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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
Barton interview w/
Mrs. Ednaral Hammonds
B. This is April 26, 1973. I am Lew Barton recording for the American Indian
Oral History Program under the auspices of the University of Florida and
the Doris Duke Foundation. This afternoon we are in the home of Mrs. Edna-
Hammonds, is that correct?
H: It's famvr Hammonds.
B: I'm very sorry, Mrs. ....Ed Arl?
H: EfTrgi Hammonds.
B: And we're right here in the )# /Th area?
H: No, this would be the Saddletree area.
B: Saddletree area. You know there are a number of Indian communities in
Robison County, and uh, sometimes it's hard to distingu;Sh between them, isn't
it? We have lots of communities, don't we?
H: / do.
B: Now what's your husband's name?
H: Ales Hammonds.
B: Ales Hammonds. That's spelled with an "s" on the end, right?
H: Um, huh.
B: And uh, how many children do you have?
B: Would you mind givin' us their names and ages?
H: Uh, Merle Hammonds, age fifteen, William Hammonds, age fourteen, and Melanie
Hammonds, age ten.
B: Who were you before you married?
H: Uh, I was the daughter of Edmand Locklear.
B: S #ti. is this the same one I know? Did you ...
were you born here in Pembroke
H: Well, he was.
B: Are you a teacher?
H: No, I am an extension worker.
H: I work with the Agriculture Extension as a nutrition aide.
B: I see.
B: That sounds like interesting work.
H: It is.
B: What are your duties specifically?
H: Well, I work out with uh, low-income families mostly.
B: Uh, huh. And you give them help in preparing ....
H: I give the help ... I assist them in ... in preparing uh, nutritous foods
for their families.
B: Is is true that the main difficulty with low-income families often is that
they simply need to choose the right foods?
H: Well, we have so many that really don't know how to choose the right foods.
B: Uh, huh. But it's not altogether an economic condition; it's alot of it
hinges also on this problem.
B: It's very interesting. And uh, I believe the community service centers used
to do some of this, I don't know'whether they did exactly what you're doing.
But uh, tri- county community action ./ doing some of that at one time.
(They called it ,..didn't call it ). I don't remember exactly what we
called it, but it had to do with similar ... in some respects ... it did
deal with the diet, and preparation of foods. Can you ... are there some
_> f_ _T _Uei_ k I might be able to get a nutritous meal, maybe at not much'
cost or maybe I might be able to cut down on the cost of a meal?
H: Yes, there is. Um, huh.
B: Aad maybe it might even be more appetizing.
H: That's right.
B: This is great. I think every family really / it.
H: Well, you know we have alot of ... the main thing that we try to work with
... with 'em, uh, is uh, milk. Getting enough milk in their diet. And we
show them different ways that they can use milk in preparing' their food;
that they can get ... get,-it,-you know, in their food.
B: Without actually ...
H: Without ...you know, actually drinking' it.
B: Uh, huh, we have had dietary diseases in this county at one time. Like
pellegra. This is not a threat anymore, is it?
H: No, I don't think it is, not like it was ... has been in the past.
B: Does diet have anything to do with diabetes? Or are they related?
H: Well, we don't work, you know, with that.
B: Uh, huh.
H: We wouldn't ... I wouldn't advice a person that has diabetes ... a diet to go
by. I would say for them to see their doctor, you know, go by what the
doctor would say.
B: Right. Do you think there are very many families in the Indian community
which are in need of dietary help?
H: Yes. I think we have more uh, with me, uh, I think we have more Indian people
like that than any other. I think it's more in the Indians and the blacks...
B: There are actually some ... I don't know what you would call JViW, but
sometimes even religious which recommends certain diets and things like
this, so I ... evidently diet is very, very important for well-being.
H: Yes, yes it is. We also work with ... with our homemakers. That's what we
call them,\ "homemakers." Uh, we uh, teach them to stretch their food dollars
and uh, ... check in the newspaper 0 for the grocery specials and take
advantage of the speicals, you know, if they can. And buy things while their
B: This I like to do when I can.
H: And we try to teach them to make a grocery list each week, and go by that
B: So shopping them is something of a science in, itself then?
H: Yes. And plan their ... plan their meals for a week.
B: Uh, huh. Meal by meal.
H: Right. Plan it. Make a list of it and uh, that's a good savings there, too.
