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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida.
LUM 171 A
iNERVWEWf : IW BARTON
B: This is February 25, 1974, I'm Lew Barton, recording for the American
Indian Oral History Program under the auspices of the University of
Florida's History Department. This afternoon I'm near Barker Ten Mile
or nearer rather to Magnolia School, and this is on Route 301. and with
me is a young lady who has kindly consented to give me an interview.
Please, Mam, would you mind tellbus what your name is?
M: Cindy McMillan.
B: How do you spell that name?
B: All right. How old are you?
B: Seventeen? What do you school, Cindy?
B: This is a large school, isn't it?
N: Well, sort of.
B: How many brothers and sisters do you have?
M: I have two half brothers and two half sisters.
B: Would you mind telling us the names of your brothers and sisters?
M: Terry Mason Lowry, Petey Ann Lowery, Johnnie Lowery, and Mike Lowary.
M: Mike is five. Terry is thirteen. Judy is ten. Donney is eight.
B: You did remember, didn't you?
M: Yes, I did.
B: And what is your mothers and fathers name?
H: Lowery. My mother's name is Annie Ruth Lowery. My stepfather is
B: What grade are you in?
B: Are you a Tuscaroara or a Lumbee?
B: Oh. That's what I am. Now I want to ask you something about young people.
Your seventeen you're in school, you have contact with young people.
You know there's been a lot of talk about the generation gap between
younger and older people. Have you found such a thing? Do you find it
hard to talk to older people?
M: In what way?
B: Well, there's a gap which means a communications gap, which means that
young people don't understand older people and older people don't
understand younger people.
B: Do you think that this is true?
M: Well, I don't know. Pore me 'cause ..
B: I'll put it this way: Do you have any trouble talking to older people?
M: Explian yourself. You know, in what way?
B: Well, I mean in any way. In the way that there is a sense of trust
between the two groups.
M: No, I don't have any trouble.
B: Do you have couselors at school?
B: Do you ever talk to one?
M: Um, sometimes. Yes.
B: Are they easy to talk to?
B: Do you teach sex education at your school?
M: Well, yes and no,tyouknow, anything but the whole thing about it.
B: Biology only.
B: How about so called hygiene? Or hygien e meetings.
M: I've heard ofthem in other schools, but we don't have in our school.
B: I see. In other words your counselor takes care of~that, doesn't he?
M: Yes. Or she. As the case might be.
B: Cindy, if you had an opportunity to change anything in the world that
you wanted to change about Robinson County, what would you change?
M: I would like the Indians to be on top. instead of the bottom.
B: Oh, that's a good wish. I have wished for that, too.
What are your favorite subjects in school?
M: English and biology.
B: Nice. That's fine. How about the dating that's had among young people
today? Do you think that there're drastically different from dating habits
of yesterday? among Indian people?
M: From yesterday?
B: You know, in the past.
M: Oh: Are they different? Yes.
B: In what ways, do you think ?
in olde days
M: I'd say they didn't have a chance to date and
do like we do now.
B: In other words, what you're saying is the older people were stricter
than they were today?
B: Are your parents strict on you Cindy?
M: No, they are not.
B: How about inter-racial dating? How do you fell about inter-racial dating?
M: Well, I'm in and I'm dating this White student. If he feels better than
I, like he was talking about I'm White and I'm better than you are. Well,
when he starts saying that, well,.you better keep on tracking 'cause
B: You don't stand any time from somebody like that, right?
M: No! Somebody better than I? No.
Who taught you about the birds and the bees, Cindy?
M: I really have to say my cousin.
B: Your cousin.
M: Yes. giggle, ha.
B: Do you think that it would be better if the parents did more of that?
M: Yes, because I don't think until then they'd find out anyway and I
think their parents should tell their children because they are going
to find out anyway so why not tell them.
B: Are you going to tell your children?
B: That's good. Cindy, how about the Women's Liberation movement? Now,
we're here at Magnolia School near Lumberton, and there must be some
activity there in that direction in this part of the count ty I would
suppose. Have you heard anything about the Women's Lib at all?
