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Title: Interview with Tryon Delton Lowry (March 16, 1973)
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Title: Interview with Tryon Delton Lowry (March 16, 1973)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: March 16, 1973
 Subjects
Spatial Coverage: Lumbee County (Fla.)
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Funding: This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00007046
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 56

Table of Contents
    Copyright
        Copyright
    Interview
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the University of Florida









LUM 56A
Tryon Lowry
Interviewed by Marilyn Taylor
3/16/73
SAW


T: My name is Marilyn Taylor. I'm recording for the Doris Duke Foundation, under

the auspices of the University of Florida, Dr. Samuel L. Proctor is the director.

This is March 16. I am in Pembroke, at the /3 I i May1tel, the first-maytel,

by the way, to be built in the town of Pembroke. Um, with me is, um, a man who is

associated with the meytl. In what capacity, we'll learn, is Mr. Lowry. Um, Mr.

Lowry, would you give us your full name and your address, please?

L: My name is Tryon Delton Lowry. My address is Rte. 1, Box 5, Pembroke.

T: Would you spell Lowry please, since there is several spellings. We ought to get

that clear.

L: L-O-W-R-Y.

T: Would you tell us something, uh, your mother and your father's name?

L: My father's name is Delton H. Lowry. My mother's name is Shirley Smith Lowry.

T: Uh, could you give us something, briefly, of their background? Um, I know something

of your mother's and perhaps your father, uh, his profession or his career, or his...

L: Uh, my father's profession was schoolteacher. He taught school in the public

system for some 32 years, out of which, maybe 5 years he was principal at Union

Elementary School. My mother also, is a schoolteacher. She has taught in the

public school system for approximately 12 years.

T: Uh, I think there's something interesting about your mother, in as much as, uh,

she decided to back and get her degree, at, uh, a little later than most of us.

Could you explain something on that, a comment on that?

L: Yes. She was a housewife. Uh, she got married young, about 16. She kept house

until she was, maybe, 35 or 6, at which time, she went back to college and she

entered in a 3-year graduate program, going winter and summer. And graduated at

the age of about 41, I guess. And has been teaching, ever since.









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LUM 56A


T: She hasn't slowed down, a bit, in other words.

L: No, she's going at a faster pace, now, than ever.

T: Uh, I think your mother has an interesting story, and we'll save that for an

interview with her. Uh, but, uh, she came from a home of, uh, would you say a

strict religious background?

L: Fairly strict. Her, uh, her father was a preacher and, uh, her mother was a

typical southern lady, back in those days, who did what the husband said and

nothing more, so they had pretty strict control.

T: Uh, Tryon, would you tell us,-briefly, something of your father, as you grew up,

or what you remember about him. Was he a str. disciplinarian? Was he liberal,

or something like that? Of your, you know, briefly, of some of your homelife.

L: Well, he was a man who I had a lot of respect for as a man. As far as discipline,

he, the only form of discipline that he used was logic and reasoning. As far as

using the rod, whippings, and what have you, I think I remember maybe once, when

eh beat me, and I forget now what it was for. But, uh, he was a man who had

certain values that he adhered to rather stringently, and he tried, like any father

would, to impose those on his son, namely me. A lot of them I went along with, and

some I didn't. And, uh, there was always some conflict, there, but, uh, nothing

real radical, I don't think.

T: Well, this is good. I believe that we have not established, clearly, that your

father is deceased. Could you give us the date of the......

L: I don't remember the exact date. It was in June, I think, of 1966. He died of a

heart attack,,at 62 years of age.

T: And you are how old, now?

L: I'm 30 years old.

T: 30 years old. Tell us something of your background, now, as, uh, as your, something









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of the voyage you came up, uh, education in the school, uh, graded schools in the

jobwise, to where you might be, now.

L: OK, well, a brief history, I guess, is what you're talking about, my past. I

started school at age 6, at Pembroke Elementary. And, uh, went on to grade number

6, at which time I was promoted to, from the 6th to the 8th grade. In the 6th

grade, I was in a classroom where the teacher taught 2 grades. And it was just the

matter of the 6th grade was on one side of the room, 7th grade was on the other

side. I became friends with, uh, professor's son, who had moved down from New

York City. And, uh, like most Northerners, he was a little advanced, uh, had been

taught, basically, the stuff we were in, now, at lower grades. So I became friendly

with him, and through assiciating with him, advanced along with him to the eighth

grade, at which time, he left, and I was stuck with this being ahead of my time,

you might say. But anyway, I kept on, an entered high school. I had fairly

high marks all through the 8th grade, the 9th grade I was probably an "A" student.

10th grade, I dropped to a "B", the llth, a "C", the 12th, I just barely got out.

During high school, of course, my thinking turned to women, to liquor, running

around, the usual things, that, uh, .....

T: We term as adult vices.

L: Right.

T: This seems to be trend, Tryon, of, uh, young boys and perhaps, girls too. They

start in 9th and 10th grade as a, perhaps, honor students, and then along the 12th

grade, when it seems that they're at the crossroads and should be doing, uh, you

know, maybe their best, as going into college or out into life, Can you comment,

as a, having been a boy, and growing up, what you think accounts for this? I know

there are many reasons, and many variables that we have to consider, but just in








4

LUM 56A


generalizing, uh, .......

L: Well, really, I don't think it's a trend. I think it's, in my particular case,

lack of my parents' understanding, and the changes that were going on in the world.

The liberalizations that young people were-becoming accustomed to. I believe that

they had come from the old school, strict discipline, and what have you. And

they didn't know how to cope with the situation and use this energy, the excess

energy that I had, and turn it into something that would be useful to me. Rather,

they tried to just say it's wrong and, uh, not justify it in my mind, therefore,

I had nothing to except, uh, try and prove I knew what I was doing. And this leads

into trying to act like a man, drinking and fooling around.

T: Well, you say, drinking and fooling around, uh, were you made to feel a sense of

guilt over any of this. I mean, I'm not, don't want to dwell on it any more than

you want to dwell on it, but we do want to learn and when we talk about our-

selves, we're talking about other people as well, you see, and this is.......

L: Yeah. I felt guilty, then, and I still take a drink, and I feel guilty, now,

because, religiously speaking, I feel it's wrong, yet I still do it for social

reasons and, uh, I guess I have a conflict, too. But, uh, I say messing around,

what I mean, not literally messing around, but not being as constructive with

your time as you should be. Not putting first things first, like your books, and

then you can go out and have a good time t hang a good time and worrying

about your studies J r '"

T: I recall something of 0 /7 4LsZe/ about your family, association with, there

being some connection with, of farming. Did you try your hand in any-kind of

AJ/ for have any hobbies, or pursuit the-interest of business--

_//_-- _, as we might say, the young business man of, something of this nature.

L: Well, yes I did. After I graduated from high school, which was in May of '60, I

joined the United States Navy and served aboard the U.S.S. Randolph for 3 years.









5

LUM 56A


and then, on a Naval Base in Providence, Rhode Island, for one year. After I got

out of service, I came back home and started to college, and went about 2 years.