B: It sounds like I need you to work with me. Oh, me. I uh, I think we're
having a little difficulty with the lights,but perhaps if we keep operating
".... we're right in the middle of a thunderstorm, I believe, so I'll just
explain this in case there's thunder going on over the tape. Uh, where
did you go to school?
H: I went to school at Magnolia.
B: Did you go to college?
H: No, I didn't.
B: Well, I don't think everybody wants to go to college, or should even really.
Sometimes t some valuable years can be lost; could be better used somewhere
else, you know.
H: Well, we all can't go.
B: Right. You went to Magnolia. Magnolia's the biggest school that's
traditionally Indiana 4WMw Orf-? r rf I, is that right?
H: I think so.
B: Well, it's tradi---, it isn't Indian anymore.
B: But it certainly was the largest ... wonder how many people are out there now?
H: I really don't know.
B: It's ... when I was in high school they / working, you know, teaching
girls about cooking, household things, they called it--Home Ec, I believe.
H: Um, huh.
B: This is sorta along the same lines, isn't it?
H: Yes. I work with youth, too, right now, uh, well, I only have one youth
group right now, but uh, I uh, help them in fixin' starting' you know,
cooking' and all.
B: What do you think of our youth, uh, do you think they're goin' to the dogs?
Or do you think ...?
H: No, I don't think so. Uh,
B: I'm glad because ....
H: Uh, huh.
B: I don't feel that way either. Some people seem to.
B: It seems to me we have the best informed generation that ever lived. They
certainly show alot of promise.
H: I'd say ... I think the youth is more wiser and they're smart, too.
B: Perhaps the difference is thay they're a little bitter compared economically
than we were, or at least than I was when I was coming' up Have alot of
cars available ---some money to spend, this sort of thing;
B: I enjoy working with young people myself. They have ... they have an idea
that they've kept going pretty well. This is the idea of love. "What the
world needs most is love, sweet love," is a song. But I don't think they're
talking about romantic love at all, but that the principle of love will keep
us from war, that sort of thing.
B: Which is practically the same thing Jesus taught, I guess two
thousand years ago. when he said, "My eight commandments are fulfilled,
the one commandment---"love your neighbor as yourself and love God --.
H: Um, huh.
B: Do you think our young people are better uh, better fed and healthier
than other generations?
H: Yes, um, huh. I do.
B: They ... they constantly amaze me. I was poet-in residence at Wilkes
High School for a week. 'Course I worked with about a thousand of them
that week. I had a ball, and uh, we produced about five hundred poems,
and I was amazed at the quality of the poetry that they turned out. Igs
6 4t M' what young people know and can do. I haven't given up on them
at all. Have you?
H: No, I haven't.
B: Uh, in this community here you uh, these three communities are pretty well
tied together, or very close together, aren't they? f_,'_-eA_, __ 7
and uh ...
B: Saddletree. And is there another community that ties in very closely
with these two?
H: Uh, ... uh, ?-KV r NIIcommunity.
B: Oh, uh, the Indian community I like to think of it as an overall community.
It's pretty far-flung, isn't it?
B: Some sections of the county you can ride for miles and miles:: without ever seeing
any families except Indian families.
H: That's right and ... and through here is ... is all Indian families.
B: Uh, huh.
H: And most of 'em is owners, you know, they own their own ...
B: We've had two sides to the story and I guess there are two sides to every
story, but uh, do you think our peoplefas a whole are well-off as other
groups? Everything considered? I'm talking' about economically.
H: Well, ... in a ... in one way I would say "yes."
B: What way did you have in mind?
H: Well, I think in one way we are--considerin' that we have always been put
down. You know the Indian people has always been put down and I think,
considering we are.
B: Do you think we're showing improvement in this respect?
H: Yes, uh, huh.
B: Do you think we're coming up in spite of ...
H: YeAh, we are coming' up. Think we're coming' up.
B: That's good t hear.\ By the way I interviewed a young lady last night ,
Miss Ilene LO I/, and she believes this too.
B: And uh, it was a real inspiration to interview her and talk with her. She
never did tell me her age and of course I don't press for a lady's age.
She was a very lovely person ...
H: She is.
B: Lovely personality,0 ) -4 he seems to
be a very spiritual person.
B: How about the community here? You know, we've had a few diatribes written
about us in the past by people who didn't understand us, and they said we're
not really interested in education or really interested in religion and
stuff like this. Do you think our people are very religious people or are
H: Yes, I think so. Um, huh.
