This Oral History is copyrighted by the Interviewee
and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of
Copyright, 2005, University of Florida.
All rights, reserved.
This oral history may be used for research,
instruction, and private study under the provisions
of Fair Use. Fair Use is a provision of United States
Copyright Law (United States Code, Title 17, section
107) which allows limited use of copyrighted
materials under certain conditions.
Fair use limts the amount of material that may be
For all other permissions and requests, contact the
SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
interviewing Mrs. Holmes
typed by aml
B: This is April 25th, 1973. I'm Lew Barton interviewing for the University of
Florida's Department of History and the Doris Duke Foundation. Uh, this
afternoon we have been privileged to visit in the home of Mrs. T1Mne Holmes and
near Lumberton, North Carolina. Now how do you spell your name, Mrs. Holmes?
H: A-I-L-E-E-N -O-L-/v-.E- Aileen Holmes.
B: I like that name incidentally.
H: Thank you.
B: And I certainly appreciate you having us in your home.
H: Thank you. It's a pleasure to have you.
B: Thank you and we want to talk about anything you want to talk about. We
want you to be perfectly relaxed. Uh, whatever is interesting to you will
be interesting to us and many other people throughout the country I'm sure.
You're one of the few Indians... Indian women who went into politics. And I don't
believe you're a typical politician. In the first place you're too lovely
to be, uh, typical. In the second place I think you went into it simply because
you thought something ought to be done about some problems, is that right?
H: That's right and thank you for your very flattering. Um, I definitely feel
that something needs to be done about problems. As a matter of fact I
said just a few minutes earlier that I never gave politics a second thought.
B: Uh huh.
H: Uh, because I just didn't feel, you know, that I was cut out for this sort of
thing. That it's just not my line of thinking. But after tossing it back
and forth in my mind for a while, uh, being sort.-of approached from several
different people who I felt were quite influential I thought, well perhaps
it... should I get elected it would give me an opportunity to get into the
LUM 64A 2
educational program and see if we could correct some of the problems that we
B: That's great.
H: So, from that standpoint I decided to toss the hat in and give it a try. So
when I, uh, announced my candidacy I told them at the meeting that night I
says well, I don't give up without a fight. I'm in this thing and I'm in it
to win, with a little doubt in the back of my mind, you know, at the same time.
However, I was fortunate enough to... to win this election, being the first Indian
B: That's great. I'm all for women being in politics. I think if... if somebody
ran for president and won it would be one of the greatest things that ever happened
to us because, uh, I don't think any woman would take us into war.
H: You got a point there.
B: And they have many other, uh, attributes that I admire very much. Uh, how many
children do you have?
H: I have four children. I have two daughters, two sons. As a matter of fact
I almost have two families. I have an older daughter who is twenty-six and is
a teacher in the Red Springs, uh, City system and I have a son who is
twenty-two that finished college and he's getting' ready to go in for the Navy
Flight program. And I have a daughter, 15, who you met tonight...
B: Uh huh.
D: ...uh, that is in the ninth grade and a son, 12, that's in the sixth. So...
and a... and a husband of course who is at church right now.
B: Uh huh.
H: Pr __ .And, uh, we're a typical family. We...
B: What are.. would you mind telling me their names or...?
H: Olivia is the older daughter.
B: Uh huh.
LUM 64A 3
H: A son, Michael, is the one who is getting .rsady right now to go into the Flight
B: Uh huh.
H: And Darlene is the fifteen year old. And Eddy, Edward Jr. the second is
the twelve year old, the baby boy.
B: That's great. And of course, that family name's spelled, H-O-L-M-E-S.
H: H-O-L-M-E-S. Correct.
B: Uh, we have so many things to... to talk about... I hardly know where to start.
But I guess politics is a good place to start and I'm glad you told us about
how you got into it because I think this is.. this is the typical way it's
done in America. I don't think we have a... a colony of purely, uh, professional
politicians sort of get started this way.
H: I think so. I think...
B: Somebody gets worried about conditions and wants... they want to rectify
things and they get in there. Nobody else'll do it and they don't leave it
B: You know...
H: Well this is the one of the things that I think is so democratic among the
American people. Uh, it's the level of politics.3Bl=tfW1evel that uh, that
uh, the average person g-ip "gaa L is-,willing to sacrifice a little time and
a little effort to make some changes, can get out into the world. And... and
really work towards doing a constructive job to...
R: ... if he or she chooses to.. to make some changes. So this, from this
aspect, uh, this is where I'm starting from because I.. I just- -4 eU CAP-4 w
LUM 64A 4
# program right now in the county system is at a low, low peak and I'm sure
you're aware of this.
B: Yes, I'm afraid so.
H: Right now I... tenth grade level our students in the county, predominantly
Indian schools, are three years below the level,
B: Oh, that's tragic, isn't it?
H: It is. It really is. And that, um, I believe it's the third, I'm not this is
just some new statistics that came out right recently. At the sixth grade
we, uh, I believe it's about a year behind. I'm not quite positive about
this but I know that at tenth grade level, we're three years behind.
B: Uh huh.
H: But each year I think we sort of drop a few months then until we reach the tenth
B: So we are making progress.
H: I think so. We're making some progress. There've been quite a few changes
B: That's good. I wanted to ... I wanted to give you two questions at once and
and that's about your candidacy. When you got out in, when you announced and got
out in the field and started working did you find being a woman was a handicap
and did you find being a Lumbee Indian was a handicap.
H: Uh, no. Not really) r either question a matter of fact I think they both
bad some advantage. Uh, when I first announced, uh, my candidacy to Y 4 V\ I
thought well, you know, that the Indian, from an Indian standpoint I would have
some obstacles with the white, you know, population of the county. However
I found this to be entirely different when I went into areas that had quite
a lot of whites they accepted it fairly well. Now I didn't get a majority of
the votes in these heavily ;cpulated areas but I got enough white support to get
LUM 64A 5
elected and this to me is saying a lot because we haven't had this previously, uh,
with any candidate who ran. Now/ ,Harry was appointed, you know...
/ /Harry~was appointed, you know...
B; That's Harry -Wess Locklear.
H: Right. And he did run the second time and win but it takes, uh, all three
races, some support from all three races to get elected. So I... I found that
being a woman I, uh, they accepted me thoroughly well and, uh, as an Indian
I... I didn't feel at all dis... uh, discriminated against at all.
B: Well, that's great. Did you fe... do you feel that your abmaness was an asset?
H: No, not really. Uh 1.-r I o Caars)
B:;4 Ii t /A /e a liability, right?
H: I've had so many, you know, that, uh, made this statement that, uh, they thought
this contributed something towards my v but, uh, I sort of denied that
statement. I think they based on, uh,.a person's thinking and their ability
to... to put across a point that they think are most important.
B: Uh huh.
H: And present the facts to the people.
B: Well that's great. We have, uh, we've run into the question of Women's Lib
every now and then. One of our interviewers really is a Women's Libber and I think
she puts in a plug everytime she gets the chance for Women's Lib, which
is O.K. with me.
