all we're only sharing it and, uh, and... um, if our thing

is better off, uh, because of this arrangement. Uh, I don't know that everybody

would agree with that, do you?

R: I agree with you definitely. I think it's really like you say, it's really

just a sharing process. It's not like somebody coming in and just taking

it over. We're just sort of sharing our university with other people.

B: Right. That's a good t4 }l)I think. Uh, do you have, uh, do you hear

a lot of complaints from students on campus about anything at all?

R: Ths only thing that they really complain about is they're not that many

social activities. Like there's not... we have a dance maybe like once

every two months and they... there's a lot of complaints about there should

be a place on campus where students can go after school or at night and meet

other students ona different level 'cause when you talk to students during

the day it's more... the atmosphere is not the same as if you would meet

them maybe at night or someplace... yeah... someplace to go to meet the

students not only onan academic like level. And I think that's one of the

LUM 48A 24

biggest complaints is um, not enough extra-curricular activities that involve

the whole student body.

B: Th huh. Vicky, we had... have so many things to talk about. I sort of passed

over, uh, a few things... how many brothers and sisters do you have?

R: I have one sister who is fourteen. Her name is Lisa.

B: Uh huh. Just two of you.

R: Just two.

B: Well that's good. You... you weren't uh, the only child and I think this

is always good when, uh, youlknow, there are more than one child.

R: I have someone to share the housework with.

B: Uh, do you get along well together?

R: It's really funny to be such completely different people. We really do

considering. She is tot... totally different. Like I was more the type

to, uh, I was never the athletic type and she is just all athletic. She

loves sports and things like this. And, um, we get along good considering

we're sisters. We have a few fights sometimes but we always seem to /L4CC'tL

B: Well, that's normal. Uh, who was your mother before her marriage?

R: She was, uh, Florence Rebe+s. Her father's name was uh, Lonnie Rebee,

which is, uh, I'd guess you'd say a prominent in the community an-nObN

B: Right.

R: And, uh, she had... well she came from larger family. She had five sis...

four sisters and one brother. Andi she was the oldest so she sort of had

to look after all the other ones.

B: Uh, how about your... your grandfather on your father's side? and your


R: Mr. and Mrs. Ransomv.. they were... well my father was raised, uh,

I think near __ _'_i_ I'm not sure where. And he ca... he also came from

LUM 48A 25

a large family. I think there was about seven or eight of them... I'm not

sure. And they also lived on a arm. And, um, we live about five miles from

them. I really don't get to see them as much as I'd like to.

B: TUh huh. Uh, the trend incidentally is towards smaller and smaller families.

_there many good economic reasons for this \ /o among

other reasons. Uh, do you think that, uh, this should be encouraged... smaller

and smaller families?

R: Well, no. I think... the way I look at it now they're having all these, um,

theories about that the world is overpopulated. And I think back... well

look at the people who had fourteen children. They seemed to get along very

well and they seem to be so happy. I really feel like if, um, two people

feel like they can afford, uh, children and if they can offer them what they

need, the essentials, and can look out for their education, I think they

should be allowed to have 'em an' I don't think that there should be a

set number like every family can't have over two children. I, myself, I've

always thought... I guess it's mostly because I came from a small family that

I would like to have a large family. I'd like to start off with maybe

about six children, you know? But, uh, it seems like more people are getting

this idea that, um, well it seems like just large families have gone out of

style. You don't see that anymore.

B: Uh, do you think the farming situation has changed some of that, or helped

to change it?

R: Well I've seen it change 'cause I've lived on a farm and like when I was

growing up there was not much machinery. The only machines a man... a farmer

had was mostly a tractor or, or a lot of times they just had a... an old

mule, you might call it. But now the machinery has taken over and really it

doesn't take all that much... all that many people to run a farm.

LUM 48A 26

B: Uh huh.

R: I think that's one of the biggest things that it's... it's become so mechanical.

And, um, it really doesn't take all that many outside people to carry on

the things on a farm.

B: Right. That certainly is a factor. Uh, we've... we've had the complaint

from time to time that many of our people or some of our people at least were

leaving the county going elsewhere. Um, for better economic opportunities...

jobs... better jobs and so forth. Uh, does this bother you?

R: In a certain way it bothers me but then I sat down and I thought about it.

