This Oral History is copyrighted by the Interviewee
and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of
Copyright, 2005, University of Florida.
All rights, reserved.
This oral history may be used for research,
instruction, and private study under the provisions
of Fair Use. Fair Use is a provision of United States
Copyright Law (United States Code, Title 17, section
107) which allows limited use of copyrighted
materials under certain conditions.
Fair use limts the amount of material that may be
For all other permissions and requests, contact the
SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
LUM 163 A
Lora Collins Wells, typist.
Nov. 4, 1973
B: This is November 4, 1973. I am Lew Barton interviewing for the
University of Florida. This afternoon I am in shannon, S-h-a-n-n-o-n,
North Carolina) and with me is Miss Lora Collins. She is not the
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. _t__(_ Collins, however, She
is the cousin to the girlband the boy I interviewed. Is that
C: That's right.
B: L ara, how about spelling your name for us, dear?
C: L-o-r-a C-o-l-l-i-n-s.
B: How old are you?
C: I'm fifteen.
B: Fifteen. You're ancient aren't' you?
B: What grade are you in in school?
C: I'm in the tenth.:
B: In the tenth grade. Do you enjoy going to school?
C: Yeah, I i enjoys< .
B: I enjoyed teaching the tenth grade better than I think any class I
taught in high school. And I taught from the seventh through
the welf-th. -think-The tenth perhaps was my favorite class.
Are you in a large class?
C: Yes, all of my classes is large.
LUM 163 A
B: Will you give us your parents' names?
C: Peggy and Stedford Collins.
B: How do you spell, 'course we can spell Peggy, P-e-g-g-y. But
how do you spell your father's name?
B: Stedford Collins. How man brothers and sisters do you have?
C: I have two sisters and four brothers.
B: Would you mind giving me their names and ages, or do you know
C: I know. Linwood collins, he's seventeen. Joyce Ann Locklear, she's
married now. She is eighteen. And I'm fifteen. Lora, fifteen.
And Roger Lynn Collins, he's eleven. Chester Collins is thirteen.
And Patricia Gollins is :I think-ten.
B: How far do you live from the _-____ Collinso?
C: I live about a mile.
B: About a mile from here?
B: And do you have many friends in school?
C: I have a lot. Girls and boy friends.
B: Uh, huh, but which do you have the most of?
C: I don't really know. I have about, gosh, I have about ten or twenty
boys talk to meievery day, you know. aU- j, o t,, race,
you know. Just talking.
B: You are quite a girl apparently. Lora, you in appearance you
are, you know, you look Indian. You've got beautiful black
LUM 163 A
hair, long hair, do you always wear your hair long this way?
C: Most of the time, but sometimes I fix it up in a ponytail
Ca iJ you know.
B: It's very beautiful.
C: Or I roll it, you know, may get some curl in it.
B: And you've got a peaches and cream complexion. How ... can I
ask you about your personal statistics? How much you weigh?
C: Well, I weigh 129.
B: One hundred and twenty-nine. How tall are you?
C: I'm about five foot four.
B: Five foot four. Are your parents strict on you about dating?
C: Well, I'm not dating. I was dating and I broke up with this boy.
I'm not dating now but I talk to others, but I still, I still
go now more since I don't go with anybody than I did go with
this boy. But I still love the boy and everything and we still
speak to each other and all. I think we're going to go back
with each other. But when I get fifteen and a half they won't
be strict on me at all. I get to go about once
or twice out of the week I get to go off--go to tkw movies and
different places where young people should be. Not places
where you drink and things like that 3ause I think it's wrong.
I don't like to drink and take dope and things like that.
B: Do you think very many of the young people take dope J 0JJe-
C: Yes, there are, I know some kids at school they take it. But I
I ___ __ __ __ ___--------------------- -- --- --- --- -- -- ------------
LUM 163 A
mean to me people if I didn't what it was, you know, if it was
smoking a pill, I'd think it was aspirin or something like that.
I'd probably take it if I had a headache. But if I didn't
know the people I wouldn't take it because I don't like dope.