B: But I like to hear how other women feel about uh,women. Are they being
H: In certain areas, yes. I would, uh, say there is some discrimination. However,
I feel that, uh, a woman has some, um, real good things going in their favor
B: Uh huh.
H: Uh, job opportunities I think are a little less, uh, pay-wise that is, a little
LUM 64A 6
less I think in certain fields. But at the same time, uh, there are certain
advantages that a woman, I think, has-that are.. over a men... a man
being hired in certain areas or certain categories.
B: And you think this sort of compensates for any, if there is any difference in,
SY tofe /
in the treatment of ___ women and men? Would you think the advantages
that women have sort of compensate for this?
H: Sort a. I, I push Woman's Lib to a certain point but there are some aspects
of it that I just sort of slide away from, certain things that, uh, I do not
approve of. However I, I think it's a good move.
B: Uh huh.
H: But, uh, I think we ought to sort of evaluate the program and sort of put some
limitations on some of the thinking as far as accepting, uh, say, some
guidelines or rules rather than to accept all the phases that they're trying
to pack into the Women's Lib right... the movement right now.
B: I belie.., of course I think most people believe in equal pay for equal work
and certainly I go along with women here.
B: And, uh, as a matter of fact, most of the way I go along with them, uh, but when
they, uh, I guess you can push anything a little too far and go to the extreme
H: Right, I think O, A # r women being drafted and, uh, /"/ 5 4t
that sort of, uh, areas of it I just can't, uh, conceive of that sort of thing.
But, uh, equal pay and equal job opportunities and equal place in society,
government positions and that sort of thing I think is great.
B: I'm wondering if we men have anything to fear-will there be a time when
women won't need men any longer?
H: Oh no. That time will never.., no, since Adam we've... there's been a need
LUM 64A 7
for both sex here I think and I don't think we'll ever reach AA p .
B: Well that really reassures me especially coming from you.
H: No, I think that's clearly understood that there's always gonna be a need for
B: I think men kid a lot about it but really, uh, I think most men support their
women. I, I believe the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules
H: Right. I'll agree with you. Really. But, um, there are some, uh, women that, uh,
would, uh, certainly say differently as far as the Women's Lib's concerned and, uh,
I'm sure you 've done reading... keeping up with this closer probably than I
have because I've been so busy with a lot of the various movements that are
takin' place right now and trying' to sort of sit in on some of the different
meetings to get some idea of what's happening and what's, uh, takin' place
or what's shaping up in the county that I haven't really had time to keep
close contact with the Lib movement... recently.
B: Well, that's too bad. Occasionally I'm invited to speak to women's organizations
and things like this and I always feel greatly flatterred when this happens.
But, uh, u, I'm sure most of us agree with you if not all that, uh, well that...
you know... women do constitute at least one half of the population and
and woman is certainly the most fascinating creature on earth barring nobody.
I don't think angels are even as interesting as women or as fascinating. But, uh,
I guess we'd better get a little closer to earth.
H: That's a good idea.
B: ... and talk maybe about some of our problems, uh,... would you like to talk
about some of the problems you've encountered since you've been...
B; ... elected.. Now when were... when was it you were elected?
LUM 64A 8
H: November. In the general election. I ran in the primary and, uh, won the
primary and of course then the general.
B: Uh huh.
H: I won the general election also.
B: Was it like you expected or was it worse or was it not as good or was it...?
H: Well, uh, as I said you know earlier, I intended to rin... win this election
but however I had no assurance of this. This was just ...
H: ... my anticipation.
B: It was purely aC wasn't it?
H: Right. And, uh, I think I came through about the way I expected, a little
surprising because I, I sort of felt that, uh, uh, one of the candidates
who were running with me, uh, would certainly could come in real close, perhaps
ahead of me.
B: Uh huh.
H: And it was a little bit disappointing. Well I,I was disappointed that the...
uh, all three Indians didn't come in. However I didn't let that, uh, pillage
away with my election completely. But, uh, I had so much faith that, you know,
was that Mr. Moore would come in and I wouldn't sit on the board alone. Uh,
however, uh, legislature, through the last act of legislature we're gonna
get four people... four appointees to the board: two blacks and two more
Indians so the two Indians who ran in the election with me will be on the
board as well as myself after all. But, uh, goin' back to the election itself.
Um, I sort of felt that, uh, maybe I would just barely get in, you know?
B: Uh huh.
H: So in the general I really came through with an amazingly high number of
B: That's great
LUM 64 A 9
H: ... which I was real, real happy about. And I, as I said, I did get a lot,
quite a bit of support from across the county, Black, White, from the three
B: That's great.
H: ... Indian as well. And I felt that was a really a compliment from, uh,
the three races. From the Blacks and the Whites in particular because I
expected my own people to support me. However I realize you don't
get a hundred percent support regardless of who's running and for what
H: But I felt that I had a majority of my people and this, I was real pleased
B: We've got a problem, uh, the newsmen had labeled double voting. Did double
voting handicap you, do you think?
H: Yes. Some. Well now this is the one thing that I just went back to... the
legislature had corrected somewhat, not completely broken double voting but they
did sort of compromise and give us these four people, additional people
to the board. Um, had, um, this been a county election only, taking the city
out which constitutes the double voting where yourcity people are permitted
to vote on a county election as well as their individual unit which maybe
I better straighten out right here or explain the six systems. We have, um,
five, uh, city units and one county unit in this county and, uh, these
city people, our units, are allowed to vote on their individual election also
the county elections which, uh, this is the double, which brings about the
B: Uh huh.
H: If this had been a county election, only, all three Indian candidates would have
LUM 64A 10
won with a high score.
B: Uh huh.
H: And, uh, which would have eliminated all the Whites. All three would have
come in. And the Black man also. I... I'm not real positive about the
Black man but I've heard this. I hadn't checked his, uh, votes that closely.
But I heard he would have come in too which he, he, you know, didn't make
D: Uh huh.
H: So it did handicap the county election.
B: But it must have made you frel good to, uh, even with this handicap to know
that you were elected on a city, uh, on a county-wide vote.
H: It did. It was quite a compliment.
B: That's great.
H: Because I... as I said earlier I... I had quite a bit of support through, uh,
with the tri-racial group and I was real happy about it because after ,5
we're livin' together we're... I think we ought to be able to work together
and respect each other's race and have some 'for -t needy causes
regardless of what race. If it's the poor Whites then I think we ought to
pitch in and help them. If it's the Black or Red or what have you I think that
uh, each race should have some feeling' and considered.gd M ... need
or the needs for the other people or races or what have you.
B: Right and we really have four races in this county, don't we?
H: Do we? Im not sure.
B: ;Uh, it used to be reckoned that way but I believe one of them disappeared...
H: Is that right? I'm not aware 6f this.
B: *,,. Lv A/ f744. Tc Uh, however we should... I guess we shouldn't
go into this. Uh, right here anyway.
LUM 64A 11
H: You'll have to tell me later.
B: Okay. Fine, I'll tell you what. Maybe you can tell me some things. But, uh,
this isn't... this community here... this is a lt-F community.
H: No, this is Saddletree community.
B: Saddletree community.
H: Yes, this is Saddletree.
