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Title: Interview with Teddy Jacobs (January 1, 1974)
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Title: Interview with Teddy Jacobs (January 1, 1974)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: January 1, 1974
 Subjects
Spatial Coverage: Lumbee County (Fla.)
 Notes
Funding: This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00007154
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location: This interview is part of the 'Lumbee County' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: LUM 170

Table of Contents
    Copyright
        Copyright
    Interview
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
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LUM 170A
TEDDY JACOBS
INTEBVIEWED BY LEW BARTON
Date of Interview: January 16,1974
Transcriber: DWS
LB: This is January 16,1974. I'm Lou Barton, interviewing for the
University of Florida's history department. Today, I am in my home
at 214 Dial Terrace here in Pembroke, North Carolina and with me, kindly
consenting to give me an interview is a young gentleman, Teddy Jacobs.
T-E-D-D-Y JACOBS. Could you tell us a little something about your
parents? Who your parents are?
TJ: My mother's name is Christian Burks. My father's dead.
LB: Uh,huh. How do you spell that last name?
TJ: B-U-R-K-E.
LB: Teddy, how old are you?
!FJ: thity.
LB: Uh, you're like myself. You're a little be on the handicapped
side, isn't that right.
TJ: Yes, sir.
LB: Would you tell our listener and our readers now something about your
condition or do you hate to talk about your condition?
TJ: Well, I just had polio when I was five.
LB: uh,huh. And how did it affect you?
1


LUM 170A
TJ: It affected my right leg. to have to wear a brace, walk on crutches,
LB: You are not able to do any manual labor, I'm sure.
Is that right?
TJ: bhab' eit-. Naoir.
LB: How old are you Teddy?
TJ: Thirty.
LB: All right. I had already asked you that, hadn't I?
How many of you children were there?
J: There was nine of us.
B: Would you tell us the names of your sisters and brothers?
J: My brother's name is Carl Jerry Jacobs, Billy Dean Jacobs, and Donald Ray
i8zi~i~""'n,,: s a- C; Ai
Jacobs. And my sisters Marianne and Rosie Jacobs. and Capt.Height's brothers
separate 'hile Their name is Robert, Kenny, and Chancey Burton.
B: All right. I see. So you have a large family like I have. I rather enjoy
a large family, don't you ?
J: Yes, sir.
B: That means when we get old, we are not going to J be alone hopefully.
2


LUM 170A
B: Right?
J: Yes, sir.
B: What do you plan to do with yourself?
I: Well, I'm planning to finish high school at night. So I have to finish
take
school in June and go to Robinson Tech.^Business Administration.
B: I see. Where did you go to high school?
J: I go to night school at junior high school in Columbia.
B: Uh, huh. Do you enjoy going to ahool?
J: Yes, sir.
got
B: Do you ... ...' any girt friends?
J: No, sir.
< &,l~~~~~~~~~, I ~n't
B: Most fellows ar like girls I guess. It wouldn't be natural if we did would
it.
J: Right.
B: Knowing you as I do, I know you are a very young ambitious young man.
in spite of your handicap. and you are very smart, too. Now, what are
your plans for the future, Teddy.
J: Well, I wanted to get an office job where I can depend on myself and
where I don't have to depend on nobody.
3


LUM 170A
B: That's certainly an admirable spirit. Can you get any assistance from
( J: they
the rehabilitation people Not yet, was trying to help me when
T r""inished high school.
B: How much do you lack ?
J: I lack two years. from the eleventh to the twelfth.
B: uh,huh. Well, I'm sure you'll make it. because you have the right spirit
about it.
J: I think so.
B: You know, Teddy, most handicapped people have good angels in their lives
so to speak. People, you know, who have encouraged them to go on and not
to be discouraged. And to accept whatever their lot is. Now can you think
of any one person except you that has help ad you more than anybody else
that's in live
inspired you and encouraged you along -^during your difficulties?
stayed with
J: Well, I ^ my grandmother. And my grandmother nary encouraged me to
everything
go to school so I decided to quit and ^ so
so I decided to go back and try to make it something out of my life. I'm
kind of young.
B: Right. and what are their names?
4


LUM 170A
J: Mr. and Mrs. George Jacobson.
Bi Uh, huh. They were certainly fine people. I knew them.
When you get through with your schooling, what kind of work ? Do you
have any certain kind of wrk that you are planning to do?
I know that you are going to have to have some kind of work that you can do.
Sitting down. We might as well be realistic about our handicaps. Anything
that you can do sitting down, I know ybu can do well and you don't have
to move around a lot. Is that right?
J: I was planning on getting some kind of office job in some company somewhere.
where I can be sitting down because I think on the account of my handicap.
B: Have you studied typing yet?
J: No, sir.
B: Do you think that you might like to type?
J: Well, I ms planning to take a course in it when I go to Robinson Tech.
B: Uh,huh, You're going to take typing and what else?
J: I was going to take typing and some kind of business administration courses.
B: I .see .. That sounds great. Are you good with figures, Teddy?
5