M: Yes. This one lady I read in the paper she was working in the sheet rock
business because she hung sheet rock and I think that she should get just
in sheet rock
as much money as any man does because die's doing the same type
of work. Because she hangs sheet rock.
B: huh, huh. Well, I'm for that, but how about these courtesies that have
become traditional between the sexes, you know. Whenthe girl gets
in the car, the guy closes the door for her he pulls the seat up, and
this sort of thing. You wouldn't want to give that ups, would you?
M: No. ha! ha! chuckle!
B: Kind of nice thing.
M: It makes you feel seiy. It makes you say, "well, that's a nice guy."
B: Cindy, how about the old double stan dard? The tradition between men
and women so long and Women's Libers are fighting against that. How do
you feel about the old double standard here?
M: I feel that if men can do it,^men can too.
B: Good for you. Do you find any differences in the way Indian students are
treated and the way black students are treated and the way White students
are treated at your school?
M: Well, Out here at Magnola, the principal or the people, the students out
there they're trying to get them to work. They don't care if you're
Black White, or Ind ian. They try you and want to treat you all equal.
cause no race is no better than the other.
B: And you think that they are really working at this.
M: Yes, I do.
B: About Do you :know what the percentage of students would be now up at
Magnolia? This use to be the largest Indian school in this county. Of
course, now you have it integrated, but who forms the greater part of
B: the enrollment? Indian students, Black students, or White now?
M: Well, I'd say^Blacks is close by Almost a second.
B: All right and the smallest number would be the White students right?
Do you have any idea now as to how many White students you have or
what the percentage might be? You you give Could you just give us
a guess at it? from your own observation?
M: Well, I'd say about twenty percent.
B: About twenty per cent White. OK. What are you going to do when you get
out of Cindy?
M: Well, I'm going to try to be a stewartess. I hope that I make it.
And if not that, I am going to join the air force.
B: That's good. You'll make it.
M: I hope so.
B: You have a very nice personality. and that's going to help you
going to take you a long way. Now, are you serious about any guys at
B: Do you want to tell us about it? What do you want to know?
B: You aren't engaged or anything,are you?
M: No, but I could be.
B: At your age, you don't won't to be. do you?
M: No, because I want to make something out of my life. I want to be proud
of myself and of what I did. And I want my parents to be proud of me.
B: Do you think that you would like to be a career girl?
And, of course, your career would come first and your manage would sort of
be secondary. Right?
M: That's right.
B: If you could fit it in.
M: Well,,first go on and do my career and do my best and at the end it sort of
fits the end of it, finding my husband.
B: Do you think that young people have it hard at times getting together
now than young people had when I was coming along? Do they have
more opportunities? Are they throw together more? Or is^just like it
always was? You have to drop the handkerchief and that sort of thing.
The girl isn't supposed to go after the guy. How do you fed about this?
Do you think there are any changes in this direction?
M: Yes, I think there are some changes.
M: It seems like now, the guys are getting chased. The girls are dropping
M: the handkerchiefs for the guys. ha!ha!
B: ha! ha!
B: Oh,.. I didn't know there was a shortage of
Oh, my. Well, I think it's always been this way,don't you? If the
girl really likes the guy, he'll find some way of letting you know, won't he?
M: Yes, he will.
B: That's why In fact. What kind of music do you like?
Cindy? What's your favorite song?
M: My favorite music ^country, and my favorite song is "I Love" by
Thomas E. Tyler.
B: Oh. I heard you sing the song the other night ^"Satin Sheets".
Sing a little bit of it.
M: No! No! I have a low voice ^not too good.
It^use to be, but I kept smoking.
B: Do you smoke?
B: Do you wish that you-didn't?
M: Well, I can quit, but as long as I have cigarettes and have money to buy
them, I say why not? But when I don't have any, don't bother me.