B: But, um, most people don't know that the Indian community is a large
community. It's comprised of thousands and thousands of families and you
can ride for miles and miles in some areas without seeing a, a Black or
a White family. And, uh, we got all these communities sort of, uh, uh,
pegged I guess and we... and we call them by different names and like
Saddletree and.. this is S-A-D-D-L-E-T-R-E-E, right?
He Correct. Saddletree.
B: Then we have the Prospect community. We have, uh, so many different ones.
B: But we're all one, aren't we?
H? We certainly are and I think we, uh, need to, uh, work together as communities
in order to be effective. I don't think one little community can segregate
itself or build a school around that community. I think we ought to
work in unity with all these communities In order to build a better county.
And, uh, consider the needs of each school, each community, each...
B: Do you think we compete with each other on a friendly basis?
H: Sort of. Uh, indirectly.
B: They do... would you think that's healthy or?
H1 Uh, well competition is good in some...
B: Uh huh.
H: ... instances. Uh, however, I, I think it tends to uh, maybe bring about
LUM 64A 12
a little jealousy among Indian people which I feel regretful for but, uh, I
think this is one of our bad traits. Uh, I... however, I don't think
it's really that, uh, maybe it isn't quite so obvious as I, I made it look
here in the beginning, 7^^J 1uS But, um, I think, uh, Indian people
sort of, you know, strive to keep up with the Joneses so to speak. And I, I
think we, this is sort of bad, I think, we should just do our own thing
and forget about the Joneses and live for the time being and for what, you know,
we think is right and strive for the goals that... or set some goals and
then strive to meet these goals rather than try to compete so much.
B: That's good. Uh, we're attempting to find the lost style of the Lumbee
Indian and, uh, of course this is our official name. We, uh, we're Lumbees, uh,
under an act of Congress and also an act of the general Assembly of this
state. And lately there have been some people who have been sort of
pushing for a change of names. It seems that, uh, like going to a movie
and you said well this is where I came in.
H: Uh huh.
B: ... and here we go again. Do it strike you;this way?
H: Well, um, not really. I, I think you know this is, uh, the thing that sort
of divides our people again that I'm really regretful for. Uh, however I
think this is, uh, something that individuals need to sort of weigh out for
themselves. Uh, as far as them tribal names and that sort of thing we're not
recognized .eCt-It other than, uh, just Lumbee that's all and legislature
name was given us. But, um,...
H: I'm not hung up on a name. In other words to me the name doesn't have that
much value. It's the, uh, the mean or the goals or the, uh, things that we
are trying to achieve as Indian people and the recognition...
B: Uh huh.
LUM 64A 13
H: ... that we can, uh, bring about as Indian people and not tofach a name.
I... I could care less about names unless, uh, maybe I, um, can't forsee
that, um, much importance in it and maybe I'm a little bit narrow on that
and I should be a little more broad-minded.
B: I- C .0 \ .I feel that way too of course
it's, uh, Lumbee is also a, a recognized nationally a., Ac- g &f7H s .
H: Federal, yes it is. Well I meant Federal Legislature as well as local an'
B: Uh huh.
B: Maybe we should let somebody else worry about that but, uh, they've been making
a big issue out of it.
B: The people who are pushing for recognition as, uh, Tuscarora Indians. And, uh,
I don't know how long we can just sit behind and not get into the controversy.
I don't... none of us like to be dragged into it. I'm sure I don't.
H: Uh huh. Well, uh, I don't know I --how to, uh, talk on this subject
because I... I sort of stay neutral on this thing.
B: Uh huh.
H: As... as I say each one...
B: ____ on this aspect.
H: ... uh, each one do his own thing. If they can get the name recognized, uh,
through state and federal, uh, officials. If they can get it, uh, through
Congress through, uh, Legislature fine. If they can get uh...
B: The only men... reason I mention this is that, uh, Howard Brooks who is, uh,
chief of one segment...
He Uh huh.
B: Uh, they're, they're even split.
LUM 64A 14
H: Uh huh. They are I hear.
B: And the split is split.
H: Uh huh.
B: And, uh...
H: Well don't you think this is, uh, characteristic of Indian people. Uh...
B: I'm afraid so. I wish it were not true.
H: Yes. So do I.. This is why I keep talking unity so much, you know, because I
think this is bad. I think we could be so much, uh, more effective and we could
do so much if we could think in terms of Indian people rather than a little .
Tuscarora group a Lumbee group a E.C.I.O. group and think, uh, you know, each
one trying' to get, uh, certain recognition for his own little group. If we
would trus... strive to think as Indian and get recognition as Indians, uh,
work for common causes as Indians I... I think we would really be, uh, heading
in the right direction. However I, I'm not gonna criticize those people...
H: ... uh, because they are, uh,
B: AC4*S) c leA44M.
H: ... underprivileged, right. And they're underprivileged people. They haven't
had the opportunities that you and I have, or a few other people have although
I came up hard. I was raised on a farm and I, I know what it's like to
really, uh, go through a struggle to survive. The only thing we had was plenty
of food. My father provided pp... plenty of food but we had plenty of hard
work and other hardships along with it. And I appreciate those things because
I think it makes you understand other people, uh, conditions and I think that, uh,
also gives you a stronger lease on life. It makes you appreciate things in the
world more. And, uh, as far as, uh, the Tuscarora's thinking I say do your own
thing. If you're happy as a Tuscarora and I'm happy as a just a plain old
Indian and if well anything that they can accomplish, uh, from that are... if
they accomplish anything I think... I'm not... I don't go along with all their
ideas. I think some of 'em are far fetched. But, uh, I I admire 'em for
havin" guts. I say they got a lot of courage.
B: Uh huh.
H: That we... sit back and, uh, we... we... we sort of say, you go ahead and do it.
SUh, some of the things you're doing are alright however some, uh, I feel quite
different and, uh, say, you ought to shut up and go sit down. But, um, some
of the things,... their directions is poor. But some of the things that they're
saying we've said for a hundred years.
H: And... but we've just don't have the courage to get out and fight like these
B: ... and it wasn't as loud as... llJ/
H: Right. -w /. we've got a lot
to lose. Those people ae grass root people. They have nothing to lose.
And I sympathize with those people. Uh, they're oh, uh, a big part of 'em
are on welfare and they've had a hard struggle and they can only go one way
and that's up. So I say go to it. I, uh, uh, just can't condemn 'em.
B: That's certainly wishin' them God speed. I, I wish any Indian group who is
trying to do something constructive, God speed.
H: So do I.
J: But uh, I guess I kind 'a, um, choose when it comes to methods of doing
H: Well, so do I. I, I say their directions is poor but I contribute this to, uh,
well, they're uneducated and this is the first thing they admit. That they're
certainly not a educated group. And, uh, if the poeple, if we, uh, would sort
of uh, come down to these people's level and let them know that we're/ 7
LUM 64A 16
with their cause and tries to show them that we want to help these... help
them. I think we could reach these people and we have people who are qualified
to lead these people and that could really get in there and do some constructive
uh, work with these... with the same group of grass-root people. However I
think they sort 'a sit up on a p-e $1St / and say, oh you're ignorant and
you're a bunch of illiterates and you're, you're just, uh, doing the wrong
thing and, instead of trying to correct the things that they could be a big
part in. Correct 'em.