And during this time, my father died. Well, he, uh, owning several farms, and my

being the only son, it was quite natural for me to try and help my mother, manage,

and what have you. So, by doing this, I tried to venture into state running land

and farming, myself for profit, at which I was not too successful. This, again, was

due primarily to my not being able to put first things first. And, as a result, in

about 2 years, I was frustrated and discouraged and got out of it completely. And,

during this time, I had gotten married. I thought that might help stable my

situation, but it didn't. It probably created more problems, for the first year.

T: UM-HMM.

L: So, when I quit the farming, I took a job selling life insurance. And, this proved

satisfactory for about 6 months. At which time, the newness of it, the novelty of

it had worn off. I became lazy, again, and started wasting my time, again. So,

then, I went into the service station business, as a sideline. Put in about 1/10

of my time into that, and lost money in that venture, also. And, at last, I sat

down and looked the situation over and decided to drop everything, and try and

find a new job, which I did. And, uh, I gained employment with General Cigar Co.,

of New York, as a sales representative. This job I held for 3 years, working south-

eastern North Carolina. And then, after my first year of being transferred to

Norfolk, Virginia, working the southeastern part of Virginia, and the northeastern

corner of North Carolina, as a sales representative. And I would call on factory

wholesalers and try and sell cigars, new brands, plus keep their inventory up, and

stuff such as this, public relations work. After about 2 and 1/2 years of this,

I became disappointed in pay raises and opportunity for advancement. Also, I felt









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LUM 56A


ill at ease with myself for having 2 years of college, and not having the final

2 years, which makes the difference.

T: Um-hmm.

L: So, after thinking about that, and feeling gypped, slighted, partly by myself, and

partly on the part of others, Ifinally slowed up in that job and got to the point

where I wasn't happy, my employers weren't happy, and we reached a agree-

ment where I quit, moved back home and started college, again.

T: We want to get back to that, but, um, you mentioned that, when we first mentioned

at the beginning of the interview, that this is an American Indian Oral Study. I

want to ask you a question, and don't want it to be offensive, but we are inter-

ested in these things, and we do have to face that sometimes there are harsh

realities out there. In the community, the outside community, that you call home,

did you find the face that you were a Lumbee, or an American Indian, was it ever,

did you feel frustrated in this role, as, uh, did it ever held you back, in any

way, in job promotions, or abilities or..........

L: No, quite the contrary. Until I moved away from home, I never felt free to say

I was an Indian. But once out of Robeson County, I felt,, not only at ease, but a

sense of pride in admitting that I was an Indian and, uh, everyone seemed surprised

and amazed and they'd say, "Well, we've never met an Indian, before." They'd want

to know about the war dances and all this stuff, of which I know nothing. But really,

I would say it was an asset, once you leave home.

T: Um-hmm. The fact that you were a Lumbee, which of course would be, um, questions,

did it ever come up from whence you came? I mean, you know, we all go back to our

background and ancestry and did this ever come up?

L: Yes, well, uh, if you would say you were Indian, they would ask, what kind? And

you'd say, Lumbee. And that threw 'em, they only think of Cherokees, Sioux or

Navaho, or something like this. They wanted to know what Lumbee was. I said,








7

LUM 56A


"Well, we're a mixture of everything you c3r(think of." And that usually ended

that, because they didn't know any more about Indians, really, than I did.

T: Did ou finally expect anything f nd them saying, "they

0 ___// __ people out there and not, who were knowledgeable of

the situation, here, expected to be, um, everybody living in teepees and reser-

vations and what did you finally tell them? Was there any comment or reaction to

the fact that you lived, uh, as a Lumbee, like anyone else, Caucasion or any of

them?

L: There was some, uh, not as much as one might expect. Uh, I would go to some of

these boys' parents, go with 'em home, and of course, their parents being older,

would think that we all lived on reservations and jS But the younger ones,

they seemed to know, already, that all Indians were not on reservations. They

would ask me if I came off of a reservation;. If not, they didn't seemed surprised,

or anythingt//ac I- .

T: Um-hmm. Oh, wait for me to answer the phone.

(There is noise and confusion.)

T: All right, I think that our last question to, to go back in, and recap a little

bit, what we were talking about.......

L: I believe we were talking about if people thought we lived on reservations, maybe

the movie-type Indians, and uh,.........

T: And propaganda, did you find, uh, that.....

L: No, I didn't. I found people were interested in how we did live and if what they

saw in the movies was true. And when I told them no, most of them didn't seem ei-

ther disappointed or really that surprised, either.

T: Um-hmm. You mentioned the fact that you were married. Would you tell us your wife's

name, or maiden name and where she hails from, and this kind of thing.









8

LUM 56A


L: Yeah. My wife's maiden name was Brenda Faye Harrell. She's from, uh, a small town

called Garland, which is about, uh, 50 miles from here. She is white, 28, and I

met her in college in '65, I think. And we were married in '66. I don't remember

the month, but I ....(laughs)

T: Most husbands don't. This is not unusual. Uh, you mentioned the fact that she's

white. Did, do, did you find that this was, um, any drawback, or do you face any

problems in it being termed as a, what, interracial marriage, perhaps. Some people

would call it this, whether we look at it this way, or not. Uh, did you get any

criticism, any, um, and how did you react: to it, honestly?

L: Well, to be quite truthful about it, uh, at first I felt some uneasiness around

some people. On the whole, it never bothered me that much. Uh, there was always

that nagging question mark in the back of your mind. But, as time has progressed,

and there has been alot of changes in Robeson County since '66. As time has progressed,

I've found it to be more of an advantageous, uh, more advantage to me than against

me.

T: Um-hmm.

L: Uh, it allows you to mingle with whites, partially on an equal basis because you're

married white. And I think it's true that birds of a feather, tend to flock to-

gether. Andy. uh, in this respect, it has helped me, uh, among my local people.

It has-not hurt me among my age group, because we are, not as a pattern, or anything,

we're planned, but there is alot of intermarriage going on, now, within the younger

generation.

T: Right. And you have children, what.....

L: Yeah. We've got two. We've got a boy who's 5 and he's in kindergarten, this year.

I've got a daughter who will be 3, this summer. So we're moving right along in the

family category.

T: Do you plan to have more children?









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LUM 56A


L: We've talked about having more, maybe one more. But we would like to wait til

we're a little older, so we can kind of have her to keep us young in our old age.

You know, when you get old and by yourself, that's probably worse than being young

and by yourself.

T: (laughs) That's a nice way of putting it. Then I take it, you know we have the

movement on the college, the university, of zero population and some of the guys

wear it on their lapels, "I've had my vasectomy, have you had yours?" How do you

feel about this, as a man, and from a woman's point of view?

L: Well, quite frankly, I think it's something that is nice to have discussed. Uh, it

is something that I would never say I'm going to join. Uh, the reason we have

kind of stopped it, too, was financial reasons. The cost of living is going up.