M: The point is : I got them and I smoke them. If I don't have them, I
B: Um,hum. Well, it sounds like you are really not hung up on them.
M: I'M not.
B: Cindy, I want to ask you about pot. You know, there was a time when
nobody in Robinson County had ever heard of pot. Not many people in
the county had ever heqrd of pot. You get around among young people
and you know young people's .. you know what goes on. You know. so
you are a pretty popular girl, I noticed. And is there a lot of pot
B: What do you think of it? Is it good or bad?
M: Well, it's bad. And actually I'm getting away from it, you knowA I don't
want to get involved with it.
B: Now, when you come into contact with people who have been smoking it,
is there a lot of difference in their conduct?
M: Yes. I would say so. A lot of times they're talking a lot of stuff that
they shouldn't Lc talking. I stay away from it because I don't wqnt to
get involved with it.
B: Now, when you come into contact with people who have been smoking it,
is there a lot of difference in their conduct?
M: Yes. lot of times they are talking a lot of stuff that they shouldn't
be talking about. You know, because I don't want to listen. And I feel
like if they talk like that, they have no respect and I want to be
B: Right. Good for you. You should be. How can you tell if somebody's been
smoking it? Can you tell by their conduct or can you smell it or what?
M: You can smell it. You can tell by their eyes, and the way they talk
and the way they act.
B: Hum, hum.
you know, they
M: And most of them.try to keep you laughing and they laugh a lot.
Eat food, you know.
There's different ways. Some like to eat a lots Makes them hungry.
They stay hungry.
B: Makes them hungry. I didn't know that.
B: I always figure it's too high and too hard. Even though, some young
people go to great extremes trying to justify it, they say that it
isn't any worse than alcohol.
And as far as I am concerned, it seems to me that
B: but it's still against the law.^ it's too high and too hard. Very
expensive, too. Do you think a lot of people use it?
M: Yes, a lot of teenagers. And I know a lot of older people who use it.
B: Do you consider it^a lot worse than alco hol?
M: That would be a yes and a no. Uh. it all depends on how much it is
is smoked and how you go about it. Most of it is a no-no. It's no
B: All right. Thank you. Cindy, I want to say this: Nothing personal.
but you are an Indian type. In other words, we have Lumbee Indians
who don't look like Indians. You know, they look mostly Caucasian.
but you look Indian. You know what I mean? And you are very beautiful.
I'll say that.
M: Thank you.
B: But 1 want to ask you. Does this create any kind of problem for you?
Do people treat you better do you think because they know that you are
an Indian or worse? Or what do you think? Do you compare yourself with
somebody else who you say is Caucasian type?
B: Do people.? Does it seem to be a plus thing or is is a negative thing?
B: Is it an asset or a liability? Your Indian .. ?
M: Well, in my opinion they treat me nice and the same way with White and
Blacks. They treat me nice.
B: That's good. That's very good.
B: Cindy, were you born in this county?
B: Have you lived here all your life?
M: When I was small, I lived in Hudson County, but then, we moved to Robinson
County. Lived mostly in Roberson County all my life.
B: What kind of hobbies do you have?
M: Lots of them. Dancing is one of my best hobbies. It use to be dancing
sing too good
and singing, but now I took dancing because I can't A anymore.
B: Uh,huh. So I think that you got a phobia, you developed a phobia. about
your singing. I heard you sing some the other night and you sound nice.
M: ha hal You're fun.
B: Really. Do you plan to have a big family when you are married?
B: What do you consider a good size family?
M: Two kids.
LUM 171 A
B: And hopefully a boy and a girl, right?
M: I hope.
B: Well, I hope you make it, Cindy.
M: Some people^say I am only going to have
M: two kids. If they get married, it's against
the school. Then, maybe they come up withtwoboys and two girls
B: and sometimes it just doesn't work out.
M: Sometimes it work out.
B: What were your^subjects in school?
M: Well, this is^first year takin art. I like it.
B: Do you like to draw?
M: Yes. Yeah. I can't draw very well though. I try.