B: They seem to be antieducation, uh, you know, now this is my, my assessment
personal assessment 'cause I don't want anybody to agree with that if he doesn't.
But, uh, and they're very critical of educated people. Do you think that we
warrant this? Do you think there's some justification in this criticism?
Have we ignri9d them their needs and WMt ? I, I'm not, uh, a wealthy
person by any means. I, I do have a, a couple of college degrees which doesn't
always, uh, add up to monetary standing and that sort of thing. _/_ _
in other areas Uh, in areas other than education but, uh, I know they've
been critical of what they call our educated people and sometimes they
say educated fool. And,... do you think they're justified in...?
H: Well, um, now, um, I'm not... I can't say that I've, uh, uh, how can I
phrase this, are not aware of them being antieducation...
B: Uh huh.
H: I sat in the commission, in the meeting with the commission, Indian commissionn
B: Uh huh.
H: ...and, uh, which I was real grateful for because I wanted to hear their
grievances. I wanted to have an inside. Uh, a picture, of actually what was
happening, what their demands are. And the nineteen demands that they presented
LUM 64A 17
uh, were certainly educational demands.
B: Uh huh.
H: They asked for better schools, better school programs, and, uh, I'll show you
their demands before you leave if you'd like to see them if I have a copy.
B: Well, good. If you could, if you'd name em I, we'd certainly like to hear
'em, you know ...
H: Uh, I can't name 'em without us getting' that list. But they were certainly
demands that we've asked... the things that we've been asking for all along.
B: Uh huh.
H: And I was real happy, you know, to, uh, see that their demands were, um,
were specifically dealing with educational programs and the needs of the, uh,
community as well. And, uh, one of the first, uh, demands on there was to
break double voting though, uh, that we talked about earlier. But, uh, they
dealt more with the educational program than anything else on their demand
B: Uh huh.
H: And, um, the Lieutenant Governor, Hunt was in on this meeting and several other
dignitaries and the commissioner and there was quite a few people there that,
uh, I felt could be real helpful with the school and they agreed to, uh,le...
to, you know, investigate and work towards, uh, uh, something... doing something
about t r oel ^Jis
B: You know, we always sort of complained about our inability to unite our
people and some people we used to say. The only person who ever united our
people was James Cole who was grand wizard of the Klu Klux Klan a L4 w iV-ICt
OW Cgin .1958. But, uh,....
H: The best thing that ever happened, wasn't it?
B: It's certainly true. But hel to brain us
B: It's certainly true. But Ztt'"*"== help to bring us
LUM 64A 18
closer together do you think?
H: Uh, I think it tends to. However I think it sort of splits us at one point
or another but in the end, uh, this is sort of been the pattern, hasn't it?
That it sort of brings the group together.
B: Uh huh.
H: ... in the end.
B: I think so.
H: Yeah. This is what I think has happened. I think were getting together right
now. I think we're beginning to understand each other more. As a matter
of fact I said in the meeting...
B: Love each other more.
H: Right. This is what w e need.
B: I think I agree with young people everywhere not only young Lumbees but
people throughout the United States who are always saying, uh, that,uh, love
is going to save the world.
B: or what the world needs most is love sweet love.
H: Right, that's true.
B: And, uh, I think Jesus thought this two thousand years ago. Then when they
say that they aren't just being flippant. It's not, uh, it's not a light
thing to them and, and I guess this is what's going to end war and maybe, do
you think we'll ever get there? This is a great ideal, it's a simple ideal
but it's so great and it's 0 we haven't made it yet. Do you think
we'll make it maybe?
H: Oh I think so. I think this Jesus movement however is a little, uh, far
fetched too, but I think it's a great movement and I think it's really
catching on fast across the country. And then this group I feel)is spreading
LUM 64A 19
the love, uh, issue around more the love... the need for love)more than
anything that has happened in the United States in, uh, many, many years.
B: We used to feel that we had a lot of love in the Indian community. Have
you seen a change?
H: I think yes. I think progress has, uh, brought about some changes. But
I think we've sort of got in a rat race. And, uh, we're all fighting for
time, you know. And we sort of forget the needs of oyr neighbors and our, uh,
friends and even our relatives. Uh, I think we, uh, put our positions in the
world first rather than, uh, needs of our fellow man.
B: Right. Uh, you know, population has always been a problem with everybody
and, uh, of course our white and black brothers now are worrying about
uh, Indian families and they're get... they're too large. They've always
been too large. This is the general idea. And, uh, we ought to stop, uh,
having so much offspring and sort of economize Do you think
we've changed any along those lines? Do you think we're, we're keeping in
step with the rest of the world where the size of our families?
H: Yes, I think so. I think, um, so many contraceptive devices have taken
care of this and, uh, various health departments and society has sort of
stepped in and provided a lot of things sad a lot of things available
along this line. At, but at the same time I contend that God ;didn't put
a mouth here but what he prepared something for that mouth. So I say if we
have the children they'll be provisions made for them. And I don't think
they're really overcrowding the world... earth either.
B: Because this is the... wouldn't you say this concept that ;you've stated
right there is widely held among our people? Most of our people believe this.
They say that the lord didn't put a person here that he didn't provide.
H: Yes... uh, of the older generation and the younger genera... ration I sort
of think you know, uh, is leaning in the other direction. They're, well
LUM 64A 20
they sort of got cought up in the rat race also. They're working' and they
don't have time for... for families or to take care of families so they're
trying' to avoid large families.
B: How about our family structure. You know of our, uh, there are families
r\ _g90y civilization g some... amongst some people 1_
t he mother is the head of the family is, uh, where the father is the
head I+ r o And do you think it's universal
here that, uh, we do have the patriarchal family structure with the head
of the family being the man?
H: Well, at one time yes. But, uh, not so much so anymore. I think it's sort
of a fifty-fifty thing right now, don't you feel that way?
B: You think we're getting away from that?
H: Sort of, yes.
B: I do.
H: I think we're leaning a little in the, you know, out towards women lib a little
bit. I think the women are sort of taking the lead. Or maybe not the need...
lead but side by side...
B: Uh huh.
H: ... step right now.
B: We don't have any conflicts about it to speak of that you know.
H; I wouldn't think so racewise. But, uh, of course, uh, family wise, sure there's
probably some conflict but, uh, that's normal throughout this world. But, uh,
nothing to be alarmed about.
B; Sometimes women argue about this pretty hard and they, well, uh, we don't need
men at all, uh, you've forgotten about artificial insemination. Uh, what do
we need with men but just to feel 'em a little.....
H: That's not realistic though.
LUM 64A 21
B: There has to be a man even there to... l /
H: Right, that's not very realistic. No, I think there's a need for botht3E;2 l
always be a need for both.
B: That's right.
H: Uh, I think in God's plan this was from the beginning that, oh, he would have just
made Adam, he wouldn't have added Eve had he not seen the need for companionship.
B: That's right.
H: sharing love...
B: That's good to know.
H: And to share all sorts of conflicts and things that you encounter in life.