And you want your kids to have new dresses and new shoes and take 'em on vacation

and see that they get to a good college. And all this takes money and planning

and part of planning is not having more than you think you can afford at a later

time. As far as the woman's point of view, I've never heard my wife even mention

anything about it, and I'm sure she's read some of the reports in the newspapers

or magazines. So, I would imagine that she's not too impressed with it, either.

T: Knowing that you are politically inclined (laughs), um, and we have to recognizeithat

up to this point, it's been primarily men who have made the laws, that have effect-

ed women, as such, such as, number 1, abortion is the case, now, would you be in

favor of legalizing abortion if it was in your hands to make this decision?

L: Yes, I, uh, I like the abortion thing. Uh, I know when I was young, fooling around,

I would have hate to have known that I got some young girl in trouble, and it was

purely a physical thing. And, uh, that she had no other choice but to have a baby,

and that the baby would be dropped off somewhere, where nobody would really care

for it, like a natural mother would. And the thing of life and death, killing a

baby, uh, death is not that bad. All of us are living for death, in one way or a-








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another. And I don't think that should really stand in the way. I think we have

to look at it from a humanitarian standpoint. And, also, not only from a baby,

who might turn into something bad, but from the mother, too, who this would em-

barrass her and maybe make her take a back seat in society, or feel some reper-

cussions later on. I, I'm definitely in favor of abortion. And, uh, I think it

has to be legalized to keep it clean, safe and healthier.

T: Even to the point of, even married women, t" .y ./'

L: Well, we need something for married women. I think that's where all the increase

from population is coming from, is married people who just won't control things any

other way. They just let nature take it's course. And, I feel alot of these women,

uh, probably will go to the pill, but if not, this would be a recoruse for them.

And if it was legal, then there wouldn't be any stigmatism attached to it.

T: From a man's point of view, do you see this liberalization, and you speak of the

pill, and of women becoming perhaps quote, "equal", that it would cause,uh, the

moralec6dfthe fabric of the structure of our society to break down?

L: No, I think our society bends with time, and if this were to be legalized, time

would take care of these radical statements, and all, that some people make. You

mentioned something about women being equal. I don't exactly go along with that,

uh, 100%.

T: ....explains, you know, women's lib say they equal with men, uh, I have to agree

with you, in part, but I'm saying like equal pay for equal jobs. You do have to

recognize the difference, but give us your views on it,

L: I can go with equal pay, for equal jobs. I can go for, uh, really pushing to get

women in some of these top flight jobs. They have something that most men don't

have and that's alot of patience, high endurance. They are a little more emotional,

I think, than a man is, outwardly so, in any case. I think women would make ex-

cellent top executives, uh, excellent researchers, anything having to do with de-









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tail. They seem to put alot of emphasis on having things just right and having

everything before they make decisions. So, although they deserve a better place

in societythan they've got, I think man still must dominate the scene in most

aspects of our society.

T: Uh-huh. All right, um, we got to, you came back from Norfolk, I believe, when

you were working with the cigar company. Uh, you quit the job, there, what did

you do? What was the next step in your......

L: Well, we quit, in June, came back, and I enrolled in summer school in July, and

have been in school ever since. This was in '71, I believe.

T: What are you preparing yourself for, or what do you see yourself doing in the

future, a major, uh, ......

L: Well, my major is business administration with emphasis on management. At the

present time I will possibly be going into some kind of governmental work, due to

my involvement in the last governor's campaign.

T: Tell us about some of your involvements. Just how much were you involved in

those, a great deal of.......

L: Well, uh, on the local scene, here, as far as the county is concerned, I was in-

volved pretty heavily. I was his campaign manager and coordinator for Robeson

County. And, uh.....

T: We're speaking about the governor?

L: Right. Governor Hols#Houser.

T: And, uh, WLA he's republican, right?

L: Most definitely.

T: (laughs) O.K. Uh, I think I recall that you held some office in the Republican

Young Men's......









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LUM 56A


L: Yeah, I was elected chairman, last year, of the Ro/eson County Young Republican

Organization, here in the county. And that, I guess, led me into taking over the
h
campaign for Governor HolsA{ouser, on this last election.

T: I think you seem to be an opinionated person. You have, certainly have views and

reasons. I know that I have read articles you've had in the paper, something about

preserving a building that was, has been steeped in tradition. Uh, and I think you

know what I'm referring to, Old Main.

L: Right.

T: Give us your feelings on that, your involvement. I know, and bring us up to date

on how you feel and....

L: O.K.

T: ....how it stands, today in your mind.

L: Well, I have to speak about Old Main from two view points. One, is, uh, personal,

the other is political. Uh, Old Main was an emotional object in that the majority

of the people, or the grassroots people, had decided within their own minds that

this building should remain on the campus of Pembroke State University, as a re-

minder, forever, that this once was an all-Indian college. And it was the first

Indian college in the United States. And that this should stay here, as we inter-

marry, and spread out thin, where maybe one day there won't even be any Lumbees.

This would always be here to remind our ancestors that this once was the building

that started alot of people on the road to success. And, uh, from the personal

point of view, I found that this opinion of the people went along with mine, and

I threw my name in the had, you might say, as a supporter of it. Then, on the

political side, it was, it became political in that, one candidate, uh, believed

that the people were right and wanted to support them in it, while the other

candidate, uh, wanted to hedge about it and hold his decision until, and let some-








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body else make a decision on it.

T: Now, this all came kind of to a head during, uh, election year. We're talking

about Democrats v. Repbulicans. O.K., I wanted to get that established.

L: Actually, in the long run, uh, from a political point of view, I don't know when

their it will significantly help the Republican party, or not. On the short term,

it did. A lot of people started talking abbut Republican, and alot of people, in

fact, probably voted for Governor Hols ouser due to this one issue. But I think

as time goes on, that, uh, these people will either stick with him, or leave him,

depending on how he operates and conducts himself, as governor of North Carolina.

And it's my hope that he continues on the path he is. And that is one of letting

us be involved in Government, and of valuing our opinions, and our thoughts and

asking for, uh, things from us that he can do to help us down here.

T: When you say "us" and letting "us" speak, you're talking about the Lumbee Indians,

right?

L: Yes, that's right.

T: Uh, do you see any significance in the fact, uh, or perhaps the strategy on his

part, that he started his campaign, here, in Pembroke, and it ended here.

L: Well, the only significance I see in it is that, that, uh, he, uh, it made a warm

spot in his heart for the Lumbees of Robeson County. And I think any time a man

is your friend, just because likes you, you're alot better off than if he's your

friend, because you've got some power yee -en use against him.

T: I understand, the night, and I may be misinformed and you correct me if I'm wrong,

that the night they had the rally here, that, uh, they have a, we have a group, uh,

here in Pembroke, the Tuscaroras, somewhat that there was some

apprehension to them, uh, coming in, and what, causing a riot, or something like

this. Did you, at any time, feel any anxiety about this? What is your feeling

about the Tuscarora and their role? Uh, they are human beings, and we have to,









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you know, we can't brush 'em under the carpet.

L: Well, uh, there was no apprehension about a riot at the beginning of the meeting.

As the meeting progressed, spirits got high, and our hopes were swelled through

speeches, and what have you, and there was some uneasiness about crowd control.