B: Guess perhaps we have more churches than anybody. I can think about
forty-one churches in the Burnt Swamp Baptist Association alone and all those
are Indian churches. I know we have close to a hundred churches.
B: We have so many churches that when Dr. E. Stanley Jones, the famous Methodist
minister, came to Pembroke a few years ago and found that there were some-
thing like thirteen churches in Pembroke, which is a town that has a population
of about maybe fifteen hundred or something, he said, not counting the
university population, he said, "If this makes sense, I haven't anyl"
He seemed to think we had too many churches. We don't feel that way, though,
B: I don't think you can have too many, too much ...
H: Uh, uh.
B: In this study we're trying to determine the lifestyle of our people---can
you think of any ways we differ from other people? We're alot like other
people. And for sure we also haves some differences. Can you think of any ways
that we differ from other people? What we are, the way we live, things like
H: Well, .I think that the Indian people have alot of pride,
B: That's good. extent. ^ s.1 Um'. huh. nn
H: To certain extent, yes. Urn, huh.
B: Do you think we have more pride in our community now than ever before?
B: And in ourselves?
H: Um, huh.
B: Do you think we should have pride in our selves?
H: Yes., um, huh.
B: This is very constructive, isn't it?
H: It sure is.
B: How about unity? Do you think we're any closer to unity now? You know,
somebo y said hat the only person that was able to really unite us was
James 0 Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan in 1958! Well, is this
because there's so many of us or is it because our community is so large,
is it becasue we're so individual-- we are rugged individualists, I be-
H: Yeah., I think we are too.
B: Do you think it's possible to get a great degree of unity among our people?
H: Yes. Um, huh-
B: How does your community feel about somebody coming in with whom they're not
familiar-- it might be another ethnic- somebody from another ethnic group.
Do you think they would uh, they would be looked upon askance or with
suspicion until they were known better?
H: Well, they would look suspicious until they, you know, was known better, I
B: Our people are not hostile, however, to strangers, are they? Downright
H: No. Um, huh.
B: I like to think that we are mainly hospitable people, but conditions alter
that I'm sure; times. We've had some tension in the county within recent
65 A LUM
months, haven't we?
H: Yeah. Uh, we did a survey about a month ago I guess, and we did this
survey of Pembroke and uh, the ... there's three races workin'--Indian,
black and white. So I had a white to say to me and a black, she said, "You
know I was afraid to come up here." She said that after I got there and got
to meeting' the people, she said this--the Indian people are some of the
nicest people I have ever met. And they really was.
B: It just took a little coming to know us, I guess.
l ) B:. Sometimes I'm apt to be a little bit negative in my expressions. My column
""today in the Carolina Indian V said, I believe I made a statement
like that of which I'm not very proud. How do you know who 0 to trust?
That's very negative.
B: But do you think our people are generally a good judge of character and do
you think they can recognize a person who's sincere?
H: I think so. Um, huh.
B: How about our people in appearance? You're a very attractive young lady
yourself---I've heard it said that we have the most beautiful women in the
H: Well, I've heard that too..
B: Have you?
H: Yes, I have.
B: I think so. I guess I'm prejudiced in our favor, but I'm not prejudiced
against anybody else. I don't think ... I hope I'm not. But it's just
that I'm more interested in our own people than anybody else.
H: Yes. I am too.
LUM 05 A
B: Do you think there's any danger of our losing our Indian community and our
Indian identify and all this?
H: No, um, uh.
B: Been here a long time ...
H: That's right.
B: An incident occurred a few months ago when I was discussing something with a
professor of sociology over at Pembroke State University and he voiced some
skepticism, of course he was new and he didn't know anything about the Indian
community. And I said, "Professor, professors come and professors go, but
Lumbee Indians go on forever." Shouldn't have said that perhaps, but I
believe it's true. I think the uh, scholars of Lumbee Indian history say
we've been here at least since 1660, and some of the archeological discoveries
have placed us back alot farther than that. There have been some Indians
around here for a long time. People are generally are proud of their race, don't
B: You, for instance, could pass for white. What we call "passing for white."
How do you feel about this? Would you scorn the idea?
H: Well, I had quite a few people to tell me that, but um, I'm proud to know
I am an Indian, and I don't deny my race.