I think it takes two to and two to work together really to, to be
constructive, uhi' to do a good job at anything.
B: How about our church life? We've had some critics in the past. We always
have our share of critics. Uh, people who are sort of. Who
lnJTf -.g.i. about OUVt their negative things
about our people and, uh, one gentleman who is supposed to be an authority
on American Indians said several years ago that Indian survivors are not
really interested in religious things. How about that?
H: Oh, I think they're re... really interested. I think, uh, this is one of the
things that have, uh, kept the Indian faith so strong is the... the fact
that, uh, we had two things tol.. that we were hitched on back in years when
uh, under depression and then when we were having so many hardships, uh, uh,
our religion and, uh, love for, uh, family life.
B: Uh huh.
H: Maybe I'll phrase it that way... was our faith in God. I think this has been
one of the strongest things in the relig... uh, in the Indian, uh, heritage
or in our background is our religion,see.
LUM 64A 22
B: I bet we have more churches than anybody. I don't know about the, uh, membership
but we sure have churches.
H: We got pretty good membership, most of them. However I'm not sure about
B: We have so many churches in... in Pembroke when Dr. E. Stanley Jones, the
great Methodist Minister came over and made a bid several years ago. And, uh,
we tell him we had, uh, at least eleven churches in the city limits of
Pembroke. Of course, several of those churches belong to the same denomination
and Dr, Jones said well now if this makes sense, I don't have any.
H: Yeah. We've got lots of churches. I just wonder about how...
8: $ ^/^,- do you?
B: Well I doubt if we do you?
H: Not if we fill the few. We can certainly can have too many. But I just wonder
how dedicated we are, you know, right now we're not quite as dedicated I don't
think as we should be.
B: You think we're not quite as dedicated as we used to be?
H: Absolutely. I think we sort of strayed away ...
B: Like everybody else.
H: from... right... I think we sort of strayed away. However I'll go back to the
Jesus movement. I think this is sort of catching on here in the Rob/son
County area and I think this sort of, you know, with the young people is
bringing about some changes. I can see some of that taking place in my home,
S SJ /90 T~ right now. But, uh, my children are real
interested in, uh, uh, church choirs and youth programs and at one time, you
know, they wasn't so concerned...
B: Uh huh.
H: ... about the church...
B: That's great.
LUM 64A 23
H: ... program. So I can see it. It has some bearing even in my home.
B: Well that's great. And do you think the time will come when... when being
a Christian will actually be popular thing to do?
Hi^ Yes. I, I really... I feel that it will be.
B: That's great.
H: I think it should be the popular thing to do.
B: Uh huh.
H: But, uh, at the same time I think we have to evaluate, uh, our everyday, uh,
obstacles along with our Christianity and combine the two. And, uh, if we
put God first it will, uh, our Christianity will be the most popular thing
B: And do you feel our, that our people are a deeply religious people?
H: Yes I do. I really do.
B: I'm glad you feel that way because this is... this is, uh, the way I see it
too that our people are deeply religious. Although our religion differs
from that of some groups of American Indians, uh, most... most of the... uh,
endorsed the, the Christian movement.
H: Uh huh.
B: haven't we?
H: Well this is about the height of entertainment for some of our people because this
is what they live for, is their Christian activities. They are constantly, as
a matter of fact my father was a Minister. I was raised in a Christian home
that was real dedicated.
B: What was...
H: ... and...
B: ... your father's name? Could we put ...
LUM 64A 24
B: ...his name on tape.
H: Reverend James E. tSe. And my mother was, uh, Sr e a .
B: Uh huh. )
H: But she was a before she was married and, uh, she passed away a couple
of years ago with cancer. But, um, my parents were real devoted to their
Christian work. And, uh, I was brought up almost in church constantly. And, uh,
as a child I think perhaps I sort of, you know, thought well I, I would love
to do something other than stay in church continuously but as I grow older I
appreciate, really appreciate, you know, the value of being brought up by
B: Right. And of course his family name is spelled B-E-L-L.
B: Uh, and this is primarily a farming area.
H: It is... predominantly a farming section and most of the people own their
home through this area and there's quite a lot of Indian land owners through
here. Most of, uh, the population through here are Indian. However we've
got one Black family, uh, about an hour and a half. The only Black family in
this section that bought within the last couple of years.
B: Uh huh.
H: And we have, well there's several Whites that own property in this area. At
one time this was all White but the Indians have purchased this land and
the majority of this land in the last number of years, perhaps twenty, twenty-five
B: Do you think it's the ambition of the average Indian to own a little piece of
H: Yes I do. And I think that t his is sort of proving out in the last,....( end
of side 1)
LUM 64A 25
B: This is side two of the interview with Mrs. Holmes. Uh, what were you saying
when... do you remember what you were saying when we were interrupted un-
fortunately by the tape running out.
H: I believe we were still on the land bit in the area. We were talking' about
the, uh, people, uh, who have purchased land. I think, I'm not positive
about this... within the community.
B: Uh, do you think maybe the Indian people are more eager to own some land
than other poeple?
H: Definitely. I, I really do. Because, uh, we did not have an opportunity to, uh,
work in public jobs,we could not even go into the mills. We, uh, had no
choice of, uh, labor opportunities other than farming, uh, until the ?ILe
movement brought about integration. So, um, I think our people, once they
had an opportunity to work, uh, to obtain, uh, good jobs the first goal was to
buy a little plot of land to build a home and I think this is proven now
because there has been so many that have built, not only the younger people)
"oS And of course, uh, this low income housing, uh, development has, uh,
really been a asset and a, a... purchase of low income family homes and it
has really meant a lot to the Indian people.
B: Uh huh. How is that development coming along)by the way?
H: Great. I, however I think there's a little gotten away right now
with all the Nixon Administration cutbacks and that sort of thing. I think,
um, uh, there is a possibility that they'll be some cutbacks in the area,
however there are a few who, uh, had their, uh, who had purchased these homes
already that were permitted to go ahead with the buildingS. However I'm not
sure that they're,you know, will be able to... obtain these mortgages anymore
after these are completed.
B: Well, this is very unfortunate. is' 6
LUM 64A 26
H: It is... ad real sad. I, I just hope something develops .. .
B: Well, t._._ d & ____ wanna... we wanna at least maintain
what we've got.
H: Yes, we do. And as a matter of fact we want to move forward. We want to get
some more of these housing developments in this area, because we really have
a need for these, um, older people, the elderly people who, of our own wealth or
4 u who are on social security that have not place to stay. This is
really being great for them because these are low income housing development not
for... the rental cmes I'm speaking of right now has really been a lot safer
to these people and I'm real grateful that they're able to have decent living
quarters. However we still have about, I believe about sixty-four percent
of our people living in poverty right now that are living in homes without
adequate water and adequate, um, uh, sanitation facilities.
B: Uh, that's very, very tragic, isn't it?
H: It is.
B: Uh, sometimes I... when I'm writing a story for the newspaper as I am pretty
honest, I'm afraid. I say we're a... one of the, Robfson is one of the
poorest counties in one of the poorest states in the union. I don't like to
say that but this is actually, uh, that's the size of it, isn't it?