Uh, fortunately, nothing happened, then, so that was solved within itself. As

far as the Tuscaroras are concerned, uh, as a group, I've got mixed feeling on

that. Uh, it takes all kind of forces to get things done, and we are in a life-

long struggle, here, of trying to improve our situation. We have tried to improve

it by going through channels, through government, basically through a one-party

system, the Democrats. And, we have had no response in some 72 years. Now, we

have an almost two-party system going in this state, and I think we need two

forces going. We need, one, an outward force, demonstrating, and letting people

know, locally, that we're not happy with the situation, and that we're not going

to back down from the situation. And we're going to keep harrassing them until

something is done. And we need people who can go through normal channels and get

legislators and governors, and these type people thinking about it, and we'll

try and win 'em to your side and your point of view. And have both of these things

working at one time, and then I think we'll see progress happening. And I think

we're seeing that, now.

T: You say there are mixed feelings in the Tuscaroras, uh, the demonstrations, I

take, you're for, but, uh, how far do you.....

L: Not quite as far as the one they had, breaking out windows, and what have you. Uh,

although I could come mighty close to approving of that, sometimes you have to


fight violence with violence. And, uh, these are basically, people who are un-

educated in the ways of finesse, and maneuvering man in power. The only way they

know is physical force. And if that's all they know, then that's all they can









15

LUM 56A


use, and so you can't condemn 'em for that, especially if their cause is right.

But the violent part, I would hate to see it erupt into killing, or something

like this. And, uh, it's a touchy situation, that's why I have mixed feelings

about this, if it would go no farther than a broken window, or something, I

wouldn't feel so uneasy. But, that can lead to so much more, that it kinda

keeps you on pins and needles.

T: I think, uh, what is there, what are the Tuscaroras, what are they asking for to

the, in your estimation, uh, your opinion?

L: Well, in my opinion, uh, they're asking for one thing and looking for another one.

They're asking for total control of the schools, give 'em back the schools, as I

read it in the newspaper. But, I think what they want is a chance, a fair chance

to get more control of the administration of our schools. Uh, I think integration

has, is here, it's gonna stay and it's good. And we must continue integration

in a manner that is advantageous to us. Uh, they are, seemingly, saying, "Uh, we

want just Indians, here, and nothing else." And this is bad. I think, really,

they want one thing and asking, being quoted on another thing.

T: As you said earlier, there's no pure anything, pure Tuscarora, pure Lumbee. We're

all a mixture.....

L: We're, well, we're basically all a mixture, down here. They are saying they're

pure, and they may be, I don't know. But I don't think you can-ever take the people
(a C
out of Robeson County, the Indians, and say that we're pure this. It just seems
A A
impossible to me.

T: You mentioned the schools, and you have 2 children, who have been in-the educa-

tion, closely, because of the time, what do you see for the future of our schools,

for education? It's kind of on shaky ground J alot of people

disagree. All of us can find things that are wrong with it, can we find any

solutions, perhaps?










16

LUM 56A


L: Well, I think the solution is in the parents. Uh, we, as parents, have taken

alot of authority away from school teachers and from the administrators. Uh, we

don't want 'em whipped, we don't want this, we don't want that. Yet, we're not

there on the situation, and seeing how rough some of our kids really are. I think

we've got to go back to some of this rod and switch thing, and really maintain

control, at all times, in these classrooms. I think this, that we're just a little

bit too liberal on some things, and too old-fashioned on other things.

T: Um-hmmm.

L: And we've go to turn some ofithis around.

T: How do we go about turning this around, Tryon? Does it have to go through pol-

itical channels, or, uh,....

L: No, it's, it'll have to go through the same channels that it went to get where it

is, now. It'll just have to evolve as, we as young people, as we see, uh, how

being two lights, can hurt, we will start tightening up, and our children will

tighten up, and soon we will be back, hopefully, to the right balance of strict-

ness and liberalization.

T: And you definitely believe in integration. You've, uh, 1 ,- -lC A I mean,

o hope to send your children to public schools, that's integrated?,

L: Oh yeah. I think, uh, well, at the college it's integrated, and I enjoy Blacks.

I enjoy meeting whites, so, you know,....there's rotten eggs in every basket, or

however that cliche goes. But it's enjoyable to meet somebody from a different

race, or a different town, or a different state. Just see how they behave, what

they think. How they act and react in situations. I think that's part of the

education, and an important part. It helps build common sense, uh, in people,

and, uh, this is the one thing that we need to get a little more, uh, more back

to is using our common sense, rather than all these computers we got whirling









17

LUM 56A


around the world.

T: You think we're too intellectually minded and, as you say, gotten away from this

idea that common sense, is after all, can sometimes win out.

L: Well, we're not too, we're not too, intellectual minded. Fortunately, the United

States is composed of so many different types and classes of people, that the guys

that come out with these weird way-out things don't always win out. We always have

people who are slow in moving and who use common sense, and, then, we've got people

who take these new things, and, uh, dissect them, objectively, and pull out 2 or 3

parts that helps us out. We've got a good balance, I think, in the world. And, uh,

things, along with mother nature help us keep our thinking in check.

T: You say you do believe in corporal punishment, if, as from a parent's standpoint,

as well as an educator, as a teacher, If I were teaching, uh, one of your children,

or both of them, and I felt that they misbehaved, you would not, uh, feel well,

how would you feel if they came home and told you that their teachers strike them?

L: Well, if they weren't bruised and blue and purple, all over, uh, I would be con-

cerned, uh, number 1, that my kids would get so far out of hand, and, uh, I would

probably go out and find what the problem was. And, uh, if it was a problem, I

would come back and probably, whip him again.

T: Um-hmmm. Tryon, how do you see, this, in this area, the drug situation, and the

young people. Uh, we don't know we have to recognized it's existence, without

ratting on anybody, and we don't like to admit sometimes up to our own corn, even

if it is rotten, but we do like to have a realistic picture. And, uh, what you

or where you stand, or how you see things. What's the drug situation, here?

Among the Lumbees, is who we speak of, and of course, we're The Lumbees, we're

as we say, we're mixed with predominantly, black and white.










17

LUM 56A


L: Right. Well, if I were 16, I would probably be smoking marijuana, trying out

all this other stuff. Just as, when I was 16, I tried drinking and smoking. Those

were bad back when I was 16.

T: Um-hmmm.

L: But, uh, the drug thing, I think it's a little more serious than alcohol.

T: UM-HMMM. In what way?

L: Well, I really don't know, except from what I've heard that it leads to maybe

birth defects and distortion of the mind, maybe, possibly. And these, so far,

they haven't said that alcohol causes this, although, probably alcohol kills

more people.

T: Um-hmmm.

L: I think drugs, it's they seem to be so dangerous. And this is strictly from what

I've read, I haven't really been that involved in it. But I believe it's a dan-

gerous thing. I'd like to see it outlawed, completely, really.

T: Um-hmmm. In other words, you would not be in favor of legalizing marijuana. No.

