Title: Interview with Rev. James Harold Woods (September 1, 1972)
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007013/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Rev. James Harold Woods (September 1, 1972)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: September 1, 1972
Spatial Coverage: Lumbee County (Fla.)
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.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00007013
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 19A

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Barton interview w/
Rev. Woods

B: Tape 18, side 1, today is September 6, 1972. I am Lew Barton. I

am in my home in Pembroke, North Carolina, and I have with ne Rev.

Woods, who has consented to give ne an interview for the Doris Duke

Foundation Oral History program, under the auspices of the University

of Florida. Rev. Woods, would you mind telling us ... spelling your

name out for us, so that our typist will be able to get it correctly?

W: Rev. J-a-m-e-s, James, H-a-r-o-l-d, Harold, W-o-o-d-s, Woods.

B: ThanWk you very much. You are a resident of Pembroke?

W: That's correct.

B: And how old are you?

W: I'm thirty-seven at the present time.

B: And what is your position at present?

W: At present time I'm a full time pastor employed at Cherokee Chapel,

Holiness Methodist Church, of the Lumbe river Annual Conference, which

is a local Indian Methodist Conference controlled *^ and owned by

people with seven churches and one mission. And the church I'm currently

pastoring is located at Route 2, Maxton, Nor+h Carolina. rural area
opposite Oxendine Elementary School, that's M-a-x-t-o-n, and O-x-e-n-d-i-n-e.

It We wanted to talk to you this morning, uh, are you married, I think we

should get some ...

W: Yes, I'm married. I married a widow with a set of twins, since she

and I have been married we have a son,so there're are five of us in

the family. The girls are sophomores in high school, my son is three

months, three years, three months, three days old as of today.

B: Well, that's certainly .keeping up with it pretty closely. Would



you tell us their ages?

W: My daughters are fourteen, will be fifteen this September 25th, and

my son three--three months and three days.

B: You are a Lumbee Indian?

W: Yes, I'm a Lumbee Indian, born and raised here, Yvard here with the

exception of approximately three years, or nine months out of three

years I spent in the state of Kentucky, where I was doing my Doctor of

Divinity degree for the ministry after I finished college here at

Pembroke State University in the spring of 1960. Then I went on ti

graduate school th theology.

B: Where did you get your elementary education? And your high school educa-


W: I completed my elementary education in the community where I now pastor /

Oxendine Elementary School. I completed the eighth grade there. How-

ever, I did go to several other schools down in the grades. After

completion' the eighth grade I went on to Prospect High School nd

completed my high school diploma there, and was valedictorian of my


B: That's great. Who was Mrs. Woods before you married?

W: She was the daughter of the late Noah Woods, and Mary Ellen Oxendine

Dial, and she was married to the former Spurgeon Bullard who was

high school princi--, school principal, but had a brain seizure, not

seizure but something' like a massive brain hemmorage in which he de-

ceased very quickly, and uh, then later we met and were married.

B: That's fine. Would you tell us something about your work; your ac-

tivities. I know you're doing full time work, is that correct?

W: Yes, I'm full time pastoral work. I began as a part-time minister

at my home church in November of 1963. I completed seminary that



spring, but our annual conference doesn't meet until November, so

I had to wait until November unt4-1 I received an assignment. I re-

placed an older retired, uh, elderly retired school teacher and part-

time minister, Rev. Martin Luther betgftery, who retired from, as

principal of Deep Branch School and had built this church where I'm

currently pastoring j6d burned. And he was working with the congre-

gation and they built a new modern structure, uh, brickeneer, brick

and cinder block building' with a central heating system with the

maximum capacity, you could put five hundred people in the auditorium

and four adjacent classrooms with accordion curtain. Actually it's

the largest auditorium, or the largest sanctuary, for seating capacity

among our people at the present time. Though we ha;-e other churches

whose overall plan is much larger than ours, uh, as such. They did

a fine job. And he was disabled as a result of a couple of strokes

and when I came home, then I replaced him and became the minister on

a part-time basis. I taught school for three years as head of the

science department, Magnolia High School an Indian school. And then

for three years I worked as a roving counselor for Rebinson County

Board of Education as a home-school co-ordinator, started as a pilot

project. And when I resigned to become full-time pastor at the end

of May, 1969, we had eight people in the program that I was working


B: I see.