I ain't never took it. I don't know how it tastes or
anything but I wouldn't have anything to do with it because I
seen a program the other night on TV where this girl that had
been given a dope and you know, she had one try and then they
a) a A( take it and finally she died. They had it on the
TV. Her name was Alice, girl's name was Alice. And they, they done
the movie just ... they thought that she wouldn't mind if they
done that. If I'd ever take it, I wouldn't want anybody to
know it, but I don't want to 'cause I think it's harmful to your:
body." Our church rules are very, we have a very strict church
on things like dating and things like that
B: Which church do you go to?
C: Well, I go to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
B: Some people call it the Mormon church, right?
C: Yeah, they call it the-Mormon.
B: They do seem to have good programs for young people.
C: Yes, they have seminary and and they have primary for the
young, seminary is from twelve, no, seminary you have
to be in the ninth grade.
B: Um, huh.
LUM 163 A
C: From the ninth to the twelfth. And, you know, it's just a lot of
fun. And MYA is from twelve years old to about eighteen.
B: And what is MYA? What do those letters stand for?
C: MY-, I can't, I forgot, I used to know what it was.
B: It's a young people's program?
C: It's a young people's program.
B: And of course you have your own bus?
C: Yeah, we have a bus. You know, every second Saturday in the
month we go to Raleigh, up to Raleigh, you know to the church
up there. That's part of the seminary. And you know, we have a
it's called Super Saturday. We have a lot of ,. fun. First
we go and we have our Scriptures and have a lesson and that
night we have a danced We dance and have a lot of fun. I mean,
that's part of the church'having a lot of fun. We have an
active church. Most of the churches don't have do what we
have to do. There might be a lot of riding or something like
that, but we "'A have fun and everything. Go to MYA and
seminary and A places like I said a while a go. We
always have a lot of fun.
B: You think if young people have something to do, you know, some-
thing constructive to do, like dancing is beneficial, if
for no other reason, it's good exercise.
B: Do you feel if they have something like this to do that this
keeps them out of trouble?
LUM 163 A
C: Well, yes, I think if every church was as active as the church
of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) I figure most of the
young people would, you know, go where the church should be.
They wouldn't, most of them wouldn't drink, and tngs '
liketEEat. Most of the churches like the Haly. and things
like that they just go there on Sunday and that's the only night.
Ihey just go there and have preaching and 4ht they're going to
have and come on home. But which we have ours on Sunday and that
Sunday evening we have an hour in the eve^ng time, and we have it
on a Wednesday night and a Thursday night, and on every second
Saturday in the month, we go to Raleigh.
B: Now what is it you do in Raleigh, dear?
C: We well, we go up there and we have ... see, we'se 'doing
seminary. That's the reason we go up there is because we have
seminary and we go up there really to get our books and
things. And we have classes and we learn about the Gospel.
of the church. And we have a dance. We get to know other people.
We get to love them more and have more strength in the
church and get other people attending the church. You know,
just have a lot of fun for the young. The adults have a lot of
fun, too. The, we have this /-fJ i.5. ,7ri f-/'/for the young, the
young. And ', : for the adults, too. And this is
whenever you want to have it. We haven't had it this month
in November, but the young and the adults will have it pretty
LUM 163 A
soon. We go and we have a lesson and after we get through having
the lesson, which we huve a lot of fun, you know, talking, have
our talks, and after we do that,. we / have refreshments like
punch. We don't drink and things like that. And we don't
smoke, we don't use tobacco and Smeke. These different things,
I mean, I really think the Church of Jesus Christ is true be-
cause if it wasn't true, I don't think it'd be on the face of
the earth. But I, I think it's a true church because it
has all of these different things in it. And I think the Lord,
I believe the Lord don't want us to do those things. He don't
want us to drink and to smoke and to use tobacco and stuff,
'cause in every way it harms your body. It has something to
do with your body, it just harms the body.
B: You think anything you do to harm your body is wrong?
C: Yes, I mean, like smoking. It can give you cancer and different
things like that. I think it's wrong. And anything to harm
your body is wrong.
B: How do they feel, how does your church feel about dating? r -
,re they, how old do they figure you should be before you
start dating or do they have u/V- ?