L: No. No, I would not, and uh, as a matter of fact, I might even go so far as say-

ing if somebody pushed hard to outlaw alcohol, I would even support that, maybe.

I'd stay around, though. (laughs)

T: Just a little but, huh? Uh, there was a question on here, that I wanted to ask

you. Uh, I believe you, uh, your outside activities you've had, other than your

academic, uh, endeavors, college, I know you've been a member of the debating team.

Any other outside activities that you've been in, besides involving the student...

L: Um, no, not really. Uh, other than political things, I haven't been involved in

anything else. I would say that,-uh, these last 2 years I've been in college, I

think I've learned more, and, uh, have learned to appreciate life, a little more.









18

LUM 56A

Uh, when I joined the debate team, it was the first time I had ever participated

in any college activity, at all. And I got a great deal of satisfaction out of

it, although we weren't that good at it. It was participation on behalf of the

college, and made me draw a little closer to the college and feel a little more

concern for it. And it also, uh, prompted me to get out and get in politics and

become involved in that. And I think everyone going to college, or everyone in

life should get involved in something. I think, uh, they learn as they contribute.

T: We hear alot today about young people and the Jesus movement, uh, religiously speak-

ing, perhaps, I don't know, it's, uh, it can be questioned whether there is much

religion here, or not, but, at least there's a theory that there is. How do you

see these people? Are they sincere, uh, talking about the young people, now, in

your opinion.

L: Well, there's no way of telling whether they're sincere, or not. Uh, I, for one,

I go to church just about every Sunday, and think of myself......

Side 2

T: I believe we were trying to establish what your religious affiliation was.

L: Yeah. I attend the Holiness Church and, uh, go to church about every Sunday and

consider myself a pretty religious man, and yet, I know if I were judged today,

I would probably go to hell. I think alot of these youngsters are sinc.....

T: (interjects) Who would judge you to go to....

L: Well, that's a, far above my head. I wouldn't even want to get into it, really.

T: OK.

L: I think these young people are sincere, in one aspect, and, uh, well, probably,

they are really sincere, and yet, uh, the people that are observing this, for the

most part are probably older people, and, who say the church can't bend, the

rules don't bend, and, uh, they can't accept them. I, for one, uh, I wouldn't

want to judge them. I think there's some sincerity among the group, and there's









19

LUM 56A


some not sincere. It's a good movement, all in all. I wouldn't want to try and

stop them.

T: I'm not asking you to pick on any one, or (laughs) or discriminate, or tear any

body down, but from observation, I notice you wear, uh, short hair and by com-

parison to some, conservatively dressed, uh, how do you see the so-called fashion

today, of even guys wearing hair all the way down their back. You see this in

universities and, um, from your point of view. I know there's difference in, um,

views. How does it strike you? It must, you must have some feeling about it?

L: Yes, well, my hair is short, mainly because it's curly, and if I let it grow out

too long, I can't control it. I wouldn't wear mine real, real long, but I would

like it fuller than I have it, now. Uh, the real hippie-type individual, I,

basically, when I meet one, I don't like them, but, uh, I have met some, and have

got to know 'em, and find that they're 'bout the same as I am. So, as a group,

I don't like 'em, individually I've met some that I like, some I don't like.

T: Do you think that we seem to have a connotation that long hair and drugs go to-

gether? Or is this, again, on of their standardized ideas, um, .....

L: Well, I think there's justification in saying that long hair and drugs go together,

just as sloppy-dressed people usually have sloppy actions and sloppy attitudes.

I think you can tell alot, uh, by the way a man's dressed, and a guy with long

hair and clean clothes, he's probably as sharp as a clean cut guy. I think dress

does have an influence on an individual. Uh, the reason he has long hair is, he's

associating with a group or a movement, and if the movement entails using drugs,

he has tofollow along and use drugs, too. So, it, it probably drags more into

using drugs than it would take out.

T: How do you find it, uh, one time I see you you're, if you can tell us what your,

you're hear at.e-eT's Motel, and your hours you work here, everyday, do you know?









20

LUM 56A


L: Yeah. I work here, everyday, seven days a week, from 2 PM to 10 PM.

T: And your college schedule is what?

L: Well, my classes start a 9 and run until 10 minutes of 2.

T: And you also have, well, you're family man with 2 children. How do you find it

as a family man going to college, uh, as compared to uh, perhaps, a single man

as you say you did the first two years you went through?

L: Well, at first it was a little difficult to adjust to, uh, knowing you did have

a wife at home, and all these good-looking women at school were out of your, out

of bounds, you might say. Uh, and it takes some of the spirit of college away in

that, uh, you don't attend the dances and you don't go to plays, stuff like this.

But, uh, educationally, it's probably a benefit to me, whereas, socially, it may

be a little bit of a drag.

T: Uh-huh. Research has supported that, uh, suicide is the 2nd highest killer of

college age students. And I guess this means, um, you know, from time they get

out of high school, eighteen on, 22, 23, somewhere along there. Uh, this seems

to say something about the college program, uh, but I'm not sure what, how you'd

interpret this.

L: Well, I don't, I never thought about that really, but I imagine that, uh, college

trained people tend to try and dwell too deeply in some matters that are beyond

their reach. Uh, they also are put into the image of being some above the

average person. Some of them, later on in life, may fail in their job, or in

their marriage or what have you, and, uh, it puts them in a lower status, and

they decide they just can't cope with it, and leave the world.

T: Do you think that-there's too much pressure, or have you felt the frustration

level, of the college student, at times, to the point of almost unbearable.

L: I've never felt that way. Uh, I've never felt anything was really that important.









21

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I'm a man who, who can't go any farther, turns and goes the other direction.

T: Now, you see, uh, institutions, universities, say, institutions of the cap and

gown, what's the rapport-eof th town, as the m Bar there, F oil-.

- )Y there is a correlation, -' fr 4f I moiis there room

for improvement of human relations, or do you think we've achieved pretty much

stability in this area?

L: Well, the only relations between the town and the college, so far, has been bad,

so, there's not only room, there has to be, uh, a movement by the college, into

becoming more involved with the town and the community. And....

T: You say bad, where can we place the blame if we might, uh, the blame, I mean there's

other variables.....

L: Well, when you put the blame on something, uh, you're making a pretty stiff judge-

ment. I think we would have to blame both the town and the college, but more

blame, I think, should be placed on the college, than the town. Uh, as I see it,

I think we need more professors living in town; Uh, more joining of civic leagues

that are in town; and forming organizations in town. Uh, the college professors

should use, uh, alot of,their time in, informing the town's people, helping them,

uh, get involved in what's going on at the college, helping to educate them, gen-

erally, in the fine arts, that the college provides They have movies and plays,

and all this other, and no one, really, in the town, I don't believe, feel like

there's an open invitation, at any time, to come over and justostay awhile. I

think the administrator' Dr. Jones, the pree a nistrator, has to'make some

effort to get the professors to go for thi tight viewpoint and become involved
A A
in the community.

T: You mean to say we have a breakdown, primarily, in communications or just 7t2 J

A07 being informed with the town, being able to take advantages of, no more of

just enlightened or betterment of recreation at the college campus.