H: It is. It is one of the poorest out of the hundred counties I think Rob/son...
I'm not positive, but I believe it's about the second, is it not, Bofer S!
in the state?
B: Its something like that. It's... it's almost down...
H: It's right at the bottom I'm sure. I'm not quite... I'm not quite positive
but I would venture to say second.
B: How about our health? Uh, do you think that, um, our health problems, do we have
more health problems?
H: Uh, at one time. Right now I'm not sure. But, um, for you...um, for your
LUM 64A 27
sanitation, uh, facilities are inadequate. Uh, it just stands to reason that our
health is poorer so I'm sure that the health standards are lower. I would say
B: Among most of the groups of American Indians throughout the Americas, North,
South and Central America, uh, it's my understanding that statistics show
that, uh, the American Indians commit suicide more often than anybody else. Do
you think this is true in our area or hadn't you thought about this particular
H: Yes I have thought of that and I think this is quite evident in this area
because we have had quite a lot of suicides and, uh, I think this is true
across the United States with the Indian population.
B: And do you think there's a reason for this?
H: Yes. I, I think there definitely is a reason. Uh, uh, one thing I think
uh, an... an Indian feels inferior, he's not able to compete with the world.
And this sort of, you know, feels... makes him feel that he's neglected, he's
left out of the society and he has nothing to live for.
B: Uh huh.
H: And at the same time that's a sick person, you know, that.. that starts
thinking' in terms of AC,- bwever we've got to face the fact, we have
quite a lot of that.
B:4 t, --c that's very unfortunate. How about the alcohol problem,didn't
we have our share of that?
H: We had our share. Uh, not out of proportion with the other counties I, I
just don't think we're that far but we had a chance.
B: Uh huh.
B: People have always said that alcohol was a big thing with Indians and, uh, you
LUM 64A 28
know, we've had our critics. The American Indians have had their critics down
through pages of history.
H: Can't control their whiskey.? Clt(au )
B: When they do have it they can't control it.674ibf
H: Ah, I don't know. I just tend to think that's a rumor, what do you think? "'
B: I don't know. (lU.4Ai)
H: I think any...
B: I guess you're right.
H: I guess any race can overdo that Black, White or Indian either. &I /Z 4
B: Right.- Sometimes I like to remind people, say well, by gosh, there wasn't
any of the stuff over here 'till the White people brought it over here from...
from the Old World.
H: That's true,
B: This is true. But, uh, it is here and when he came it was certainly welcome,
wasn't it? (7-A)
B: .., with most of our people... most of the Indian people. Uh, when White
people came to this country, of course, uh, what most people don't seem to
realize is that Indians think independently and they do differ sometimes. But
there seems to have always been two minds among our people and in the beginning
no doubt this was so because there were those who said well, let's adopt the
White man's civilization. It's... it's a better civilization than our own
and there were those who said no that society's taking everything we've got.
And somehow we've, uh, reached some kind of a compromise 11 being
virtually destroyed over a long period of time. But how do you, how do you think
our people, uh, have you thought about our people as a group. How do they feel
about these things today, do you think that, uh, they have further accepted
uh, Western civilization. O -C 1f4F ; ?
LUM 64A 29
H: I think so. I think we've accepted it and, uh, we sort of tried to pattern
identical to the White man but yet our society has denied us the same rightful
place in society that the White man has,
B: Uh huh.
H: We're... we're still a second class citizen is my, is my feeling on the thing
regardless of how we struggle to compete. We're just a little less in this
society in Robson County than the White man. This is not true outside the
county, uh, because I've lived out in Michigan and I've lived, uh, in Merlton
and, uh, and as a matter of fact I think they respect you, uh, for being
an Indian more. I think they really put some value. You know, you say you're
Indian. Right away, oh that's great, my mother's so and so friends are
B: You mean elsewhere, not here?
H: Elsewhere. But in Robson County it, uh, it's always been sort of degrading.
However I'm proud,I'm real proud to be an Indian and I think it has its
advantages and, uh, I would never deny or, um, or sort of tend to shy away
from the fact that I'm Indian anywhere in the world. But, uh, in Robson
County it has some ff s
B: Uh huh. Uh, somebody said that discrimination ends at the Rob1son County
uh, boundary line.
H: I say likewise. '
B: But, you think this is really ?
H: I _ it, it certainly does, uh, as far as the Indian population
is concerned. Now discrimination doesn't end at the boundary lines, uh,
if you take -. ______-_e- across the line I think we each
have some prejudice although we don't want to admit or talk about that. I
think we're prejudiced to a certain degree. But as far as prejudice uh, towards
LUM 64a 30
Indians I think it ends. The atmosphere seems to feel different when you
get outside of Rob/son County, you know, you get over inL6 WC.)
B: Uh huh.
H: ... uh, you just get a little lighter feeling. You feel you're part of the
people, you know. That you're not try... made an outsider. Maybe this is
my feeling but, uh, I think-uh, most of the Indians if they're truthful
would say the same thing because, uh, uh, you walk into a department store
they sort of say well, who are you? If you want this you go ahead and
you help yourself or, uh, maybe I'm looking for this. I don't know. But, uh,
I just feel different in Lumberton, in a few of the Rob/son County cities and
outside of the city in Feultie I feel so comfortable and I know that the
Black man has, uh, opened the way for us and we are free to, uh, sit down
in a restaurants and anything which we could not do before integration
came about. But I still feel a little insecure. I feel that I'm not wanted
or that they would rather I'd went some other place although, uh,...
B: Do you feel that they're doing it only because the law says they must?
H: Sure. Definitely.
B: Uh huh.
H: I think it's a forced thing and uh, they accepted us. However I think there's
some Whites even in the county that doesn't feel this way now but I'm not
speaking for the entire county. This is just some of the people and you can't
change all the people. But, uh, I...
H: ... think... I have some friends, some of the... my best friends are White.
I have customers that are White in the shop. I appreciate all of 'em. But, uh,
there are some that wouldn't come to my shop if there was no other place
to go in the county. They would drive a hundred miles.
LUM 64A 31
B: And by the way let's get a plug in here for your shop. What kind of shop
H: Uh, it's a beauty shop. I run the beauty shop.
B: Are you a beautician?
H: Yes I am.
B: Uh, could you do anything for me?
H: Oh, yeah. As long as it lasts. Yeah, I'm quite a busy lady. I have, uh...
B: What is the name...?
H: It's the Saddle Tree Beauty Shop. I... I'm not working at it full time now
that I got involved in many other things although I work probably four days
a week. Sometimes five. I have help. I get real crowded I call my daughter
who's an operator, the one that's a teacher, she helps me on Saturdays if
I'm real crowded and I have another little girl that comes in and helps out
too. As a matter of fact there's a couple of 'em. So, um, we have a...
it's quite interesting. I deal with people all the time. It's been a, a
good experience for me because I enjoy people. I love people.
B: Uh huh.
H: And, uh, I've met some of the most wonderful people through my business and
I didn't realize they were so valuable until I, you know, really got out
working with the public.
B: Uh huh.