B: You get a bang out of it.
M: Yes, painting, I enjoy it.
M. And I like music, and I'm taking dance. I play the saxophone. and I enjoy
that. I think I'm learning well. I do stuff that I like to do.
B: I do. You sound like a well-rounded person. Do you go to church anywhere?
B: Which church do you go to?
M: Well, I go to the Baptist, but it's changing to be a witness. Do you
k now a witness?
B: um,hum. And I have been going to the Kinley House.
B: um,hum. They're very studious, aren't they?
B: They read the Bible a lot?
B: Do you read yours and study a lot?
M: Yeah,^like in .. I didn't learn much. I went to church. Sometimes
I learned just as much. I worked there before I went home, but I worked
there cleaning house. Learn something new.
B: Well, I believe that body should go to a place of their own choice.
whatever place happens to be Of course, the Baptist makes a
cure of you an me ..
M: Ha! ha! ha!
B: Not really.
M: I'm not putting them down. I still believe in it, you know.
It makes sense.
B: They believe in working. Are you very religious? Cindy?
Would you describe yourself as religious? spiritual? or sort of inbetween
M: Sort of inbetween.
B: That's nice. Do you think that young people are better informed today
than they were say twenty or twenty-five years ago? on different things?
I'm think about the process of living, particular in connection with those
things that concern young people like dating what to do what not to do.
how to go about it and so on.
B: Do you think that our young people are better informed?
M: Yes, I do.
B: Of course, you have a point of reference, like I did. I had my parents.
And I was^alwys talking to them about how it was in their day. Are you
M: Yes, I am.
B: I happen to know your mother and she's seems like the kind of person yFo eot/l
to talk to.
B: She's very nice. You said that you wanted to be an airline stewartess.
Do you love to fly?
M: I have to say this. I haven't never flew on a plane. and I want to try
it out. It seems, you know, like a good career. where you could find
a nice and good husband. That 's what most of the girls say, you know.
B: Do you think most girls like to be where the guys are?
B: You know, there's a book called "Where the Boys Are". and a song W here
the Boys Are". The girls do have to get where the kind of boys are
that they particularly like.
B: I have a niece, Maxine Blue who is an airline stewardess. and incidentally
she enjoys it very much. I think that you have to have a nurse's degree
then, you have to
first, though. And, take a lot of training, but she enjoys flying
very much in slack season so she nurses.
M: I suppose.
B: Do you have any subjects are very difficult for you?
M: uh, no.
B: Not most of them.
B: come easy. How about math?
M: Math, I don't like math, but you can do it. Yeah, I can do it.
but I don't like it.
B: That's natural. Do you have any favorite actors and actresses?
Like people whom you think are more romantic or Tell me about some
of your favorite actors or actresses. Do you have anybody
M: Elvis Presley.
B: Elvis Presley. I lot of people like him.
M: Yeah. Yeah.
B: What do you like about Elvis?
M: Well, I like his singin and his looks. And the way he acts.
B: Does he.. is he a sexy guy? I mean sexy looking and acting.
B: Do you think that this is a secret to his success? To his sexy
quality, I mean? I'0 stuttering on that word. Do you think that
this is the secret to his success? Maybe or part of it?
M: Part of it.
B: He does have a lot of appeal.
B: and incidentally, he's sold, I believe he's sold second or third
greatest number of records of anybody ^ I think the Beatles was first
and Elvis Presley second. Bing Crosby third and Eddie Arnold fourth.
M: I thought Elvis was first ad the Beatles were second.
B: ha! ha! ha'
M: That's what I thought. I might be wrong.
B: I'm afraid you are.
M:: ha! ha! ha!
B: To sell the second greatest number in history, that's nothing bad.
B & M: ha! ha! ha!
B: Cindy, I understand that you have spent some time in Balitmore. How
about the differences, are there any differences living in Baltimore
do you think and living here?
M: Yes. It's a nasty place.
B: You don't like it?