W: And, so when I retired, uh, resigned and became full-time pastor,

uh, and at the same time I was working with the Prisoners' Friend

Socity, which is a group started by one of our former bishops and

another white lady who was among our people for many years and died

here of church work, a Prisoners' Friend Society. They formed it as



a result of establishing a chapel at the local prison camp, which

originally was all for Indians. But now has been integrated with

all three races. And I'm still involved with this work on a volunteer

basis. I'm president of it, and help to set up religious worship ser-

vices, counselin'services, and Bible services, etc., for the inmates

there year round.

B: This lady you mentioned was this Miss Mary Livermore?

W: This is correct. Mrs. Mary Livermore, in fact the building' is dedicated

to her memory and to the work of Rev. Bishop J. R. neoughuy, who

was one of our Indian leaders in the conference I am now serving, that

is deceased.

B: Well, I know you have a busy schedule. I know our many listeners and

readers will be interested to know many things about your work, and uh,

the problems you encounter, uh, the social structure, anything along

these lines--the sky is the limit. We don't ask any trick questions)

but we try to encourage those we interview to talk about themselves

and their contacts and their work and this Sort of thing. This is a

new(ckcncept in history, oral history, and uh, it's what I think of

as*living history4 because the past has been covered pretty well, and

we're more interested in contemporary things, and as you know, the

atmosphere for the American Indian is more benevolent now than ever.

And people are very interested, we want 6, supply accurate information

in so far as possible. So that writers and students will have a

body of material on which to draw when they want to do papers on the

Lumbee Indians, and many people do throughout the country. And of

course this is a national program and I'm working simply with the

Lumbee segment of it.

W: Mr. Barton, it is a wonderful day in which to be alive! Wonderful



opportunities that I had and my father and my grandfather before

me did not have. Wh.le there still remains real serious problems

as you well know, but there's still alot of opportunities avail

themselves for Indians. I was one of the earlier ones that left here

to go away to seminary, graduate and come back, and have remained here.

Some have come here and some have had to leave and go elsewhere, for

p complex reason of problems; some economic, some social, some outside

influence, and some internal dissension among our own people. With

some of 'em as such that ministers that are not here, that are laborint

elsewhere. But the new generation of which I am a part of there are,

anotherr one, Rev. Tony Brointon, that is now back from seminary, and

we are finding' open arms and aoot more acception and support that some

of our ... the older people just did not recieve. And of course I
h CC
count myself very privileged to have a chance to go to school like I

have had though I primarily worked myself, sent myself to school

gith the help of a few friends, as such, my dad died before I was six

years of age, as such, left my mother with five children and on the

way with another one. We were just poor tenant farmers But

providence and elp of people, things have been very kind to me, and

I might say to some of my brothers. I have two that have finished

college as well. So I've been very fortuante to go to as much schooling'

as I have. But beyond this this again as. far as I'm concerned

shows the change in attitude of people. And when I did leave here to

go away to school, to seminary, I was gladly accepted; I was one of the

firstindians to go to Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore Ken-

tucky. And the dean told me at that time Dean that the only

reason they had not been Indians before, says none have never applied.

Then I f'und out later from talking to one of the professors, Dr.



Greenly, in the area New Testament languages, that he had been

talking' to some Navaho Indians, who were in Taylor University in

Upland, Indiana, but at that particular time they had not decided to

come to Asbury, so I was the first one to go and was received and got

along right well with the people of the local community as well as

at their own the seminary campus.

B: Uh, incidently did you have any problem because of the fact that you are

a Lumbee Indian doin' your studies?

W: No, I may have been partially favored. I still had some people in

some areas that looked at me; they weren't quite sure. They was

almost certain I wasn't a black, yet some would ask sometime, but

then on the other hand they knew I wasn't a white. And another thing

was in my favor too-at this particular institution they had quite a few

students from India, the country of India, over a period of years.

They're doing some studies to return home to work with their native

peoples. So I think the fact that they had been there before made

it easier and I, my color and theirs was --- we had alot in common

so they were rather easily and able to understand and accept this

but the idea that so many people have of the stereo-typed, or nickel-

headed Indian was their problem. They just hadn't seen an up-to-date

American Indian descendant who wore modern clothes,/new modern language

and speech and was somewhat educated, and striving to do better

to return to his people. This was a new oddity for many of them.

B: They were expecting you to come with others, in a sense.

W: Perhaps so. And there were problems in language difficulties and what

have you and I was exposed to English from my childhood up though it

may have been very broken English:and more akin to what we called

Elizabethan En lish, rather than modern English as such.



B: You're aware of course that yourrsurname is a "Lost Colony" name?