H: But, um, they... I... people, you know, seeing, I get close to them and I
miss them when they leave and it's, it's really been a heartwarming experience
in this profession. I feel that I'm doin' a lot for society to... I say the
doctor cures them inside the head I cure the hair outside.
B: That's great.
H: I feel the morale spiratually.
LUM 64A 32
B: Uh, it does help a girl's morale or a guys, uh, you know, when they know
they c0 -C.
H: Certainly and by the way I do men too. I did two today.
B: Well, I A kLAh pre+ 164 / You don't mind me coming around
and sitting around and 3SA ort of angling for some more interviews at your
place, do you?
H: N_ just come on over here. You're welcome any time. The door's open.
B: I certainly appreciate that and it might, uh, be good for the girls for... for
a guy to be around looking and...
H: Yeah. We always say men...
B: ... at the improvements and so on.
H: Right. It's a real, It's interesting. We always say, you know, when the men
come in, alright girls just move aside now here comes the man. We got
a man in the audience.. Now he's first. Of course they don't move over very
B: You enjoy doing this, don't you?
H: Oh, yes. It's really interesting. Really. And I enjoy my work,
B: Uh, what does your husband do?
H: My husband's a farmer. He's quite a farmer too. He, um, he's a
go getter. He works all the time. We were just talking' before you came
in that he's gonna work till he drops. But, um, he enjoys his work as well
B: Uh huh.
H: I don't enjoy farming... at all but it's a good life.I enjoy living in the
B: I'm sure he must be unusual and, uh,...
H: So we sort of compromise.
LUM 64A 33
B: ...that sort of thing because, uh, he did. After all he won you.
H: Well, that's not saying a whole lot but, I wouldn't tell him that now. But, um,
We, we have a, a good, um, relationship and we, we've sort of done... I can't
complain We've done alright. We've been able to manage to, well, purchase
some land, some homes.
H: We've got... maybe it sounds, maybe I would sound boastful but I'm not saying
it boastful, I'm saying it grateful because we've been fortunate, we haven't
had alot of sickness but we've got eight homes and % worked for 'em. I mean
we've really worked hard.
H: They're not all brick. They we re... this is rental property. And, um,
he is... he's quite a man. He's bought quite a bit of land- property '__
But, um, we got it the hard way. We started out with nothing. I think so...
one of our aunts gave us a hen and my mother gave us five dollars when we
got married. So we started from that. But it was... the good Lord's
been good to us. He's been on our side. We hadn't had any...
B: Well that's great.
H: ... hospital bills to speak of. We haven't had any sickness. We've, we've just
been real fortunate. And, uh, I'm real grateful as I said I'm not boas...
saying that boastfully. I'm saying it humble.
B: Yes I'm sure you are.
U: A I sC C
B: But you now....
H: But I don't have a thing to brag. I'm just real grateful.
U: And that's wonderful.
B: We used to have a, a custom among our people, you know, that when the, uh,
LUM 64A 34
father died he gave all the land to the guys that he expected the girl to
H: Uh huh.
B: And I, and I guess this is part of this old patriarchal family structure.
H: It is.
B: Uh, do you think we're getting away from that)maybe?
H: Well, sort of. But at the same time I think, uh, you know, we, we had, we had
so many hardships growing up, um, that we sort of want to say, well I'm gonna
leave this for my children, you know. I'm working hard so that I can leave
this, this property and this home or this that and the other for the children
which I think is sort of bad. I think we ought to enjoy life 'cause we
need it day to day and not plan to leave a whole lot here, accumulate a lot.
I think we ought to educate our children. I'm working hard to educate my
children and at the same time if I'm fortunate enough to keep what I had
together I'll be happy to leave it for them but I'm not striving to
accumulate axhole lot to leave to my children. I think I want to teach
them sme values so that they'll get out and make a living for themselves.
I wanna prepare them...
B: Uh huh.
H: ... to make a good living then I want them to sort of lean on their own.
I don't think it's good to just, you know, just pave their way for them so
B: Prejudice is a very real problem, very real human problem with which each of
us has to deal in his own way. But sometimes I thought about writing a book
called,"The Nature of Human Prejudice I want to understand this because Itm,
I'm interested promote,., promoting human understanding. And ITm on,, I'm in,
terested more in the human race than any one particular race but I love my
people in a special way. I want to help them all I can. But, do you think
LUM 64A 35
it's possible that no matter what group we belong to but we... we're all afflicted
with this deadly thing called prejudice?
H: Yeah. I think we're a little bit prejudice. I, you know, I stated this earlier.
Regardless of what race I think we tend to, uh, sort of lean towards our own
people a little ;more. However I think this is... has its good and, uh, and its
bad aspects because, uh, I think we ought to look at individuals and, uh, uh,
B: Uh huh.
H: ... on their individual personalities rather than base it on colors and races
and that sort of thing.
B: I've heard it said about White brother that he.,. he equates the wor& of our
1(A^ f1.Ak 0ut4'lA4J *,
uh, the worst of his people with the best of ours. ".t U 1-
H: I... I..
B: t.C A.4\* rewa3 ?
H: Im not sure that we would use... do you think we'd stack that high?
I'm not sure we... we're catorized quite that high.
B: Well I hope so anyways. We have to work all those problems out.
H: I'd like to think so but I sort of doubt that. Uh, I don't know, uh, if you, uh,
my daughter had a letter in public forum, uh, a couple of weeks ago I ninth
grader & Wy nCA 4 O'^i don't know if you read that or not but
anyway she received a reply from this letter. It says, "All Lumbees are half-
breeds and, uh, Tuscaroras are even a little lower than this." So this tells
me and I'm sure this is from a non-Indian ...
B: Uh huh.
H: This tells me that, uh, we're not... they're putting us, you know, quite low.
So I wouldn't think they would, uh, eataTr-e us in a, a, uh, lower one.
B: Uh huh.
LUM 64A 36
H: Of course, they, you know, they always say our poor plights. But, uh, at the
same time, uh, I think they're saying, you know, you Indians are just a little
bit lower than the poor whites.
B: Do you think the Indians get equal pay for equal work?
H: No, I do not. Uh, well now, job level, yes, uh, in the mill it's a white 'n
the Indian are doin' the same job, uh,... I feel they would get the same
pay, yes. However I think, um, that there are better jobs came available
the White would get a preference. The better job over the Indian no- matter
how, you know, uh, much...
B: No matter how qualified he is?
H: Qualified. Right. No matter how qualified the Indian is, this has been the
pattern in the past, now. I'm not sure that this is happening right on but
I... from all indications of reports that I get out in the shop from the mill
and I get quite a few of the mill workers. Uh, this is what they tell me
that the White always gets the better job.
B: Now Mrs. Holmes we, we haven't talked before at all, have we?
H: No we haven't. This is our first conversation.
B: We have, uh, a non-Indian interviewer /n our program. I wonder how you feel
about this. Uh, she's interviewing Indian people bw do you think our
people would react to this. You think she would be accepted?
H: I think she would be accepted. Yes I do. I think Indians are broad minded and
open minded. Uh, however she may run into a few who sort of resents the fact
but I think, uh, openly, uh, uh, most people would really...just, uh, would
accept her as well as anyone else.