B: Um, huh. Alright. It has been done in the past p by people, but I don't be-
lieve it's done nearly as much today as it was maybe ten years ago.
H: And I have been in groups of people that thought that I was white, and I
would let them know right away that I wasn't.
B: Black people have mottos and things to build pride in themselves like
"black is beautiful" and I think "peaches and cream" is also used. I uh, I
like ... I like the typical, what I think of as typical Indian exp--,
uh, complexion among our people, sort of "peaches and cream", and it's not
... it's ... it's as though somebody had a very slight suntan, and that
doesn't describe it well. It's ... it's the color ...this peaches and
cream color that ... it's ... it's radiates ... it's really a radiant
color. 'Course you have some exceptions to this, but I'm talking' about
the typical, if we've got a typical skin color. Does it trouble you what
people wtite about us sometimes when it's negative?
H: Sometime it do.
B: Do you think they look for the exception rather than the rule? Or unusual
H: Well, .... I think maybe some of both.
B: When Roy Thompson, a friend of mine who works on the Greensboro Daily, he
came to Pembroke a few years ago for the first time, he took his pad and
wrote down "Indians ,* .." This is the way his column began. 'Course
this is his style of writing; he says alot with a few words. But uh, are
we getting back to being conspicuously Indian? Do you think we uh, we've
developed our pride to the point that we do sort of show it off?
B: Think this is good for all of us?
H: I think so.
B: I think you have: to take pride in anything if you're going to do well at
it. In my own case the.reason I started curling a little about my identipy.I
guess was the same thing. People were trying to put us down and I was
ready to say "now wait just a cotton pickin' minute," ... But we have so
many things to be proud of that you have to call peoples' attention to
this 'cause uh, do you think there's mare interest in our history now than
H: Yes, um, huh.
B: that we were able to et a bier lace in the schools to talk about
B: I I_. that we were able to get a bigger place in the schools to talk about
ourselves. After all this is what the majority group does, and I think
there's about a week maybe out of the year which is devoted to minority groups.
Do you think this is adequate?
B: You don't think we should have more time than this to talk about our
H: Yes, I think so.
B: How about the churches now? Our people are in the midst of I don't know
whether you could call it a movement or not but we seem to be awakening to
our needs. Uh, do you think there's more of this talked about in church now
than there used to be?
H: Yes, um, huh.
B: Used to be a time when you didn't talk about anything in church except you
know strictly religious things. You didn't have as many social programs
and things of this nature. If you could change somehting about Robson
County or the Indian community, or anybody in Robson, or anything like
this, if you could rub an Aladdin's lamp and suddenly you had the power to do
anything you wanted to do, or change anything you wanted to change about
the people in Rob/son, what do you think you would do?
H: You mean our Indian ... our Indian people?
B: Yes, in relation to our Indian people all around.
H: Well, I would give them uh, better jobs.
B: Better jobs. Do you think we're getting a fair chance at the jobs, whatever
jobs there are available?
H: No. Not really.
B: Do Ai you think this is changing.
H: It is changing.
B: How about the attitude of other groups toward us? Do you think they,
somebody, well, I quoted somebody as saying that they equate their worst
with our best. Meaning the Caucausian / I guess. Do you think this is
saying too much, or not saying enough?
H: Well, I .-. I agree with that.
B: Because no matter how good we are or what we accomplish we're ... still
sort of looked down on. as we put it.
H: That's right. We are.
B: There is something of an inferiority complex among our people I guess you
could call it--psychological, sociological uh, f Siy or whatever. Do
you think this attitude is disappearing?
H: Some, yes.
B: Um, just a few years ago there was a young man who came out to my mother-in-
law's to hook up the kerosene to the trailer and he inadvertently connected
the kerosene to the water main, so when she turned off her ap ekt or her
... at her sink that night instead / water coming .out here comes the
kerosene! And I happened to be over there and I said something to the
young man that made this mistake. And he said, "I'm just a country boy,
you don't expect me to be perfect." But do you think ... can ou think of
anything else we can do and should do to improve tii -m lirUr?' To
create pride in ourselves. Seems to me sometimes to have more hope than
to believe that we really deserve A44 ? C4 faR
H: Well, I'll tell you one thing about the Indians --- the Indian race of people.
Uh, maybe this ... work over here is improving doin' well. And uh, this
group over here they're goin' along well, too, but they give up, you know.