C: Yes, they have a certain age now. Just like if they boy or the
girl was going to just go sit in their homes, about fourteen
year old or fifteen. But the, mostly, like I went to Georgia.
The dating average was sixteen. But down here it's fifteen and
a half you can go. And I think that's a-Ligt. I mean,
LUM 163 A
you're a teenager when you're thirteen or you're supposed
to be. But most girls don't be mature and most boysAbe mature
by the age of thirtten. But they really want you to be at
least fifteen and a half, sixteen when you start dating. I
think a girlwhen they go off with a boy, most of the time if
they're about thirteen something like that, they can't control
theirself. Ai kyc DA tS XfLA A you know, they
couldn't help theirself or something like that.
B: You think they might get, they might be tempted to do somdng
C: They could be, yeah, they could be tempted to do something they're
not supposed to or the boy, like the boy drinks hey could
fool them into drinking. Like if you was really strong in
the church like I am, I mean I have strong feelings in church
and I do want to gtow stronger. .They have in there a temple
marriage for the young, too. And I have set my goal 'cause I
wanted to be married in a temple where I can have eternal
life with my husband. And like if my husband died, I could,
I could have another temple marriage. And then when I get
to heaven, I'd have to pick which one I'd want to spend eternal
life with. And I figure if I do that I would, the first one I
married, that's the one I'd want to spend eternal life in.
B: According to/ at your church believes,if you have a temple marriage
this hallows the marriage and you live eternally, is that right?
C: Yes. Yes, that's right. You live etern4a if, I mean, when
LUM 163 A
you get married in the temple, you have to go a certain length of
time before you get married in the temple--make sure that
you love each other and you're not going toto anything wrong,
and try, just try to do your best, and then you live the
commandments. When you get married in the temple you live the
commandments and everything and you get along with your r husband.
Most of the people that I know in the church that has had
a temple marriage, they stay in the church. They've been mar-
ried a long time. And I think if most of the young people
would hive a temple marriage and be in he LDS church that
stands for Latter Day Saints, we call it LDS or the Mormon
church they would, they would stay, they would, their marriage
would go on and on for eternity. And then, you know, they
wouldn't have divorces, they wouldn't have as many divorces
either. But most of the girls, like in the church you can't
have a temple marriage. Most of the girls strive for a temple
marriage. You can't have a temple marriage if you're sixteen
or something like that. I think a girl shouldn't get married
at that early age at the age of sixteen. They should at
least be eighteen or nineteen.
B: How old do you have to be to have a temple marriage?
C: You have to be eighteen years old before you have a temple
B: Well, I'm dying to ask you this question. I'm asking simply
because I don't know. You have certain rules you have to
follow in order to have, not anybody can have a temple
marriage, C r / '
C: No, not anybody. Someone that uses snuff, tobacco, or smokes,
or drinks and don't live the commandments and don't take of
the sacraments. -Sacraments is what we have in the evening time
and the morning. The water stands for the blood and the bread
stands for the body of our Heavenly Father.
B: Suppose Wvthe girl wasn't a virgin1could she have a temple
C: Sure. She could have a temple marriage. As long as she prayed
to her Heavenly Father and she ...
B: Was forgiven.
C: And she was forgiven. If He'd give her an answer and she was
forgiven she could have a temple marriage.
B: Having a temple marriage, I'm glad you straightened me out on
that because I, you know, I sort of had the feeling that you
had to be ...
C: You don't have to be a virgin, no.
B: I think a lot of the Mormon church. I admire the in many ways.
But I'm going to ask you a question that I know that has
been asked to most Mormons at one time or another because, and
the reason I'm asking you is because I'm sure you can explain
it, and I'm sure there's a lot of misunderstanding about it,
And maybe some prejudice directed toward the Mormon church
LUM 163 A
because of it, and that is the matter of multiple marriages,
more marriages than one.
C: Well, back then when they more than one marriage, the reason
they done it was because they was runned out of a town or
something like that, you know. And this man, there was more
women than there was men and so these men, they, the women
had to have somebody to support :AN and so they married them. And
that's the reason they had more than one wife. But now they
don't believe in it because that's not what the Lord wants.