W: Yes, and I've been rather interested along with other people, you

and others, who've probed into the background of this, still oc-

cionally I run across things and keep searching' and askin' questions.

In my class was one young student from Belfast, Ireland, and another

from Manchester, England---we graduated together so from time to

time e get together and exchange views and thoughts;on some of these

matters while I was in seminary.

B: And are you convinced that we are the descendants of this colony of

1587---this English colony?

W: As far as I can tell in my own mind I'm satisfied with this for several

reasons. One, we are definitely of Indian ..., Indian ancestry, but

on the other hand our culture is predominately that of the white cul-

ture, and my own reason and satisfaction as to why and what happened

this is the best explanation I have found for my own satisfaction and

from history and the studies and from the work among our people, what

they tell us is that we were one of the first Eastern Indian groups

to come in contact with white civilization. As a result of this it

soon became Christianized, as the word is commonly used. And as such

it's a common custom, in not only this country but in many countries,

when people, natives become Christian, they accpet Christian names,

and many of them both first names and last names.

BB: Yes.

W: And this is documented in many ethnic groups across the world. And it

seems rather plausible and this is the prime explanation as to what

happened to us, and why we have the names that we do rather than the

traditional Indian-names and culture that most Indian groups have.

Because most of the Indian groups still have their native religions



of which here we have none.

B: Uh, huh. Our religion is completely Christian or nothing at all#'*

oi and a Protestant Christianity.

W: That's correct. We have no Catholic groups among us at all. We do

have one Seven-Day Adventist, but that's the only what we call off-

brand Christianity; the others are traditionally Protestant, Christian


B: And of course your Mormon Church.

W: Well, I'd forgotten about that temporarily, you're correct, you're


B: But I think all this is very interesting and I know for myself it's ...

that this is true and I ... I'm wondering if the knowledge of this

doesn't encourage our people and help them to overcome an inferisity

complex that they've developed over the years because of mistreatment

and being snubbed and shut out and this sort of thing.

W: Well, personally it's easy for us to cross from our Indian communities

into the white man's world and compete with him, than it is for many

of the other Indian groups because of this.

B: Uh, huh.

W: Our thought patterns, and language barriers is not the same a as many

other Indian groups. So it's easier for us. And to me, in fact I'm

a product of the church. I went to church as a boy, my father was a

lay minister in the church I'm now serving befc) he passed away. And

later I got involved with the church through my grandparents when

I went to live with them for about three years, and later with another

friend whom I spent six years with, Mr. Lucas Oxendine, who is now

a a retired public school teacher, and president of the C -cc/ y

Pa/ 94VS Association at the present time. And living with them I



got very actively involved with the church. At the age I of nine-

teen I made what is known here as a "commitment", or "confession."

I committed myself to the Christian religion and personally em-

braced it as mine. And this gave me aot of personal sense and

guidance, the providential protection and blessings of God through

the remaining part of my years. V-e fact I had a chance to go to

college, it was very rough because of the limited money I had to go,

but yet I thought out of deep sense of conviction I must go. Because

this was the plan and will of God for me. And so I went with the

intention of either entering some phase of medicine or become a

college professor, which I had an option of... a scholarship made

available for me, but by the time I had completed my college

degree, getting' a public school certificate and being certified in

History-Science, my major, and in also in Bible I had been called

by God to enter the ministry. And of course at first I had some real prob-

lemsvith this because I'd as I'd said had plans, a chance to become

a professor at the university, which it is now, so I looked upon that

with great favor. I also turned down another wonderful opportunity "'
become one of the first Indians to work with the social service, not

social serivce, but the Social Security Department, at that time,

which was in Fayettevill- North Carolina. They wanted to employ

an Indian to work with our people, and this as a very good job, and

the thoughts of three more years of school and more money and I

wanton to get out and go to work was quite an internal conflict.

But I finally passed the hurdle and went on and I'm glad that I did

and accepted the training' and now ar 'qualified minister and one of the

leaders among my people, as such.



B: Rev. Woods, we were temporarily interrupted here because the sound

truck passing and so forth, do you remember where we were?

W: I'm not quite sureV,

B: But you were doing so well I didn't want to interrupt you at that

time. We were interrupted at that point. You were talking about

your career and your church work and that you are in the full-time

ministry, you told me that.
W: -
Yes, and I ... I have some other outside other responsibilities. I

am one of the board of directors for Lumbee Regional Development Associates,

Incorporated, which is a private, non-profit cooperation founded with

the sole express purpose of doing educational, social, and health

and economic development program'for the Lumbee people. And we are

primarily funded by the Federal Government. We've had some small

assistance from the state level, but we have been able to be instrumental

in getting a number of grants awarded here to do programs for our people.