LUM 170 A
J: I'm pretty good with math.
B: How about public accountant? Wouldn't that be a good field?
J: I think so.
B: I studied awhile and at Kings' Business College in Charlotte years ago
but unfortunately to me that wasn't my field.
and so I switched to something else. I think that it is important that we
decide what is right for us in the beginning. So I lasted about six
months there. I passed, but I just made average grades. and I wasn't
really interested in bookkeeping. I don't know what that means. or for
that training. It's one of the mistakes that we make sometimes. by not
choosing carefully to begin with. Have you got any other ideas?
Things that you might like to b.
J: No, before I quit work, I was working with the city alumatery and I like
that kind of work. I was bookkeepin and accounting and making -out the
pay rcl evaporationsof gas and oil and I really enjoyed working for the
city alumnus. and they just didn't pay enough.
B: Uh,huh. How long did you work with them, Teddy?
J: A year and a half.
B: Uh, ',huh.
6


LUM '170A
B: I know that you have a lot of friends and people in my area who wants
Once in awhile, I hear a radio announcer call your name on the radio
station. He likes to crack jokes with you back and forth, doesn't he?
J: Yes, sir.
B: Do you remeoer what his name is?
J: No, sir, not right off, but he's a great admirer of yours. I believe
@^A-Cro
:g:- .
that he's over at^A;B;S k i- Lumber
B: Do you think that Indian people stand as good a chance succeeding as
anybody else now?
in
J: Well,,one sense, I do. If they have a good education, I think that
maybe
thy have a pretty good chance now. I don't think that they did.ten or
B:
fifteen years ago. Do you think that things have improved for us considerably?
During this time?
T J: I think so, if we get the right education.
B: Do you live here in town, Teddy?
J: I live over here as far as 202 F.
B: 202 Dial Terrace. How do yOu like living over here?
J: I live real con, veniently and it's nice and everything. Maybe one of
these days, I'll really ehjoy it.
7


LUh 107A
B: I'm enjoying it, too. I really think that these are nice apartments.
And I wouldn't be out of mine for anything. Teddy, are you a member of
a church or which church Odo you go to?
J: The Assembly Church of God.
B: The Assembly Church of God. Whose Pastor over there now?
J: Reverend Jack Hunt.
quit<
B: There's some fine people over there. I use to visit over there^a lot.
You know, some people accept their handicap and they don't feel bitter
about it. and there are other people who can't seem to accept theirs so
very well. They do get a little bit bitter, I'm afraid. How about you,
J:
J: Teddy, do you feel bitter about your handicap. Well, no, not exactly
got go
because you have~to ahead and accept things like that. and just
equip. You just can't get nowhere in life so if I just quit and
try to
say I wasn't going to work, I would have been in worser shape.
that determination to work and go on so I feel that I really
accomplished something.
B: You certainly have. And I ,., think it's the worse thing in the world
ffth a
for you or me or for anybody else handicaps to sit around and
8


LUM 170A
B: feel sorry for ourselves. And that is very easy to do isn't it?
J: Yes, sir.
B: You always seem in good spirits. I don't think that I have ever seen
you in my life when you were feeling down and out. or sad. Do you have
for this?
some special kind of secret formula? You just seem to be a i fery happy
person to me.
I'd
J: Well, / just go ahead and accept things like it is and there's no sense
of looking downhearted. all the time. Be friendly to people and treat
people right and always treat you the same way so that's the best way
that I know how to treat people. Just treat people the way you want to
be treated.
B: They usually respond in time, don't they? You treat them nice and they'll
treat you nice. Right?
J: I guess so.
B: How about the attitude of other students towards you when you are in school?
: Are they very helpful very friendly, and this sort of thing?
J: Well, everybody is to some concern
try to get along with everybody and help you.
9