M: Well, it was OK, but nothing to brag about. And the people seemed like
not free up there. You get out and walk and you can't be free
because all the time scared-afraid somebody is going to do something to you.
M: I thinks there's more Blacks than or the ones that that are
White, they act like Blacks, you know. Well, cause I work with this
guy he was from Baltimore. Now they believe in the United States.
B: Soul music?
M: Soul music. Stuff like that, but it's a nasty place. Baltimore Street.
That was a nasty dump. ooh.
B: Do you think the Indian people are doing better, though, than they would
have been financially? Do they live better?
M: No, I don't think so.
B: Do you think that most of the people in Baltimore will come back home someday
or plan to come back? to Robinson County?
M: to live?
B: hum,hum. Well, it all depends on how they like it. People have their own
opinion, you know.
M: I know some who have come back to live. hum,hum.
n that eventually he
B: I've heard it said that if an Indian leaves Robison County,
returns because he considers this to be home no matter where he is.
Do you think that this is generally true?
M: Yes, I think it's true.
B: About the same?
M: I'd think that it would be right now.
B: You don't think that there would be^many people prejudiced against
Lumbees in Baltimore as there are here.
M: uh, hum(negative)
B: How about to get over Robinson County and.move elsewhere in the state?
in other counties? Do you think there are fewer prejudices against Indians
in other counties?
M: I think that there would be more.
B: There would be more. Does it tend to give you an inferiority complex?
You know, if people look down on you. Do you think that we tend to have
a low opinion of ourselves because other people have a low opinion of us?
M: Yes. because people are all the time putting us down. That makes us feel
B: You don't have an inferiority complex, do you?
B: I think that you have done some adjusting to offset any possible prejudice.
Maybe you did this unconsciously.
M: But I intend to leave one day.
M: Well, I'm going to travel. Travel as much as I can cause I want to
see some of the world.
B: Hum,hum. Travel can be part of an education. ^ very educational travel.
M: Yeah. Exciting places and meeting people.
B: It's sort of an adventure, isn't it?
M: I hear about things thesplaces and I to see them.
and I would like to get to know peopleA Like in Texas. This friend of
The peopleare proud to know an Indian.
mine from Germany -6he says, in Texas,^they really put the Indians up
and I want to go there and I want to see if telling the
B: Do you think that are generally prejudiced against Indians in
M: Yes, some of them.
B: Do you think that there is more prejudice here against Indians that there
would begin Baltimore?
B: but, you know, do you think that if we strive harder to overcome things
M: Well, maybe.
B: Cindy, how ab t the community where you were born?
What part ofl were you born in?
M: I was in
B: You were born in -/ and of course, that is one of the adjoining
counties. What's the name of that county? Scotland County.
M: Scotland County.
B: It joins Robinson. Do you think that the attitude ^Indians is a little
more different there? Do you think that they are more kindly inclined
toward Indians? Say, than people in Robinson County would be?
M: No, I don't think so.
B: How about our own people, Cindy? You know it's -- prejudice can
be a two way street. or a three way street. Do you think our people are
prejudiced Say, for instance toward White people.
B: How about Black people? Do you think that prejudice begets more prejudice?
M: Yes, I think so.
B: Do you think that there is anything that we could do to get rid of
prejudice? It's tout the most troublesome disease of mankind as far
as I can see, but do you think that there is anything constructive
that we could do toward getting rid of itbesides passing all the
Civil Rights Laws and that sort of thing? What can you do, or what
can I do?
M: I don't think there's too much we could do about it.
B: Do you think that no matter how we act people are still going to act
the way they want to?
M: That's right. No matter how.
B: In other words, if a bigot is a bigot, he'll always be a bigot.
M: He'll always be a bigot.
B: No matter what you do, how kindly you treat him?
B: We can't just win them through love.
M: I still say no.
B: And that reminds me : The young people have a song that "What the
world needs most is love, sweet love." Of course, they didn't just
mean romantic Jlove.They meantfe,,---
f Do you think that we could preach the gospel of love more? Young people
are doing that now.