22

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L: Yes. I believe there's a conflict in the,uh, races. There seems to still be this

persistent "I'm white and you're Indian thing." And it has hampered realtions be-

tween the college and the town. How this can be resolved, I don't know. This

is, is just a complex problem. A good start would just be moving more professors

in town. And if they stay here, then they gonna be concerned about what happens

here within the community,,be involved in it, and make sure their kids get what

they want. And if they do that, then they will be joining the town's people

and trying to better them.

T: Do you know the approximation of the population of the university? the students

this year?

L: I think the student body is maybe 1800, somewhere along those lines.

T: What percentage would you say would be Indian?

L: I think there's about 280, I don't know percentage that is.

T: 280, well, uh, 1800 and 280. Would you say, do you see any imbalance, here,

or injustice or discrimination or anything else of that sort?

L: Well, I wouldn't call it discrimination, or really injustice, uh, I would say there's

an imbalance, here. I think it shows that the college has not been communicating

with our senior high schools in, uh, recruiting students and also letting the

administrators of these high schools.....

T: You're talking about the Lumbee.....

L: The Lumbee schools, right.

T: as Lumbee students....

L: Right.

L: The college could let it be known, uh, what would be the best basic courses for

these students to take, so that they could make high on this test they have to

take to get in the college. And I think, too, the college could, uh, not lower

the standards for getting into the college, but waive it, maybe for a year, for









23

LUM 56A


these kids coming out of school. And give them a chance, uh, to uh, try and

see if they want to put forth the effort to make it through college.

T: I was going to ask you the test. I believe it's called the SAT College Entrance

Exam. Uh, there, we won't say there are students that can't pass it. Some people,

for some reason or another, they find it difficult to pass tests, yet they have,

uh, as we know, keen minds. And they go in on the COP Program, College Opportunity

Program, in the summer. And, uh, usually make about as good a grades as the people

who pass the test. Um, do you feel that these should be done away with, college

entrance. and if so, what would you replace them with as to, uh, as you just said,

let every body come in for a year that would, you'd have to have some weeding

process, or screening.......

L: Yeah. I don't think they should be done away with, uh, you have to have some

convenient means of cutting off your enrollment, or, because you can't have so

many people going to college. And this is probably the best means to do that,

that I know about. But I think that, since this is a college, uh, right in the

middle of the Lumbee population, and it was built here, primarily for the Indians,

I think that they owe the people, especially the young people coming in, they

owe 'em, they have the responsibility to bend, and waive their standards for

maybe a year, and encourage these students, if they, if the students feel they

want to attend college, encourage them to come and maybe have good advisors for

'em, good counselors for 'em, and try and help them develop good study habits,

and show 'em what it takes to make it through college, and if they would put forth

this little extra effort, it should be there anyway, then I think, uh, more kids

would enroll in college, and alot more probably would graduate.

T: Have you ever felt, in your college career, the fact that you were a Lumbee

Indian, um, held you back any, gradewise? In other words, uh, you know, maybe

you felt you deserved an A, when you got a B, or something like that, the professor









24

LUM 56A


just didn't like you because you were Indian and maybe he was something else.

L: I have never felt that. Once I was enrolled in a course, and I got to know the

professor. I have, uh, avoided professors because I had heard of-some people

who thought they'd discriminated against them. But as far as me saying that I

thought they had to me, I haven't so far.

T: Then you seem to say that there are, you are aware of the fact thathere are

professors who do discriminate against Lumbees.

L: No, I am aware that some people think they are, whether they are, in fact, I don't

know. You know, uh, most of the Lumbees who probably get lower grades than the

other students, but this isn't necessarily because there's discrimination. I think

it's because we come, our background is that much less than maybe the white

student Our previous schools have been bad worse than the white student has

experienced, and this is, basically, I feel why we stay behind, because we haven't

had the best as we were coming along. And, therefore, we're not equal to

compete with these students when we enter college.

T: O.K., if I could get on a personal nature, just for a little while, um, get back

to the contemporary home life of the Lumbee Indian. Certainly seem to be a

typical family, a wife, two children, this kind of thing. Um, I believe your

wife, uh, wouldn't extend her education.

L: She graduated from Pembroke State, and she taught school for, maybe 2 years.

T: Um-hmm. Uh, she's not teaching now, she has, um, does she or do you, or do you

both have some definite feelings as to why she's not teaching now? The reasons,

maybe?

L: Well, I think that from what she's told me, the basic reason she's not teach-

ing, now is, uh, the fact the kids are so hard to discipline. Plus, uh, she's

stripped of any power to take any disciplinary action. And it's such a hard job










25

LUM 56A

that she didn't want to undertake it, anymore.

T: Um-hmm. Does she feel, or do you feel, uh, any inclination toward a mother

being at home, where there's children, small children, I don't know what I'm

saying, a working mother with children, do you think this is, does it require

more of a man, than understanding, this kind of thing.....

L: Well, we have two opinions on that. Her opinion is the kids would be better off

if she stayed at home. My opinion is they would be better off, if she were to

work. Uh, I base my opinion on, uh, she has stayed at home, especially with

the second one, our daughter. And now, our daughter is dependent on either her

or myself. She's reluctant to leave us, she's always by our side, and she has

yet to develop this independence that, uh, I would like to see in the child.

Whether this is good or bad, I guess, at this time. I think you can be at home,

too much and then you can be away from home too much. But the important thing is,

probably, what you do when you are around them, and what actions and reactions

you take to what they do when you are.

T: Who would you say in the family, you or your wife, was the one who, uh, is the

disciplinarian, uh, or do you share this, or it, uh, one or the other takes it

or you put it, or do you pass the buck, or just how do you handle it, another

words?

L: Well, we try and handle it whenever it arises. If, she's with 'em, and they cut

up, she handles it. If I'm with 'em, and they cut up, I handle it.

T: In what manner, do you handle it? In what manner doesishe handle it?

L: Well, basically, we spank 'em. Uh, I try to make a habit of spanking them, every

once or two weeks, whether they need it, or not. I create a problem, if they're

not doing anything. I think it's.....

T: Do you have a reason for this?










LUM 56A 27

L: Yeah. I think it's important that uh, they learn that, uh, when you have a

certain tone in your voice, uh, when you mean something, that they do it with-

out question. And, uh, sometimes I'll say do something, and they don't, and

so I go over and spank 'em, and they try me, they test me, and I just, I think

it would be unwise for me to give in. I always try and make 'em do what I ask

'em to do, no matter how much punishing it takes.

T: Do you see much difference in the way you were. disciplined, as a child, and the

that-you now discipline your children?

L: Yes. Uh, I can't really pinpoint it. I don't, I maybe, maybe I don't see it,

but I feel there is a difference, and I hope it's going to be different because

I don't think my discipline was exactly right. It may have been the best they

could do. I don't feel it was quite enough.

T: In other words, you think, are you saying that it should have been stricter?