What if I were in their shoes and... and I had just graduated from college

and I had an opportunity to go maybe to another city like maybe Raleigh

and... and get a good job for fifteen thousand dollars a year or I could

stay in Robison county and teach school and make about six or seven thousand

dollars a year. And I think that this is one of the main factors when

people for people leaving that the, um, financial status or... particularly

in Robison County, there's really not that many jobs that pay that well.

And I think this is... is one attraction to people who graduate who have

lived here all their lives. They get this... the opportunity to really

go off and... and make a lot of money. Of course, myself, I've always

thought about once I got my masters and everything and all... I'd like to

come back here and contribute something to my people. I feel like that

that's the least I could do. And so I hope that... that my attitude don't

change about this. You know, I don't think it will but it seems like, uh,

more and more people are coming back. I know a lot of 'em do leave and get

good jobs but it seems like more and more of them are coming back for some

reaosn. I don't know whether it's they're getting homesick or or maybe

people think, you know, grass always looks greener on the other side, but

LUM 48A n 27

once you get in the situation it's not what you thought it would be.

B: Uh, I hate to ask you about your love life.

R: It's normal...

B: But how are you in the romance department?

R: It's normal. I'm not attatehed to anyone right now. I mean I'm not... I

don't have any, uh, near marraige plans or anything like that. I'd like to

get married in about four more years I think I'd be ready in about four more


B: Uh, would you encourage other young people to remain single until they get

their education and get really prepared?

R: Well I think this is one very important thing. Of courseyou know as well as

I do that around here -carraige at an early age was the in thing or is the in

thing. I know like all my girlfriends are married, most of them got married

at eighteen. I don't know whether it's... they get married because really

there's not much else to do 'cause there's so little social activity around

here that if you aren't married or aren't going steady or something like

this that there's really not that much to do. But I feel like that I'd have

a lot more to put into a marraige if I had my education completed and didn't

have to worry about that and had a good job to start off with. I think that

um, two people should have a little, um, collateral, you might say, tor start

off with. I think they should sort of have their education over with and be

ready to just take on the responsibility of raising a family and the other things

that go along with a marraige.

B: Yeah. Excuse me. Uh, I seem to have a cold. Uh, I think that..... Vicky,

I was talking to my neice not long ago who was married and she is a registered

nurse and, uh, she she shared your feelings and uh, how do you think we can

get this message across to young people?

LUM 48A 28

R: Well I think one thing that maybe influenced me was uh, if there's more

activities which will involve groups instead of maybe just like on an in-

dividual basis. I think maybe if we had a place like in Pembroke where just,

um, groups of young people could get together then there would... this

tendency would sort of fade away and, um, two people would become less, I

really don't know how to put it. Um, they would be able to share their ideas

with... with other people and they would get to meet other people and this

ten... then they wouldn't become so attached to just one person.

B: Have you observed, uh, anything in connection with interracial dating on

campus or anything like this? This is sort of a ticklish question but don't

comment if you don't like to.

R: Well it was really funny, when I was a freshman, uh, people would say,

well I know this guy that wants to date you but he's afraid to date you

'cause he's an Indian.... 'cause you're an Indian. You know he... I think

a lot of the guys when... when they see an Indian girl on campus they're

sort of, uh, dubious to ask her 'cause they're afraid they might, uh, that

she hasn't n ^ l You know, I guess everybody

heard that Indians are supposed to be violent. They're supposed to be

mean and they'll scalp you if you do something wrong. But, um, it's really

not that bad 'cause there is a lot of interracial dating going on on campus

and, um, I don't think it's... it's not as bad as it used to be 'cause I remember

like when my aunt was, uh, going to college she told me about a lot of the

Indian girls wouldn't... their parents wouldn't even allow someone... a white

student to even come to their house to even take them out but that's...

B: You think they're....

R: ...definitely changed.

B: Uh huh. Um, well, um, do you... can you think of any other problems that, uh,

young people might have in this area which maybe is not common to the other

LUM 48A 29

areas? Do you think we have some special problems? Our young people

uh, because of the fact that, uh, of location and background and that sort of


R: I think maybe a problem'that people... young people around here would have

I don't know whether you would call it a problem is they have this... this

hang-up or... excuse me... whatever that they... other people will not accept

them. And this tends to cause them to be shy and not as outgoing as they

could be. I think this is one of the main uh, problems of the young people

today. They so... if they would realize that they're humans and... and they

have the same right as everyone else then they, uh, I think this would gradually

fade away. They just seem to shy away and they're not as aggressive as maybe

other... some other young people are.