We do that some, it's easy to give up. And I think that they can improve
B: Do you think we're too competitive-- community with community? Uh, do you
H: I would say, yes.
B: How about family names. I mean like lArge families--we got more Locklear's
than anybody, and uh 'course that's a great family name. But there are
thousands and thousands of Locklear's for example. There are other people,
other groups like that, too. Now that are almost as large. The Oxendines
Lo WJry 5
are certainly almost as large. And the Lwea*a.y All these people take
pride in their overall family, don't they? Is this a sort of clannish,
do you think?
B: Uhm, huh. Heard a newsman say one time, if you walked into a public
gathering and said, "Mr. Locklear, will you please come forward?" He
said, "You'd almost certainly create a riot because half the congregation
would get up and walk 4iwy." Oh, me. I was talking with the manager of
Southern Bell Telephone Company the other day and I said, "For gosh sakes,
why do you go to such extremes and put even the street number down, or
the specific address of each one of your subscribers, where they are?"
He said, "Now r LVK-J the answer to that. Siad, "We got so many
duplications of names if we didn't do that, do that, nobody would be able
to find anybody iS_. ." But uh, perhaps that is a good way
of doing it. And I was talking with a young lady, a Caucausian who, about
the way they say, if they use NMr.", they, they don't say "Mr. Locklear"
or use a surname, they list you by your first name. I said, why is this?
Is this prejudice? Said, no, it's so we can identify you. I never thought
of it that way. I "I'm glad you told i me that.
H: Now down at the office they use our last name.
B: 'Course, some of the names are not as widespread as others, and I suppose
it depends on, you know, who's doing it.
B: ajglt. But I always feel a little bit irked when somebody says, "Hello, Mr.
Lew." You know Or they'll look at you, say, "Mr. Barton,
S-his not important to me, I mean,, it doesn't mean anything, but
it does sound a little (_i_ --"Hey, Mr. Lew."
Do you have many projects going in this community? I mean social pro-
H: I think we do now. Uh, we have had a real good improvement.
B: You're pretty active yourself in civic affairs, aren't you?
B: I'll have to ask you the inevitable question--what do you think of Women's
H: Well, I ... I ... I like it! I do. I approve of it.
B: That's good.
B: Do you have ... how do you think the fellas feel about it? The fellas in
H: Well, most of them think it's alright, too.
B: I guess alot of it depends on what you mean by "Women's Lib".
B: I certainly believe women ought to have equal pay for equal jobs, things
H: I do too.
B: But when they come along, when they go to extremes and say, "Let's banish the
family. We don't need men anymore." That scares me-
H: Yeah- the womeVn do, in most factories the women do work harder than the
B: Um, huh, I'm sure they do.
H: Really, you see the men standing around, you don't see the women. Women
don't stand around, they're working .
B: Do you think women get as many executive positions as men?
H: No, I doo't ... no.
B: How about our women leaders amonghIndian women leaders? tdh
SM, Carolina Indian Vof and I occasionally come out with
w cs: the mention of women--what women are doing, because we want to keep an eye on
this and encourage them. I'm wondering if they need some kind of encourage-
ment like this?
H: Yes, I think they do.
B: They say, "The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world."
Do you think so?
H: Ummm, I don't know there.
B: I kid about this sometimes.
H: No, I don't ... I don't think so.
B: I tid women sometimes and pretend to be anti-women's lib and this sort of
thing because I want to get their reactions. But deep down at heart women,
woman, has no greater diciple than Lew Barton. Nobody appreciates women
anymore than I do. Their contribution to the church and educational,
politics--everywhere else. In fact, I've often said I'd be 1 very happy to
vote for a woman president. I'd like to see a woman president of the United
States. How about you? Would you vote ...?
H: No, now I ... I don't agree with you there.
B: Is that goin' to far?
H: I think that's goin' a little bit too far.
K: I just don't.think that's for a woman.
B; How about church work?
H: It depends. I don't approve ... in church work I don't approve of a
B: Uh, huh. Some of the Women's Lib people say that Saint Paul is a prejudiced old
bachelor or something like that! When you really get in a hot argument with ..
I like to hear because women are pretty good ... they can hold their own in
any kind of argument or anything like this I like to bring them out.
H: But ... as far as a leader leading' a group of people, I think that it should
be a man's.... I think that's for a man to do.