L: Not necessarily stricter, but it, uh, it never hit home to me and I never responded

to it in the manner in which I should have. Uh, as I see discipline, it molds

a child into such a form that when you lay a command on 'em, uh, a desire, that

it is either done or that it can be explained in a civilized and agreeable man-

ner, why it shouldn't be done. Uh, I there's bending, there has to be bending

on my part, but, uh, if I decide not to bend, then there should be no question

about it.

T: Well, let's see, I believe you graduate, now, when, when?

L: Uh, in July, sixth of July.

T: Sixth of July. Uh, they've set up kind of a hypothetical situation, here,

you say when you graduate, you will secure a job somewhere. You don't know, at

this time, I guess, definitely, but, you, suppose your wife goes to work, uh,

and it's necessary for her to go to a meeting that night, and, uh,she just can't

find the time to fix the evening meal, would it be asking too much of you, the

husband to cook the meal and feed the children, and so on?









28

LUM 56A


L: Well, that's....

T: ... good about this, if she's working and bringing in, are you willing to share

the household, you know, the responsibility and this kind of thing.

L: Well, being willing and doing are two different things. Uh, I would be willing

to enter in to such an agreement, uh, whether I did it, or not, is something

else. As far as cooking, though, I'm a member of the Jaycees, that's my job.

I cook every week, every Wednesday night. Of course, they pay my dues for it

and this keeps me in the club. But I've always enjoyed cooking. I wash dishes,

now. I don't mind that. I don't find it degrading or, making you any less of

a man. Ametimes I enjoy doing it.

T: In other words, you don't feel like you were henpecked and it wouldn't embarrass

you if some of your man friends came in and found you with your hands in the

dishpan, so to speak.

L: Oh, no, no.

T: Umm, that's interesting. I wanted to ask you, uh, there's one more thing I'm

gonna, uh, the college thing. You said that you thought that there should be a

little more encouragement toward the Lumbeetstudents as they come into college,

uh, a little more backing and each one a to perhaps an ( lY'.

Uh, a feeling that there's people who care. How can this be set up? I mean,

we have to think about it in terms of money, state and this kind of thing. Uh,

suppose this came into being. I mean, really,....

L: I don't think that you would have to worry that much about money. Uh, probably

the average professor spends, uh, 12 hours a week, 12-15 hours a week teaching.

The rest of his time, he's off to see students and to participate in community

activities. What's happening now is that the majority of the professors teach

2, 3 hours a day and they can go home. You can't find them around campus. So,










29

LUM 56A


it wouldn't be a matter of money. It would be a matter of the administration,

sitting there and outlining a program and seeing that the program was followed.

T: Do you think the students could initiate, uh, a petition or something like this

to get it started, or do the students have any say-so, or, uh, "student power",

is there such a thing as student power at Pembroke State University? I know we

have, there is a student government and senate and so on, but is it in the name,

or is it really, uh, do they have a say?

L: Uh, it's probably more in name than anything else, and I think it should be. Uh,

there's nothing wrong with students having student government, forming opinions

and presenting proposals to the administration. But I think you have to cut their

power off at some point, because they are students and students will be students.

T: Um-hmm. What would you, let's see let's recap a little bit, what was your

aspirations for the future? and when you graduate do you hope to, what type of

work?

T: Well, my ultimate dream would be to et a good job and make my wife feel secure,

provide for my kid's education, and be able to retire at, uh, an age of say, 55,

maybe I'll A1Vlc / 7/ to that age, that time. And be able to enjoy a modest

living from 55 until death. Just me and my wife and grandkids.

T: How many grandkids do you see yourself having?

L: It doesn't matter. That's their problem. Can we break for a moment? .,

T: OK. Surely. Uh, Tryon, do you have any political aspirations? Perhaps running

for a political office, or any type of / 'e /', '' ? I realize that this

might be a premature question, but, uh, perhaps it has entered your mind that some-

time or another, or you've entertained the idea that, uh.....

L: Yes. I've entertained the idea, and, um, the prestige, and all, quite naturally

would be satisfying, but as far as getting serious about it, I don't think I









30

LUM 56A


would. It takes a special man to be, uh, representative of a district, or a

county, in that you have to think broadly, on everything. You have to consider

all aspects of that district, or community and you have to try and work out the

best solution to the problem. And this is a, uh, large, tremendous responsibility,

being something I don't know if I could do. Uh, I like working for other people,

and helping, I like helping candidates because this way I only have to put loyalty

into one man, and uh, I can do that. I can take one thing and pursue it and stay

with it and do a fairly decent job with it. But when you get to boradening out

there, it's, it'd be such a hassle, that I don't know if I would, uh, would be

good at it. And, uh, number 2, my wife would not enjoy it and, therefore, that

would keep me from being good at it, so, so that notion, any seriousness about

it is gone out the window.

T: But you will always be active civic community, uh, your political, from on the

Jaycees. I didn't find out your position, other than you're chief cook....

L: Cook. My position with the Jaycees is cook Yes, I'll be, I'll always remain

active, how active, I don't know. If things, when things run smooth, uh, I

don't have any desire to get in, really, and take an active part. But I like

going with underdogs, and I like causes, and movements that are just getting

started. Uh, I enjoy getting in that, and getting the spirit and enthusiasm,

and, I just enjoy it.

T: You mentioned earlier that you started off, perhaps, with sowing some wild oats

and soforth, and I know this, uh, dirty, it sounds like, uh, huh, the philosophy,

I guess, that wed4 all \_ _- But if you had some one statement, or advice,

or advice is easy to give, so we'll ask you to give some, what would you say

would be, perhaps to a young man starting out today, in college, um, what could

you say that would help him the most, if he could go to follow through, with you,









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perhaps even talk to yourself, as, you know, in looking back.

L: Well, for a young man, just entering college, I would tell him to enjoy all the

social activities he could, to enjoy the women, the variety, the spice of life,

but I would tell him:to make a time for that, and a time for other things, and

keep everything and keep everything in it's time place.

T: I think that's a very good statement. Um, to end up, one-other question that I

would like to ask you, have you ever in your life, uh, felt inferior, or despair

over the fact that you;are an Indian?

L: Well, I've felt in fear, uh, almost constantly. But, uh,.....

T: Why? This was instilled in you from some influence or force....

L: Well, this is just, I've felt it ever since I was a kid, and my mother'd say,

"They're white people." or some such statement, and, uh, although would not

say, "You're inferior.", the image from her statement that I got, was that I

was inferior. But fortunately, instead of taking this and shrinking, I have tried

to use it as something, as a motivator in making myself say that, "Well, if you

are inferior, then you have to excel or be just aglittle bit above the average

in everything that you do.", in order to be competitive. And instead of it be-

ing a drawback, I think it has been a asset in my case.

T: Well, we'll have to certainly admit that, uh, the whites have had their part in

causing this feeling, but what you're saying, too, that sometimes it can be

conditioned, or taught from the home. -Is it something like a defeatest attitude?

L: 'Well, no white person has ever told me I was inferior, so it has not been their

fault. It has been my people's fault in insinuating that we, as a people, were

inferior, and as you grow up, this builds in your mind and becomes a reality.