They want to have one wife. For me if they had it now, I
wouldn't ever get married because I want to have a husband
for myself, not for a lot of people.
B: You're not going to share him with anybody, are you?
C: No, I want him to be mine, not nobody else's. Just for me.
B: So this wee something that happened during, was this during
the early days of the church?
C: Yeah, this was during the early days of the church. It was,
it's been a long time. I don't, I don't kpw too much about
the reason they had more than one wife, but I know that's
one reason there was more women than there was men. And
they, some of them had children. I knew this one man, he
had he had about seven wives and everyone of them was ex-
pecting children, you know. And he had a lot of children.
And he prayed that he would be able to support them children
and everyi-, and he was too. I mean that was the Lord's
work. If you want something bad enough and you pray for it
and things, you will, I think you will get it. The Lord will
give you an answer. The Lord will help you in a lot of ways
if you do things like thts,
B: Lora, I want to ask you how you feel about interracial dating,
and don't tell me if you don't want to. But would you like
to discuss it?
C: Yes, I'd .-like to. I mean I think that if you love, like
I'm an Indian and this colored boy, and I love him and he
loves me, I mean, and if your par--, if it was all right
with your parents to date him, it was alright because your
mother and father can't stop you. from loving somebody and
htye shouldn't try to pick your husband, your future
husband or your future wife. I mean, I think it's a&leIg
but I, I hope that I won't. Now I used to go with this
boy, he was half white and half Indian, but he looked more
like an Indian. I loved him, which I still do. I don't
thinkAnothing abet4-interracial dating- or marriage either.
'Cause there are a lot of people in the world that, like ...
they're not the same races.
B: Do you think this might create some problems it would be
very hard to solve?
C: Yes. It says in the Bible something about to get your own 0 race or
some way like that .... in a way it's not right and in a way it
is right. Iean, I don't really know ...
B: Do you know any Indian girls who date black boys?
C: No, I don't know any Indian girls who date black guys, but I
know this one girl, she's a white girl and she was going with
this colored boy at school she kissed him and things like
that. I don't see how she done it. It looks like it's nasty
or something. I don't know. I wouldn't do that. I don't
B: Well, you're not in love with somebody. That makes the difference.
C: Yeah. Well, I have been. But I'm not now.
say, a white
B: Now is the feeling the same if it's a, / guy and an Indian
girl? How about interracial dating between Indian and white?
6: Well, that's -a4ighst because I know this Indian girl goes with
this white boy and they seem to get along good. I mean I
don't think there's anything the matter with interracial
dating. If you love someone, you love them and your parents
can't stop you, not unless you're thirteen or fourteen or
fifteen like that ,$ I
B: Do you think our people are prejudiced toward other races?
C: Well, some of them are, and some of them isn't. I'm not. I
mean I don't have anything against the white not the colored,
but I think it's alrigit to interracial date. Or if you love
them it is.
B: Lora, how do you think your parents, though, would feel about
this? That's a thorny question, if you'd rather not answer
it, well, just go on.
C: Well, I'll answer it becuase I don't, I don't, I think th ey would
say something to me about it. I don't want to fall in love with
No other person, no colored nor no white. I don't want to fall
in love with them. I just want to love my own race 'cause
I don't want my children to come out half-breed.
B: Have you heard this girl's song which:: is so popular right
C: Yeah. /
B: And do you feel if you were involve with somebody of another
race that this would create problems?
B: Do you think these would be unsurmountable problems?
B: I had a little experience with, you know, I love people of all
races. And \- to j see all people _together
( I'd like to see universal brotherhood. But
I know it doesn't exist. And if you get involved with some-
body of another race it can be very hard on you, I know this.
Whether it's right or whether it's wrong, it's still something
practical you have to think about, isn't it?
C: Yes. Well, if I would date a white boy or a colored boy, or
something likc that, I think it would cause problems in the home,
too, because your mother wouldn't like him and your father
wouldn't, and your sisters and brothers, they'd have something
against him. And you'd never have a good life 'cause they'd
talkobout him and things like that.
B: Do you think you'd lose some of your friends?
C: Yeah, I think I would.