B: Well, then do you think this is typical of our Indian people ? Among our
people I can make a gener--, you know, a generality out of it--the man is
the head, the absolute head of the family.
B: And do you think ... do you go along with this?
H: The man is the head of the family ? The man in alot of families ... the man
is not the head of the family. But a man should be the head of a family.
B: You think they're getting away from this old concept?
H: Yes, um, huh.
B: And I think we see it reflected too in the J way that property is dispensed
with after--- h eI property, you know, after someone's death. A
will will be written and this will all the land will go to the guys and if
you ask anybody about it, they'll say, "Well, the woman can always marry a.
land." Do you think we're getting' away from that old idea?
B: It is pretty old.
H: Um, huh.
B: Thi:a we should?
H: No, I don't think we should.
B: Well, do you think ... do you think any of the groups you work with, do
you think they would invite Lew Barton to speak to 'em even if they thought
he was anti-woman's lib?
H: Yes, um, huh. I think maybe ... maybe uh, I think maybe there may be one or
the church .
B: Oh, me. I love ... I love to see women associated with anything. I think .../
you know, brothers in the church don't always give women credit for all that
they do. They do so many things that aren't out in the open, or aren't
out front, let's say. Like organizing, preparing food for gatherings, and all
these things; charitable work, women's clubs and all this.
H: I think they should get little bit more praise than what they do get.
B: That's good. I'll keep that in mind.
H: I think we deserve a little bit more praise; I think I deserve a little bit more
praise than what I get.
B: I'll say you do. Well, that's ...maybe it's fortunate then that we're doin' this
interview. I want you to talk about some of the things you do and it won't
be ... we won't consider it bragging at all 'cause our ... our listeners and
our readers don't really know unless we tell them, you know. And anything you
can tell us about yourself and your work we will certainly be glad to hear
H: Well, I'd like to say ... speak this for some of ... I would say some of my
homemakers, and not only them, alot more other homemakers; uh. I work with
thirty families right now and I have a few out of that thirty families that ...
it was very hard to.get,in their kitchen, you know, and uh, they act, well,
at first I didn't know .... I didn't know how, you know, I didn't know what
to think about it. I didn't know whether I was welcome there or not, you
know. But uh, after I ....finally after I got in there, in the kitchen,
talked to 'em, and then I assisted them in ... fixin' a recipe, and after
they fixed it, then I give 'em a little bit of praise, you know, then I go back
and you know, just go in and com---, you know, compliment her on something ,
or compliment her child, or something' that she ... that belongs to her. And
then after while, you know, she ... she changes. And I think we do need alot
B: That's good.
H: 'Cause I try to praise mine in every way I can and uh, and they will im-
prove a whole lot better if you praise 'em.
B: But if you do things, if you make an effort and you don't get credit for it
it is discouraging, isn't it?
H: Yes, it's discouraging, but uh, somewhere down the line, you get used to it, or
I do. Some days I get so disgusted and then maybe before the days over,
something'll happen that'll make up for all that.
B: That's great. .... Let's see now, did you tell.me what you'd change if you could?
H: Among our people?
B: That's right.
H: I would you mean, just change anything that I could change?
B: Anything that you wanted to change, if you had the power to change it.
H: I would give them better jobs.
B: Yes, you now, I remember that
H: I've been ...
B: This is uppermost in your mind then, isn't it?
B: A matter of ...
END SIDE ONE.
B: This is side 2 of the interview with Mrs. Hammonds. We were interrupted by
the tape running out here on us, I don't think we lost a whole lot. But can
we retrace our steps since we were talking? The tape went out about what
you would change, I believe you explained it, you would offer jobs, more jobs
to more people, particularly Indian people. And you feel that they just don't
get a fair share when it comes to jobs.
H: No. We need more ... I think we need more Indian people in office.
H: Uh, huh.
H: Than what we have.
B: There ... there's a statement made by a leader of the American Indian
",- Evement one night when I was attending such a meeting; Indian warrior O-
* .t J 0 J
*..- . and something like this; so there's the matter
of approach. Uh, we all agree that we want change and need change, but the
method of bringing thtse changes about ... which method would you favor? To
bring these changes about? Should we be militant or less militant, more
diplomatic, more hardworking-- uh, just how would you go about making' these
changes? Which method would you favor? Do you think some of our people are
H: I think so.