M: Yeqh. I think we could. And, you know, Jesus taught that two thousand
years ag o.
B: And that would be a perfect solution if everybody practised it.
There's no way of getting anybody to practise it though is there?
What do you think of the Jesus movement? They really get involved, don't
B: Now, do you think that young people are very effective in spreading the
gospel when they go out. You know, they have so much real determination
zeal, and imagination.
B: I think that we are doing right.
M: I know we are. Thank you.
B: a know our young people are proud of our heritage.
M: Some of the nlder people putsrhem down. ---
and they don't know what they are doing And north ing else.
B: Well, I don't feel that way at all. I think it's great and I think
they're the only ones who can win the people in their own group, right?
M: Right. of
B: I know~some places where an educated preacher just wouldn't stand
a chance of reaching the people because the people are not educated and
they don't trust educated people.
Has it hit you,
B: How about the fuel shortage? Cindy?
B: Do you have fewer dates because of it?
M: Yes. ha! ha!
B: That's terrible, isn't it?
M: Yes, I wouldn't say not lately, you know, it's about the same,
but it worries me. ha! ha!
B: ---- doesn't it?
M: It makes me wonder if
B: Well, lets hope that the gas shortage doesn't put a damper on it
anymore than it already has, anyway. I think --
is going to survive no matter what the prices, don't you?
B: Cindy, you seem to be the sort of person who likes people. Am I right?
B: Why do you like people? Do you think they are pretty wonderful?
M: Yes. and I try to get along with people. No matter what color they are.
I try. And I feel proud of myself for trying and when I run up with
the person I try you know, to make friends and I see that they don't
appreciate it, and don't want to associate with me. I say to myself.
Well, I tried. and let him go.
B: Hey, that's good philosophyL That's good. There's a song that says that
if everyone would light one little candle, what a bright world this would be.
And you and I. to change the world. We're not going to set the
world on fire, but we can certainly go a long way. You'd be surprised how
much one person can do.
B: How do you get this? I call it good will. You know, this feeling of
good will toward other people. Is it something that comes from your
maybe trained into you or what? What do you think' we get?
M: The mind comes from the heart. I've always been this way, you know.
.r *. I--That's all I can do.
B: And you don't know where it began?
M: No, I don't.
B: That's good. I'm glad it happened anyway, --
M: I am. It's really nice.
B: Your feeling of friendliness eminates in a way that is unmistakable.
I can tell it. How long ago did I meet you for the first time?
I'd never seen you before in my life.
M: I would say about two months ago.
B: About two months ago. And right away, you know, I could feel that
I could tell that it was there. Your spirit of good will if you want
to call it that. It's very contagious, and I think that you've got a
great secret. And I want you to keep doing it. Don't ever get discouraged.
B: and give up. If people want to be nasty, You just love them back.
B: By faithful.
M: I feel that it's a gift that has been given to me. And God's a gift.
Great and I like it and I hope I never loose it that one gift. Great
SIDE TWO TAPE ONE Cindy McMillan
B: Cindy, we were talking about your gift of attracting people before we
were rudely interrupted by the ending of the tape. ha! So we have to
start back over on this side. And if I'm not worrying
I'd like to talk to you a little bit more. May I?
M: You may.
B: Now is there anything else that you would like to say about your gift
of getting along with people and your philosophy of getting along with
people? This is a great gift and 1 like you ... I^nope you never loose
it. I want you to always hang on to the gift because there's so
little of the real thing in this world. So little real love. And i am
talking about unselfish love. love of one person for another. One
neighbor for another. Not romantic love in this sense. Why can't
B: peoplemaking them like you back through the sheer power of lik-
B: So you hang on to that, will you? You've been very kind to give me
this interview and I know that it is getting late over into the night.
And you perhaps, have some studying to do? and things like this. You
were very kind to take out time from your daily schedule and talk to us.
on this show and we appreciate it very much.
M: Thank you.