Where you think this way, and, uh, this is something you'll die with. The only'

thing you can do is turn it around and make it push you up instead of letting









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LUM 56A


push you down.

T: Well, I think you have to admit, and we all do, that American Indian has a proud

heritage, even though, sometimes he has been held back, and this kind of thing.

Um, what could you say to the whites, to the Blacks, to the Indians, to the in-

betweens that would make the American Indian feel prouder and to be glad that he

was an American Indian. Because he is a great part of America, you know.

L: I would say love yourself. If you are an Indian, and love yourself, then you are

proud of yourself. There's no, uh, really, to say you're proud to be an Indian,

and all this is superficial. It has a real meaning to any one other than your-

self. So if you feel proud of yourself, then what does it matter what, uh the

rest of the people think? Uh,.....

T: Then, what is Indianness, to you?

L: Indianness, to me is a personal thing, in that you try and make history by doing

a little bit better, maybe, than your father or your mother did. By trying to

achieve your personal goals, and trying to achieve, uh, or over achieve some of

the goals that society has placed, a person who at college level, or high school

level should achieve. Uh, when you start to talk about being white, or being

Indian, or being Black, if you take it just in that attitude, that everything

has to be Indian, then I don't think you're gonna move very far. You have to

say, "Well, we've got problems because we're Indians." and attack it. And the

fact that they've been hostile toward it, but you don't have to get bogged down

in Indianism. It's, it's.......

T: Are you aware of the American Indian Movement. Do you see a time, perhaps in

the future, when there will be unity between the Americans, or among the American

Indians.

L: No, uh,....

T: Now, let's take the Lumbees, let's take the local and then you can branch out, if









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LUM 56A


you like.

L: Well, I think we've got unity, locally, right now.

T: You do?

L: And that we're unified in trying to improve the situation of the Lumbees as a

whole. We are divided, politically, as we should be. We are divided, in our

opinions, as we should be. But we have one aim in the back of our minds. And

that is to move everybody up one notch.

T: You make a point, here, that I think is important. You were saying that, uh, in

thinking differently in the visions, sometimes this helps to make the balance.

L: Well, you're divided, and then there are times when you have causes where you

should unite. But then on other issues, maybe should be divided. The main thing

is, to keep trying to help everybody.

T: UM-hmm.

L: This is, uh, this is a long range problem we're struggling about, here, and, uh,

there are quick solutions to it, uh, and I hope we get a few quick solutions,

but.....

T: Do you feel that revolutionary means, or evolutionary means is best, or which is

best, or can you relate them to a situation, or how do you see it?

L: I think you'd have take it issue by issue, on that means. I think the school

issue, we need revolutionary means. And then we need to take the means that

come out of the revolution, and let it go through the process of evolution. And

work the kinks out of it.

T: Uh-huh. Do you ever feel threatened, when you're involved in politics, do you

feel threatened by, what the Lumbees call the political machine from Lumberton?

the white community, there? Threatened in the sense of dignity, as a person?

as an Indian?

L: Well. I don't ever feel threatened because I, I feel I can compete, uh, although










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LUM 56A


I would have to leave, I can compete. I do feel, well, it's not a feeling, there

is a threat, uh, there is a machinery out of Lumberton, that has controlled things,
I-..9''9( W
that has called the shots, and it's one of the reasons La- behind in edu-

cation, economy and anything else you can name.

T: There's always, there's one very important issue, that I'm gonna, I was about

to overlook, is the double-voting thing. I always predict how you feel, but

certainly.......that would come under, would you not say, the machine of the...

L: Yes, it has been under the control of the machine, and I think the results have

been printed by state government. North Carolina ranks in the bottom part as far

as education. Robeson county ranks in the bottom of North Carolina, and Pembroke

ranks in the bottom of Robeson county. Uh, there has to be a change, and uh,

I think we need our people sitting up there in a position to swing the vote this

way or that way. We certainly need some of their experience and some of their

technical know-how. Especially when it comes to involving programs and stuff

like this. I think we need to have, uh, if not the balance of power, we need to

have equal representation. And, in that way, we could argue, and I would be

willing to bet that if it was, say, three, three, that we could argue our case

and get at least one white member to admit that we're right and help us in our

problem. But the way it is, now, uh, it's a dying cause unless we can get some

change.

T: Did you, uh, you say unless we can get some change, someone, perhaps, that's not,

I don't detect, uh, a defeatest attitude there, do I? You definitely.....

L: Well, there's gonna be some change, there's gonna be some change, uh, I don't

think it's gonna be a final change. It won't be the most satisfactory change.

But, uh, after we get this change, then we'll have to see if we can get another

change, until we get it....








35

LUM 56A


T: And so, change just step by step. You're saying it's....

L: Well, it seems like that's the only way we can do it. It'd be nice if we could

change it, make it right, in one step.

T: Uh-huh.

L: But, uh, the machine's still in control and.....

T: We're talking about the political machine.

L: Political machine......

T; Right.

L: ..... is still in control, and it looks like it's gonna take a step, and then

another election, and then another step.

T: But there, you do see some change with the future, don't you?

L: Well, there has to be change or there'll be.....

T: Betterment......for the Indian.

L: .... there'll be revolution -i .

T: Uh-huh. I want to ask you one more question that perhaps, might seem facetious,

ridiculous and what have you, but, uh, never the less, I think it's necessary

to know this, and for other to know it. Um, do you feel proud that you're a

Lumbee Indian?

L: Well, right recently, I felt proud to be a Lumbee. Uh, going back to the. first

part of our interview, uh, we were talkingqabout once you left Robeson county,

you had a sense of pride in being an Indian. And in the last year, uh, I've been

proud to be an Indian and remain in Robeson county. I think, uh, that we are

proving to ourselves and to others that we've got, uh, great men and women,

down here. Men who, uh, can think for themselves, and who are finally starting

to think for themselves, who depend on their thoughts and take action on them.

And, uh, we're seeing Indians who stick to these actions, and find out that they

were right in the end. 'Course, we're proud of them as a group, and those that





----



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LUM 56A


who've made the actions, I'm sure they're doubly proud.

T: Well, I think you you've spoken it well, and as a young man, you seem to be on

the move with your, at the same time, with your feet well on the ground. And

I want to thank you very much, and to shake your hand, for a wonderful interview.

And certainly, you should feel proud to be a Lumbee Indian. And we do thank

you for your participation, uh, and your involvement in this community, not only

to Indians, but to whites and to Blacks, because I think you have certainly helped

and, uh, the whole process of human relations, and that's what it's all about.

L: Well, let me say, you hit on a good note there about being proud. Uh, I think

pride, when we finally feel genuine pride in our individual actions, I think,

then we'll start seeing some changes made. Uh, if I'm proud of myself and my

race, then I'll go out and represent them with pride and, uh, I'll do a good job

and stay on top of things, and, uh, I think you'll see change coming much faster.

And recognition and respect coming from others.

T: And this, we see you doing, Tryon, and congratulations, and good luck in your

future endeavors. Thank you, very much.





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