B: 'Course you have these strains in either direction, I suppose. Do you think we
also have people who don't do ... don't go far enough or maybe don't do
H: We have people who don't go far enough. They do enough but I don't think
they go far enough.
B: How about the leadership? DO you think we've got good leadership? Maybe I
shouldn't ... that's sort of putting' you on the spot, maybe I shouldn't ask
you that and sort of ignored it, if you don't want to comment on it. But it
seems to me that it's important that we not only get change, but we get change
in the right direction, and most any of our people will grab the ball and run
B: And uh, it doesn't matter who ../ nobody hesitates to take the ball and run.
But I seem to recall that when I was in high school we had a retarded young
man in the community and he wasn't really a member of the ball team, but we'd
sneak him in sometimes because he was so strong and so fast and he would take
the ball and run like the wind and nobody could stop him if he ever got it.
The only trouble was sometimes if we were playing football he might go in
the wrong direction and we might end up with a ---e-b instead of a touch-
down. You think we've got this sort of situation possibly?
H: Yes, I think so.
B: Sometimes it's time ... as Sullivan says, there's a time for standstill and
a time to move forward for things of this nature.
B: If we had more wisdom in these things and if we were better organized,we
have talked about unity, haven't we,...?
H: Right, um, huh.
B: I want you to ... I want you to ... I'm trying to encourage you to talk as
much as possible. What kind of projects are you connected with right now? What
has your interest more than anything else? Is there something ... some
problems you think about more among Indian people now than other times? Do
you think we have pressing problems?
H: Um, yes, I think we do.
B: Well, what do you think we ... which problems do you think are most important
right now, r some of them? That we should be working on?
H: Um, I think 4lot of us is just sitting' back waiting We're just sitting' back
waiting' for somebody else to lead us.
B: Um, huh. You don't think that ... is this true ? This ... this seems to be
true to me and I want to ask you is this true of our middle class. You know, we
are one of the few groups of American Indians which ha a solid middle
class all its ow d we've created this middle class- you think people
iur middle class are more reluctant to come out and present themselves as d-
p op e aaeyboe ome prese
leader# f of the people u ? Maybe not as well able to .
B: Do you think.there's a reason for this? For example our teachers don't in-
volve themselves in politics too conspicuouslyas a rule. Sometimes A true,
?.mietimes it isn't, but I'm making a generality out of it. Uh, do you
think there's a reason for this ... -r frar S 9
H: Well, I ... I just think that they just don't want to get involved.
B: Do you think this all leads back to a matter of feeling' threatened
as they do somehow--economically?
H: Yes. Um, huh.
B: So although the threat might not be there, be conspicuous, they feel this ...
well, some people talk about, you know, which side of the butter -is ...
the bread's buttered on, ... do you think this is due to ... to a faulty po-
litical system in the county or do you think this is a problem maybe
that other people have too. Not only our people but other people as well?
H: Well, I think it could be a problem.
B: If one of our teachers went out and participated in a political rally which
was displeasing to some of the higher-ups, do you think they might ... there
might be retaliation, think they might get back at 'em somehow?
B: When time came for a promotion they just might be conveniently forgotten
H: Right, um,huh.
B: But if enough of us do this then we can't do it to all of us, you know. But:
you think we're coming to realize because more and more of our poeple are
coming out, that are taking the risks. I was talking to Commissioner Brantley
Blue the other day, I was interviewing him, and I said, "Brantley, you know
there was a time when I ... I was very outspoken in the newspaper, but I was the
only one, and the only reason that I was tolerated is that people knew
I was alone anyway. Nobody was actually doing the things I was advocating.
So ... he says, if people are ... more and more however, people are coming out
now and this is good. Do you agree?
H: Yes, I agree.
B: If there are enough of us they won't be able to have control and stuff.
H: That's right.
B: Do you have a farm out here?
H: No, we don't.
B: ThiSis great farming community .
H: Yes, um, huh.
B: What do people raise around here? Mostly tobacco and ...
H: Tobacco and corn, and beans.
B: Is cotton going out of favor, do you think?
H: Cotton has been out now for a pretty good while, but I ... I think that it's
gonna:, come back in, I think. It's coming back.
B: In your duties do you encourage people to have gardens whenever possible?
H: Yes, % um, huh. This month we are talking' to our homemakers about a garden.