And of course I'm the treasurer on this board of directors and it's my

responsibility to oversee the physical ... fiscal responsibility of the

organization, and must co-sign all checks as such as well as do the

bank reconciliations and check with the certified public accountant we

have employed and see that regular reports are made to the Federal

Government and the disbursements of our funds according' to the guidelines

of the various programs that we do have. Since this agency's been

into bein' as you know, Mr. Barton, we have been able to assi--, work with other

Indian groups h.:our own state to help bring into bein' the North

Carolina Indian Commission, and we're very proud of this. It's not

all we want, but it's a step, we think in the right direction that will

bring some state influence and some state resources to bear--manpower,

money and otherwise, to help us help our people and do things for



ourselves. And this is about the only thing we ask of anybody is to

give us a chance to do for ourself, not necessarily having it done

for us, but the kind of resources and help to get these things done.

B: Uh, huh.

W: And to date we think we're doin' a reasonable, credible job to this point.

Though we would admit readily it's not been all we would love to see done,

we have programs in economic development, we have programs in education,

to supplement the public schools and the university, uh, but we do

not as of to date have a definite program in terms of health

and this is an area we are deficient. We need more doctors, nurses,

among our people and we've been working' hard trying' to find scholar-

ships and other assistance along these lines that will enable us to send

our people on off to higher education to get training. We have the

manpower and they have the native intelligence ability to do it, it's

just to a large degree the lack of money because it's t& expensive

For example, we have one young man who received a Federal Government grant.

and went through law .school and came back and became the first Indian

practice law now in the staee of North Carolina. We have four, five

nDre away training. And if we were able to get the same kind of assis-

tance we could do the same thing as far as medicine is concerned. It

would not only be a blessing to our V people, but other races here in

our county and adjoining county as well.

B: Excuse me one moment, the cat is interrupting us now. .... I had to

pause momentarily to put the cat out because she was separated from

her kittens and quite distressed about it, it seems because we had the

door closed. We were talking about LRDA, the Lumbee Regional Development

Associate, or Association, which is it, Incorporated, and what ... could

you tell us something about it ... well, you've told us something



about it's specific purpose, could you enlarge on that just a bit?

W: The specific programs we're doin' at present is that of a ... we were

originally awarded a $4300 grant that came through the National Congress oT

American Indians. We did this ... we used this money to do a Lumbee

Outreach Project, which basically working' with the cooperation of

Robison Technical Institute to do a Lumbee ... get our Lumbees and in-

volve the older people in basic adult education programs, and we did

some other work, referrals, and services with this. And when we com-

pleted this money then we were without funds for almost a year. We

raised pg CA ef e funds among ourselves and various sources and got

matching' ... little bit of ... few hundred dollars of matching' funds,

but we kept goin' with voluntary help primarily. And then we were funded.

The U. S. Office of Education Emergency ../, or ESAP we call it,

Emergency Assistance Program, almost $65, 000 And once we got this

money and got this program going, then we were able to tap into a

basic adult education program, which we enlarged upon from the original one

we were working' with RTI, and now have our own employed ... some of

our won i employed staff as well as the cooperative endeavor between

Robison Technical Institute.

B: Uh, huh.

W: First year was about $70,000, and the beginning of this physical year,

fiscal year, as of June, beginning of July and June of this year, we were ...

that amount was doubled virtually, to $130,000 in our program. And

in fact it's been a pilot model program, ...

B: Um, huh.

W: ... and we use Lumbees to reach Lumbees, and Lumbees' local setting's of

their own home communities. And this has ajot to do with the suc-

cess of our program as such.



B: How has your response been to these ...?

W: Ty been very good. Been very good in terms of the adult people

responding; lots of-4pm finding' and learning' how to read and write,

and finding' a ot of joy and excitement in the process. So that they

can sign their own papers and forms and get them to the place... our

goal is to get them to the place that they can fill out an application ...

make application for jobs, and read the newspaper and things of this nature.