B: Uh, then you think, uh, shyness perhaps is a characteristic of our people... of

our... of our girls....

R: Yes I... they seem to have this tendency to just sit back and take things

as they are and they really don't stand up and, uh, speak out for what they

believe in. I don't think you would find many Women's Liberation around

Pembroke right now.

R: Among the Lumbee Indian girls?

R: No.

B: Uh, perhaps something like this would enlighten things and maybe would, uh,

provoke us to think more. Uh, something like this. Some of the things

they advocate I... I go along with. A good many of them as a matter of

fact. Some... I... I... do you share any of the things, uh, I don't mean

you know, most movements are, uh, well they're, uh, not covered as

as they ought to be and as truthfully as they ought to be and, uh, do you think

there is... how do you feel about Women's Lib?

LUM 48A 30

R: Well I think Women's Lib is... I think one of the main reasons they have

Women's Lib is to make women more aware of themselves and their responsibility

to society. I don't agree with all their things just like, you know, other

movements. Most people don't agree with everything. But I think... well the

main thing that I agree with is equal pay, equal job opportunities. I feel

like that if a woman and a man are interviewed for a job and the woman is

just as qualified for the job as the man then the woman then the woman ha...

should have an equal chance at the job. Not because she... not because she's

just a woman because... well because she has gone through the educational

process just like the man and I think she should have the equal opportunity

and also be paid for the same job that another man is doing.

B: Do you think it's about time that we had a woman president?

R: I don't know whether I could sleep good at night if I knew. Uh... I sort of

disagree with the, uh, a woman as president because everyone knows that a

man, of couse I know Women's Lib definitely doesn't agree with this but,

a man is a lot stronger... has a lot stronger points than a woman does and I

think especially under pressure a man is more able to stand up to the pressures

that he would have to stand up to than a woman could. Well just think what

would a woman president do if she became pregnant or something. Who would take


B: Well, uh, I, uh, certainly have enjoyed this interview and, uh, I'm just

wondering if... if you have a message you would like to leave with us and we

could pass it on to others.

R: Well I justS e_ I keep speaking of involvement and I think

that more young people should become involved and should become more understanding

of what is going on. This brings to mind a little saying I always heard-- It

is better to understand a little than to misunderstand a lot. And I think

this has alot of meaning that if young people will become more understanding

Lum 48A 31

of the older generation and of the things around them that the world would be

better as a whole. And I'd just like to see more young people become involved.

B: Well I certainly agree with you there. Um, as an/iJrT I'm... I... whether

I agree or don't agree doesn't necessarily matter but, uh, I do want you to

know how very much we appreciate this interview and, uh, we want to thankthe

Doris Duke Foundation. And, uh, we want to encourage you to go on and continue

to do all the good things you've been doing. We're very proud of you and I'm

sure I speak for many, many people when I say that because so many of our

people are proud of you and I think, uh, we're going in the right direction uh,

when we do put our best food forward and, and, uh, before we close I would like

to ask you, uh, in your travels, uh, do you find that our people are better

known perhaps now than they were a few years ago?

R: Yes definitely because, uh, a few years ago no one had ever heard of... you'd say

I'm a Lumbee they wouldn't know what you were talking about. You would

always have to add, I'm a Lumbee Indian. And I think definitely in the past

few years they have really become known not only state wide but nationally.

Because like, uh, once when I had the privilege of meeting President Nixon

I, uh, told him where I was from and everything and he's says, uh,he asked

me, uh, are you a Lumbee .Indian? And I was really surprised that he had even

heard of the Lumbee Indian. ( e

B: Uh, well he did appoint one, you know, um, Commissioner _Blue is

a presidential appointment. But, uh, uh, I'm like you, I, uh, I would have

been a little surprised that he didn't know about the Lumbee Indians but of

course the president is very unusual. A very unusual man with a very unusual

capacity for understanding and knowing about different groups and he is, uh,

certainly inclined toward Indian people, don't you think?

R; Definitely.

LUM 48A 32

B: And, uh, it certainly has been a delightful interview and I want to thank you

very much for it.

R: Thank you and I enjoyed it also.

B: Thank you.

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