If they don't have space enough to have a garden, uh, we're teaching them to
have a mini-garden.
B: How does this work? Is it a small ...
H: A small garden that they can have like tomatoes, umm, and maybe squash, and
in, in you know, like in pots, you p' know like potted plants? But they
grow 'em in their back yard; they can grow 'em in ... even in the porch, just
like a potted plant. If they take the proper care, you know, ...
B: When you said potted plants, just for a second I thought you were gonna say
something' like some people gonna plant pot in the >j back! No, I'm kidding.
Actually if you say, if you would say, use a statement like that in our community,
the average person would he know what you were talking' about? Would he know
H: Uh, well, I Aft think so.
B: In other words, we're talking' about marijuana, which can be grown very easily;
but this drug problem just isn't a big problem t= us here, is it?
H: No. I haven't heard of any of it growing' in our area .
B: You know, until last year I'd never seen any. I ... didn't know very much
about it; don't know very much about it yet, but a young man lit up, what
they call a "joint" and I you knvo, got a sniff of what it smells like.
I do know how it smells at least now. Until just recently it hadn't even
reached our valley at all, had it?
B: So maybe we ... we won't have this problem that so many people are having in
other communities for a long time. Maybe it won't become ACtc ( W U.'
H: I hope not.
B: There's an A interesting thing about alcohol, however, among our community in
Robfson County. I think people are pretty well divided on this, and this is
the matter of legalizing alcohol. Some people say, "Well, some control's better
than no control." Meaning that iA/\ legal control then you have
more bootlegging and this sort of thing. 'Course I'm sure your community
doesn't have any bootlegging! Ceo" 4 I f /
H: No comment from me.
B: We better get something else .... cause I know what you mean. I was sort
of kidding of course. But uh, you have the "wets" and the "dries" and once
in a while the community will have an election and vote.
H: Well, you know I feel that if it were wet, we wouldn't ... we wouldn't have
B: There are several communities which do,I think,several communities sell
packaged beer and packaged whiskey and it seems that the "dries" are sort of
H: Yeah, they're losin' but still umm, I think we have aot of bootleggin'. That
... that I think if Robtson County was "wet," I mean, this area, f 1h
you know, ... was that we wouldn't have this ... it wouldn't be as bad
B: And we'd be collection' more tax money, too.
H: / Yeah.
B: That's always ... when they bootleg nobody gets any tax out of it, which is
why the G-boys are so concerned, I guess. What would you like to say to our
young people by way of encouragement.
H' You mean in our ways? In the educati would encourage them to get their edu-
cation, and uh, try to get good jobs, and try to be better citizens.
B: Do you think our people ... our young people are able to enter college now
as easily as they have in the past? Or are they ...?
H: Uh, it should be easier because they have better opportunities now than they
... the older people did.
B: How about the entrance requirements? Do you hear any complaints that they're
too hard? From some of our high school students?
H: Yes, I have heard a few of them say that it was too high.
B: Do you think we ought to lower ... lower _I_ o- we can raise the
... w can raise the
the standards in our schools to close the gap?
H: I ...
B: Should we try to remedy it at all? I mean just wait for things to sort of
adjust themselves. Or do you think they would adjust themselves eventually
if we made no effort in that direction to improve our schools?
H: Well, we would have to make the effort.
B: Mrs. Hammond, you told me earlier I believe that you work with the Agricul-
tural Extension Service in Lumberton, North Carolina, and you are a Lumbee
Indian. I'm wondering if there are other employees at the Agricultural Ex-
tension Service who are also Indians?
H: Yes, we have two nutrition aides and two agents.
B: WOuld you mind telling us their names?
H: _e Sampson is the Home Economics agent, and Mr. Wendell Lowery is
the 4-H agent.
B: I see.
H: Mrs. Maude 'k yc'l is a nutrition aide and myself. And we also have one that
I had forgot to mention, ummm, I s know his name right off, he 1 just
started to work I think about four weeks ago. He is a aide in working with
agents in farming and livestock. But I don't know his name.
B: Well, that's pretty good representation, isn't it?
H: Yes, umm, huh.
B: I want to thank you for your allowing' us to come in to your home and inter-
view you in this way.. You've been most helpful and most kind, and for the
Doris Duke Foundation and the Univeristy of North ... of Florida's History
Department I want to think you very much for your valuable contribution to our
H: Your welcome.