B: Well that's great. Do you think our people then are less prejudice than, than, uh,
other people, you know?
H: Yes I do. I feel that they're less prejudiced.
LUM 64A 37
B: Uh huh. If you had, uh, the ability to dhange anything in this world that you
wanted to change, well not in the world but in Robfson County.. If you could
change anything you wanted to like, uh, the guy who rubbed the wonderful lamp,
Aladin's Lamp Lamp do you remember the story?
H: No. No.
B: What would change. Uh, this is a big question to ask you but have you ever
sort of day dreamed about what you'd like to c'ange...
H: ... to change ...
B: ... about this thing.
H: Um, first I'd like to change the hearts of all the people who resent, you know, um,
people who are not in their, uh, standard of or level of living. I would
like to see people accept individuals on merit rather than races. I' d like
to see 'em, um, give the minority people equal job opportunities, equal
educational opportunities. Uh, let us pick our rightful place in society
right along with the other part of the society and deny anyone, uh, not deny
anyone a right to, uh, stay on top.
B: Uh huh.
H: Just let everybody live his own life and move at his own pace regardless of
race, creed, co..
B: That's great. Although we have, uh, we do recognize that we have prejudice.
On the other extreme however, and this is in a much less degree, we have those
people who are actually attracted to the Indians because they are exotic
people uh, they are different to them and then they manifest a different
feeling. They represent differences and they're attracted to them for... but
do you think this is in enough degree to justify the other kind of of thing? Uh,
some people actually prefer Indians and you know, to other people.
H: You're speaking of men. I ____ass e
LUM 64A 38
B: Well it could be men or women.
H: It could be either one, right. Uh huh. Well, uh, speaking for the women, the
majority of the Indian women are... men too... are nice looking' people. Pat our=
selves on the back.
B: Uh huh. Right.
H: I, I really think that Indian people are the most attractive people in the
B:l ( So 'T1f4 cf94 reA urt..
H: Maybe I'm a little prejudice there...
B: Uh huh.
H: ... but, um..,
B: I feel that way.
H: But think, uh, our features are are quite striking and, uh, that there's just
something appealing, you know, and I think it, it sort of has it's o in ...rt
B: Uh huh.
H: But sort of, you know, come on sign. And I think, yes...
B: They think that most of the exoticism is probably... is just, uh, appearance,
H: I think so. I think it's appearance and, uh, I think we have some qualities that,
uh, other races do not-Sw .
B: That's good because it's great to find, uh, somebody who has pride in their
ra... in their own group. And, uh, but because we so often encounter the
opposite, you know, people who say well, no matter what they do or no matter
how we work or strive they're not going to achieve anything or accomplish any-
thing. We might as well accept our 10 and you are not that way at all,
H1 Well, thank you. No, I think this is a wide open world although we have some
LUM 64A 39
stumbling blocks, -e're .handicapped and we're deprived somewhat. I think if we
really get in there and, uh, pitch, we've got enough incentive. We can
overcome these, uh, obstacles.
B: Well that sounds good. Uh, do you have any advice you'd like to give other
girls would might want to run for office. If anybody if any girl ever ran
for office under worse conditions than you I don't know who it could have
B: Because we talked about double voting and, uh, this is the most fought-for
position in Robson County is the Board of Education.
B: And yet you won and, uh, after meeting you today and talking with you today
I'm beginning to understand why... but I wanna ask you, uh, did you use any...
what kind of magic you uses k USOg-I 5 being
very attractive and uh, having a very great personality and that sort of thing.
H: Well thank you. Uh, no special methods or techniques. I just dealt honestly
with the people. I presented the facts and I, I expressed a need for change
in the county system. I think we deserve, uh, a place on the board. I think we
need a, to be a part of the decision making when it comes to the education of our
children which we have been denied with, uh, sixty percent of the Indian
population, student wise, uh, in the county and one Indian representative
on a board of seven was just, uh, not, uh, towing the mark. So, um, I presented
these facts to the people and I asked them very honestly and very sincerely
to let's change the situation and let's, uh, give the Indian people a voice.
Let's see if we couldn't change the educational program as well because I, I
feel that our educational standard is low, low, quite low 'cause I've been
affiliated with other schools and my children, older children, uh, went to
LUM 64A 40
in Detroit, Michigan and I know that, uh, our county schools are below the
B: Uh huh.
H: So I presented, uh, some of these facts to the people and I just, uh,
dealt with 'em on aB ) ? C4&* Ck And I'm still
B: Uh huh.
H: And, uh, uh, trying to make some changes. It's hard, I'm only one member.
But, however, I feel that, uh, I have some cooperation from the board and we
work quite well together. I uh, have, we have different ideas and I express
my opinions as well as the other members and if I, uh, feel, uh, that something
should be corrected or changed I, I'm not afraid to voice my opinion however
I don't argue with them. I, uh, try to show my point of view and reason with
them. We discuss problems and, uh, I, I think we're headin' in a direction
that, uh, will eliminate a lot of the problems in the county
H: It's a slow process but, uh, I think we're making' some steps that really
say a lot to the people.
B: May I ask you a personal question? Did you do any praying while you were there?
H: Yes I did. I really did. Before I even, uh, I, I prayed sincerely.
And I, I really did. I said now if, if this is the right decision, uh, I said,
Lord I want you to show me and if it is the right decision I want to win this,
election. And if you see that I can't win this election, that I'm, I'm not the
person for this position. I said, put a stumbling block in the way. Don't
let me fi... I'll do something... think something about better change my
thinking before, uh, Al Aday this year. So everything just went through
with flying colors. I had no, no obstacles so I thought, well, it must
LUM 64A 41
be within the will of the Lord so from that standpoint I started working
really hard. h o Vc, ,
B: That's great. That's fine.
H: f erl read successful. Of course I realize I'm gonna have some uh, pros and
cons and, uh, some conflicts to encounter before this four year term is QC F
but I think I can, uh, handle it rCCe T #',*a,
B: Oh, I'm sure you... I'm so sure you can.
H: Well it's not gonna be a bed of roses. But, ur, I'm not gonna let, um,
difference of opinion and little petty grievances, uh, you know, I'm not
gonna let 'em throw me.
B: Uh huh. Would you give me.,4 this program your blessing?
H: Certainly. I can't see... A )'"* "
B: I, iL... L tho t ___ _._.
H: It has been r )S & i(
B: You are such a... a plus person, uh, you're so positive.
H: Well thank you.
B: An inspiring...
H: It's been a real interesting.
B: It's been a real experience meeting you and talking with you and sharing these
things with us. And, uh, I won't keep holding you because I, um, I know
how busy you must be.
H: Oh, thank you. I've enjoyed it. You've been a wonderful, wonderful person
and I Si-l to meeting you. I've heard so much about you and, and I
thoroughly enjoyed this.
B: Well thank you so very much. And, uh, I want to thank you for the University
of Florida History Department and for the Doris Duke Foundation because you
have a great contribution and, and we're very appreciative.
LUM 64A 42
H: The pleasure was all mine.
B: Thank you very much.