LUM 170A
my teacher,
J: do the best you can, especially when in the case of.McLaughler, he
goes out of his way to help people and a lot so I really appreciate him
and the way he goes about it.
B: Yeah. He's a fine boy, but he's not a boy. He's a fine man. Do you
think the Indiah people have come a long way? the last ten years?
J: I really think so.
B: Do you think that they are going to keep climbing? or just about settle
down to a level now?
th way
J: Well, it's according to ;he people reacts whether they keep pushin
them and everything. I think they'll accomplish something, but the way
the irony bk .".' /you have a lot of Indian lawyers and everything like
that there. You're not moving him off now.
B: Do you feel like these Indian lawyers are something we really needed?
;A/e lA
J: Well, maybe, ten or fifteen years ago we needed some. and need
Indian doctors, too.
B: Right.
tome of the doctors we've. had. We've had doctors who started at Madison
.v eac;Cne,
and got their certificates to practise, but they went elsewhere.
10


LUM 170A
B: and the only one who '- remained here at home has been Dr. Martin
L. Brooks, isn't that right?
;JI guess so :Do you think that most people appreciate him and what he is
trying to do? here at home?
J: I really think so. He's trying to do his best.
B: Yes. He's a great doctor, too. Everybody seems to I have a lot of
confidence in him. And he is one of the greatest diagnosticians in
this state and he seems to have an uncanny feeling about people he examins.
and he can tell you just about what's wrong with you and in short order.
He just seems to have a sixth sense about this it seems and most of the
*l doctors in this county seem to ?68 thim, don't they?
J: I guess so.
B: Do you want us to talk about discrimination fr a minute, Teddy?
J: Yeah.
B: How about well, the attitudes of people towards. Can you tell any
difference in the attitudes of people towards Indians in this county
and outside this county?
J: Well, people away from home why they treat Indian people a lot better
11


LUM 170A
J: than these people out here. You know, I don't know the reason or what.
But it seems like they do. You just got to.
B: Uh,huh. Like some of our people are living in Baltimore. Have you ever
visited over there?
J: When I was
We went up there in the summer one time dug the whole woods Johnson place.
B: Hah. Do you think that they will finally be so detached from us that they'll
forget all about us? Or leave them, or do you think that we'll always
have those ?
them
J: I think we'll always have ties.
B: You know people have said of this valley that once you've lived here,
this is true?
and move away you'll eventually come back home. Do you think
J: I think this is true. I think so. You know after the first long stay
up here,
Most Indians do.
they always want to come back home sooner or later.
B: I wonder why this is stated? Do you have any idea?
J: No, it's just a friendly communiX- an.. everything and there's no
place like home.
B: Do you think that we are closer together than most people in most communities?
12


LUM 170A
J: I really think so.
k.a id
B: Do you think that the people in our community are to strangers when
they come in?
J: I really think so, you know. We go about and try to help them and find
places for them. Things like that. I think we're real friendly than some
people is.
B:
Do you think that we are friendlier than say the Cherekee or? that's in
western North Carolina.
$hem
J: Well, I'm not so sure because I know nothing about Cherokees.
B: Now, except when one comes occasionally to visit. or one of us goes over
to visit them. There isn't too much of that is there?
J: No. Sir.
B: What did the doctors tell you about your handicap? lately? Did they say
you be
that you are eventually get over it or must be handicapped
all your life? Is this what you have to accept?
J: Yeah, I have to wear long leg braces.
because
The biM out of my leg so
13


LUM 170A
J: I have to accept it as it is the rest of my life.
B: Right. Nothing is ever so bad that it couldn't be a little bit worse.
Is there?
J: No. You have to go ahead and accept things as it is.
B: Well, all right. Do you live alone in your apartment?
J: Yes, sir.
coc PA eStE, ;MA*f( 7he. o
B: ....tp2 e.. ..l over here recently and he
was looking at the layout here, the architecture and so forth and he
said that this is one of the most beautiful housing projects he has
ever seen. Do you like the layout here?
J: I'd really like to live here. It's real beautiful. In my opinion.
B: Grass grows out there on those lawns. It really is going to be beautiful
isn't it?
J: Yes, sir.
B: Teddy, do you think that our people are a lot different from other people
J: I really think so.
B: Could you think of any special reason, special ways that you think we are
different. 1, we are more together.
14


LUM 170A
J: than other nationalities, you know. We stick together and pull together
try to b things together, you know. And most other people they separate
themselves apart.
B: Yes, that is certainly a plush thing for us, isn't it?
J: Yes, sir.
B: And, maybe, we need to get even closer together, do you think so?
J: I really think so.
B: People working together can iron out any kinds of problems, can't they?
J: Yes, sir.
B: I have a book of statistics here from the Robinson County Board of Health
The death rate. The birth rate, all the vital statistics about people
related to health, you know. And in this county, they say that the life
span of the average White person is longer than that of anybody else.
The Indians met and the Black people met. Do you have any idea what
makes for these differences?
J: No, I really don't.
e
B; Do you think that there is that much difference in living standards
J:
among the different groups? Well, I think so.
15