B: So if you ... if you were in love with somebody like that, you'd
have to be sure it was really love, wouldn't you?
B: And worth all. the sacrifices you'd have to make.
C: Yeah. And all the trouble you'd have to go through.
B: Unfortunately people can make it very tough on you, if you don't
conform to their standards. This is not right, but it is a prac-
ticality. It is the way things are. And this is the way yeoa ULA-
have to live. We- have to liv those realities' #lether they
are right or wrong. I'd like to see they changed, but as yet
they're not changed. Tell us some more things. How about your
experiences in school? Do you have any problems there?
C: Some. Sometime I have a problem. Like a colored person
will hit on you, something like that. I know they should
have better sense than to go around picking on people to try to
start a fight. Then you're going to fight'em, something like that,
s they be scared and they don't want to fight you. I don't
think that's right: to. I\P't like to fight. Not unlessin'
LUM 163 A
I have to. I think they shouldn't, students shouldn't go
around pickin' on people and things like that.
B: Do they seem to have a tendency to pick on you?
C: Some of them do. And then you can say something to them sometime,
you get them sort of scared and they'll leave you alone for
B: Wonder why this is? Do they think that you feel that you're better
than them or something?
C: That, sometime, sometimes that's right, but sometimes they, they
just do it for kicks. Think 're scared of them and they
beat on you. But once you show them t64 you're not scared of them-
most of them will leave you alone.
B: How about the attitude of the teachers? Do they treat everybody
C: I think they do ... 'cause, well, they have a little bit of all OF
the races--Indian, white, and colored in our school. It's really
it's supposed to be a white school, but since they mixed
it up, you know, Indian, white and colored, it' not.
B: Did you ... Lora, did you go to a ... did you go to an all-Indian
school before you went to an integrated school?
B: And do you remember those days real-well?
C: Yeah, I remember them.
B: Does there seem to be a sharp contrast between the old school
you attended and the one that you attended or are attending now?
LUM 163 A
B: What are the differences that you've noticed? What are some of the
differences that you notice?
C: Well, to me you learn more since they integrated, I gefse. it's
the kind of school you go to or something like that. You
learn more, and you come closer, you have more friends in dif-
ferent races and different things like that.
B: Do you think the schools are better now? You said you learn more
so I assume that ...
C: Well, in a way they're better. I mean, it's, I think there'd
be less fights and -if the school wasn't integrated, dft -s
*s t the Indians go to their school and the white and the black
goes to theirs, //h4 6/e,, n/o/<,?( When they first, when
they first got, we got integrated, we didn't like it. I know I
didn't like it. I wanted our own school back. We even went
out to c /-c^-e which we shouldn't; that was our
school. We shouldn't have, but we did. We was trying to get
our school back. We didn't like it integrated.
B: Uh, huh. That was a losing battle, wasn't it?
B: What do you think people should do to alleviate some of this ten-
sion between races because judging from, you know, our discussion,
there is some tension, interracial tensions, that still need to
be dealt with, and at least looked at and discussed. Do you think
there's anything people could do to establish a better rapport
LUM 163 A
C: I was thinking that, but I couldn't give you answer.. I don't
B: Lora, if you could rub Alladin's magic lamp) and suddenly the
genie would appear and he would say to you, Lora, I'm going to
give you one wish, And I'm going to give you the power to
change anything you want to change about Robeson county. What
do you think you'd change?
C: I mean, if, I'd :rather for it to be all over the world because
I'd like, it'd be my wish to stop the war.
B: Stop the war. Do you mean all wars?
C: All wars.
B: Do you have any ideas along those lines? Well, the young people,
and I believe in young people very much, I love young people,
they have a song, "What the World Needs ..."
C: "... now is Love, Sweet Love."
B: Right. And when you think about this, this is what Jesus also
taught two thousand years ago when he said/the first and
great commandment is to love God with all your heart and love
your neighbor as yourself. Do you think if we kept those
commandments this wouldn't do away with war?
B: So then you .think Love, love for your neighbor, love for man-
kind would, would do away with war?
B: But how cahwe bring about this war _iLa I mean, how can
we bring about this love, I'm sorry.