LUM 170A
here )
B: When you ride through the community, the Indian communityA you see a bt
of fine houses and all that. sort of thing, don't you?
J: Yes, sir, you really do. Real fine homes. here around Pembroke.
B: Unfortunately, there's a little difference of opinion among our people,
especially about names. How do you feel about these names?
J: Well, I think that we should bet one name established. We shouldn't
have five or six different names.
B: Do you think the one we had is OK?
J: Well, which one are you speaking about?
B: Well, I'm talking tout the One that I'm talking about the Lumbee name
then % Cs^CrofDA
andthere's a group that carried the TlianmweTrh name. so we'll have to
do
choose between the two.Which one^you favor?
J: Well, Lumbee sounds all right to me. I don't know.,, about other people.
our
B: Perhaps, the names aren't as important as^being together.and working
together. > you think names are all that important?
they're noh
J: No, sir, we sHouWd have been doing something about this thi*r years ago
Then, we could have really accomplished something.
B: Teddy, I want to ask you about the attitude of people towards yo3T
satfyncS hsoiale
say)in the social department. You tried to get help and the
16


LUM 170A
B: rehabilitation department and all.people who were in position to help
people. Have you had any trouble in getting help. in your condition?
J: Well, for the last two or three times I've had because I needed braces
and shoes and se med like they w"e willing to give them to me and
it
it looked a little b like they promoted to White and to Colored people
better than they was to Indian race.
B: You think that Indian people don't have as easy access to these things as
the other two races?
J: Well, I really don't think so because I might had trouble every time I
went down the other side to get a brace so anytime I have a certain
amount of work so it's been pretty rough on me since I have been out of
work.
or
B: Um,hum. What kind of explanation did they give? geasons,^excuses, or
whatever?
J: Well, they say braces and shoes last so long, but they eventually tear up) ad
Shave trouble getting them repaired and everything. So it took me about
three or four months the last time to get this one I got.
17


LUM 170A
B: Um,hWim.ell, that's just too bad isn't it? I wish the attitude was
different, don't you?
J: I really think so They don't treat us like they should the other races)
I know.
B: I wonder hy they look down on us so. Or do they look down on us?
J: To my opinion, they just don't want to help the Indian race,the Lumbee
're
I don't know why. They just down on us for some reason.
body
B: Hui, HUM. It's kind of frustrating if some seems against you and you
don't know why. You don't know what you could do about it to remedy the
situation, isn't it?
you know,
J: That's right^and I really don't want to say nothing to hurt nobody.
anyone
or to discourage ,^so I like to go along with people so I don't really
say nothing to them. I just do ie work out of he office, you know, and
go on back Rome. Go back down there the next time and see if really work
any better.
B: And you just have to be persistent and go back until they doosomething.
Is that right?
J: It takes a long time to get any help.


LUM 170A
JT: from them people.
B: Have you had any other trouble besides the braces? and getting them
to help?
J: Well, in getting the checks started I'm having a lot of trouble getting
that started. It took me about six or seven months to get one started.
since I'm out of work.
B: Well, if you hadn't had plans in that instance, you probably would have
starved, wouldn't have you?
J: Yeah, probably would have because my friends working on it really helped
me out.
B: Hum, hum. I wonder why it takes so long.
J: Well, I really don't know. I'd like to know myself.
B: Well, I'd like to know, too. You don't let things like that-Vt you
down though, do you?
J: No, sir, I really don't. Still be friendly to people and go along with them.
kind of attitude is
B: Well, I think that's thea that ^ going to win in the long run.
By going on and doing what we think is right and respecting other people and
as you say, being friendly to other people.
19


LUM 170A
B: We let them know that our hearts are really in it and maybe
eventually that will pay off. Do you think so?
J: I really think so.
B: Some of our people are getting into public offices now for the first
time. Do you thi nk that has any significant numbers? Do you think
that this has anything to do with attitude? Do you think that that
helps that attitude? Or is it against it? Does it make it worse?
J: We really need some Indieas people down here at the rehabilitation center.
in Lumberton for the handicapped child, you i' know, in case they really
need braces and shoes and things of that because these things aren't
made to last forever. I really think that if we had an Indian man we would
really get somewhere. I think that he would help us a lot more. Do you
think there's any chance of getting some Indian people down there? Well,
we don't have any down there and so we really need some.
services
B: Well, let me ask you Teddy. Are you familiar with the social in
Lumberton? Going down there, the people who work down there. Who works
and all?
J: Well, I'm having a little bit doing this time. Not too much.
20


LUM 170A
B: Do they have any Indians on the staff down there at all?
J: None that I know of.
B: Uh,huh, And do you think that this would really change things. if
you had somebody there?
J: Well, we really need somebody down there to help the Indian race
because someone needs the disability sometime, you know. So we really
need somebody to help us.
B: Somebody who has a real interest in our people.
J: Yes, sir.
B: Teddy, if you had a wish, and you could do like aladdin did, in the
story, when he had the magic lamp, and the genie appeared and said, "Wel,
you can have three wishes. He made three wishes and you could have anything
that you wanted. If you had one wish, and you could change anything in
Robinson County what could you change? !
school
J: The situationo.
B: The school situation.
B: What will you change about it Teddy?
21


LUW 370A
J: Well, I'd try to get most of the Indian people a good education where
they wouldn't have to depend upon other people for things.
B: Where they could have more independence?
J: Yes, sir.
B: Well, that's a good wish. Now, do you think that we are making headway
in that direction?
J: I think so, but to my point it's kind of slow.
B: Huh, huh. Do you think that we are better off now than we were before
integration?
J: I really think so.
B: Do you think that this is one step that might help us in the long run?
J: Well, in the long run I think that it would help us.
B: huh,huh. We have some people who still haven't given up the idea .
Schools of their very own is Do you think that we'll ever get those
people to accept integration, or what?
J: We really need it for awhile and on to college on grade school, and on
high school. We really need it.
B: Do you think that we are getting a fair shake out at PHC?
J: I don't think so.
22


LUM- 170A
B: Huh, huh. How did you feel about Old Main?
J: I don't like the way they done it. We could have restored it and had a
history of the Indian College.
B: Huh, huh. It was very sad when the building got burned, wasn't it?
J: Yes, sir.
B: Do you think that most of our Indian people feel this way about it?
J: I think so.
B: Huh, huh. Well, we're working on plans to restore it, but it seems to
be slow and very expensive this eventually, perhaps, we'll make it.
but we have a lot of people on our side. We've had reports from the
to
house next door ^the white house We've had virtually the entire
Indian world in support of us in this thing. And do you think that this
is a great thing for our people? To know that we are not standing alone
any longer,that we do have communication with other Indian tribes and
Indian groups throughout the country. and they had been on our sde
overwhelmingly in this Old Main issu e, haven't they?
J: Yes, sir. They really have.
23


LUM 170A
B: When you were coming up, did you ever think that the time would come
your
when you'd look out at ^window and hundreds of Indians from
other places had come over to help you in some particular instances
as they did some time age.
J: No, I really don't think so.
B: That's a very heartening thing, isn't it?
J: Yes, sir.
B: We know that we are not standing alone. The Indian race is about
the smallest race. in America. and if they don't stick together, they
are never going to be able to accomplish anything, but I think that we
are all learning this, don't you think so?
J: I really think so.
B: Teddy,you have dealt effectively with your handicap and everybody who
knows you recognizes this. and they admire you for it. What advice
would you give to other handicapped people?
J: Well, in some senses it's just in my case. The doctor said I
because eventually I
would never walk,^but I kept on determination to walk and so
got better and better and better and
24


LUM 170A
J: so that I can walk without my crutches. so now, that would be the advice
that I would give- Never give up. Don't never depend on people for nothing.
Always look at hisself and you get along better in life.
B: Huh, huh. Are you a religious person, Teddy?
J: Yes, sir.
J: I guess so.
B: Does the good lord help, too, along those lines? Jh, yeah, e's the most
J: important thing. that I.
then
BI Do all we can do and.place our faith in the lord, is that what you think?
J: That's what I would put at.
B: Well, I certainly admire you myself and I hope that you never loose that
spirit because that's a winning spirit that you have.
Don't
J: Well, that's the best way to judge. Never give up hope, you know. I'm
determined to make something out of myself one day. It might take me
a couple more years, but I'm determined to have the will power
to go on and do itt and see what the end may be.
B: Well, I know the end is going to be victorious for you because you just
have the spirit and the determination to make it that way.
And I want to wish you godspeed in all that you attempt to do, and I want
to thank you very much for being kind enough to give us this interview
25


LUM 170A
B: because p this is the conspiring. This will help many other people
perhaps.
J: Well, I really hope so. I really enjoyed it. And I hope it will help
somebody down the line.
so
B: Well, thank you m. much for talking to us and we wish you the best
of everything. Bye now.
J: OK.
26


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