C: Bring out the love? Well, I mean, you can show more love for
your brethren and for other races, and they'll show more
love for you. Now this one particular girl I have in school I
love her so much. She, she don't attend our church or anything)
but she is real nice and she'd do anything for you. It's just
the way you feel about them. It's just what's in your heart.
It's just the way theytreat you and things like that that makes
you feel love. And if everybody would treat each other right and
things like that I think,/think there womld be more 'i love come
about. I mean, not, you know, not love, I mean love like with
yao brothers and sisters, too.
B: Yes. There are many kinds of love.
C: AMany kinds of love.
B: Or several kinds at least. And I know what, the kind you're
talking about: Which -wasthe same kind that Jesus was
talking about, love your neighbor.
B: What do you think of our young people?
C: Well, what do you mean, what do I think of them? I mean, there
are a lot of things I think of them.
B: Do you think they're any worse than young people were when I was
coming along, for example?
C: Well, some things they are/and some things they're not. Like
young girls coming up pregnant now Back then there wasn't o Y
a then as there is now. There ,are more than there was then,
B: I'm not sure about that. I seem to remember that my generation
was pretty rough, too. I want to go on remember that because
--=-- --, you know) I don't want to feel that my generation
was better than somebody else's. Our young people today have
more opportunity. ehey have access to cars, more money, things
B: Could this be the difference, do you think?
C: I think, I think it is because a lot of the kids these days
are getting kide. They have a lot more opportunities than
the others. A lot of kids has more opportunities than the:
B: Uh, huh. In your observation have you noticed this though. Say,
kids who are better fixed, or kids who have more money, do
you think they get in more trouble than the kids who have less
money or what?
C: I don't think so. All kids sometimes gets in trouble. But most
of the children that are rich, or so-called, call theirselves
rich or have a lot of money in their family, they think they're
tough stuff, or something like that 'cause they think they can
get cars and things when yeu want it. And most of the kids that
do have a rich family or someVLng like that, they don't some
of them don't get these things like cars and stuff.
LUM 163 A
B: We had a little noise and a little disturbance; little Angela
came in crying, and this sort of thing we couldn't prevent. Could
we go on a bit farther/,Lora?
B: What would you like to talk about,? She sort of disconcerted me.
C: Well, I don't know. Ask some questions. I can answer most
any questions, you ask.
B: Do you think the drug problem is a serious problem now?
C: Yes, I think the drug-problem is a serious problem because a lot
of the young kids are taking drugs.
B: Did anybody ever offer you any pot or anything like that?
C: No. No.
B: I understand it's floating around pretty freely. Do you think
they're strict enough about drugs? I mean the authorities--
teachers, parents and so on.
C: No. No,j.ause if they was it wouldn't be floating around. Kids
wouldn't have it.
B: Wonder where it all comes from?
C: I don't know.
B: Of course they say it's very simple to grow. You can grow it
in your backyard.
C: I haven't ... I haven't never seen a. You know, really
to ich it, but I've seen it in ,.. I've seen it on films and
things like that.
B: Uh, huh. Lora, what do you think we could do about this drug
problem? Have you any ideas?
C: I don't have any ideas what to do about it. Most of the parents
could, you know, watch their kids more closely and things like
that. And if someone seen this girl or this guy with dope
or something they should at least tell their parents about
it. Where nothing would happen, just have the parents to
talk to them, you know, and ask them, did you take it and things
like that. And if they did, stop. Or something like. that.
Well, I have friends waiting for me and I've enjoyed talking with
you, Mr. Lew. and if I could beg off I wouldn't mind if I could
go right now 'cause I got friends waiting for me.
B: Lora, you've been very wonderful. I've enjoyed talking with you,
too, so much. You're very sweet to give me this interviewand
I know you've helped a ot of us 'cause you think very clearly
you see problems very clearlyand you think clearly. This is
important. And I thank you for the time that you were able
to give me 'cause this is the sort of thing we need. And I know
you are sincere; you're a wonderful person, and I want to
thank you so much for thp interview. It's very enlightening and
very informative and very inspiring, too.
C: Thank you.
B: Bye, bye now.