We do have another program which is Talent Search, and that is trying

to give assistance and guidance to our young people in high school and

those that are entering college and those in college to try to keep

them going onto school and trying to find what money and resources are

available to assist them---stipends, scholarships, etc. We've established

a scholarship fund. Our organization is tax-exempt by the government

and by state government. So we have a letter from our Internal Re-

venue Service that we are ... have this status so the contributions

can be sent; it's a very small one but we're hopin' eventually to en-

large on it, so from foundations to whatever source we might be able

to get some money to have some things, to send some of our own people away.

As well as looking' elsewhere for moneys and such. This past year

the grant was for about $45,000, and according' to some of the results

of the director of the program we have been able to secure about this

amount of aid from outside sources to supplement Lumbees, and community

colleges, uh, junior colleges, senior colleges, and some in technical

schools, uh, so the grant was well worth it.

B: Oh, yes. Do you feel that we have many people who are college material

who are not able to finance themselves or get ...?

W: We do have some Lew, and then we have a few who are able to go who just



choose not to go because ...

B: Yeah.

W: ... they want to work, to they have other opportunities and theywork

opportunities here among our people has improved) in the last ten

years a great deal, and which we're grateful. This is a result of

Mr. Slim Barnes, we call him, here in the county, who's employed as

a industrial commission, heads up the industrial commission of our

area, and has been able to bring alot of industry. And ke Lumbee

Indians is one of the strong work force,whether it's on the farm or

in the factory in not only this county but in adjoining counties, and

they seek their employment.

B: Yes.

W: 'Cause they're good, hard workers. They earn their bread. They're not

loafers, just try to get a buck or bead off someone and uh, our people

as a result have built a ot of low and medium homes, and trailers, and

been able to put their feet down on soil that they can call home.

B: Right.

W: Little plots. And this has been such a gracious thing to see and how

pleased and how often I heard people make this comment and especially

our people that are away in the cities and elsewhere. And a few of 'em

are coming' back.

B: Um, huh.

.W: Because living conditions here most of our people live in a rural area,

you're not cramped as you are in the ghettoes, say of Baltimore, where

many of our people live or Greensboro, or elsewhere, where slum and

rushed conditions. Hete you're in a rural area, you can do a little huntin'

and fishing' while you have your own little piece of ground, and maybe do

a little gardenin', which many of 'eg like to do, and this adds a4ot of



joy, and then again this kind of bein' free and rural people which our

people love, uh, it's just a real blessin'. And industry, though the

wages are minimal, they still have been a blessin'.

B: Yeah. I ... I'm sure ... I understand about the problem of going to school

because I ... I had difficulties in my own case, and I had nine children,

incidentally, and uh eight of them have finished high school, and I

have one who is still to finish high school, and I had a boy, the boy

who graduated this year with high honors wanted to go to college this

year, but unfortunately we. were not able to ... to get help for h-m--

financial help.

W: That's terrible, it is.

B: But I'm sure we1,. have problems like this, and it's encouragiing to know that

somebody's working on it, you know, because ...

W: So that the others who want to go, or maybe him later, will find something'

that can correct the situation.

B: Yes, I think he plans to work this year and enter next year.

W: I had a sister, a younger half-sister, that decided ... we had made plans

for her to go to technical school, what she wanted, gud she got to working'

and she just doesn't want to quit working' to do St it. She has a r1qht

good job, but we've still encouraged her, and have several times, but she

still hasn't made up her mind to f get away from work and she's still

single, to take this specialized training.

B: Uh, huh.

W: Another area, Mr. Barton, that I've been limitedly encouraged, not as-

greatly as I'd hoped, lot of our young Lumbees have been away in military

service, some have volunteered, some have been drafted, trying to get

them to take advantage of the GI Bill.



B: Uh, huh.

W: I've had some of my young men to do it but nearly everyone I've had

come back to my community, attend my church, I've made it a point

of my ministry to sit down and talk with him-and almost persuade him

or try to to take advantage of this GI Bill; if it's nothing' more than

just a six month or year and a half technical course of study, uh,

getting' him some specialized skill that he can sell on the labor mar-

ket that will enable him to get a good payin' job, just not a job, and

be a leader.

B: Um, huh. We had some, I don't know whether you want to talk about this or

not, 'course we want you to talk about only what you want to talk about,

but uh, we did have some problems in our school system in 1960 as you

re-all, I mean in 1970, ...

W: Yes, we've had some problems, and still got some ...

B: Uh, we have a ... as you know we are members of an organization called

Concerned Parents Organization and sometimes people get the wrong conception

and think we're opposed to integration, uh, I don't think this is our

goal at all, do you?

W: No, that was not our goal, though some of the press misaiquoted and mis-

understood and some of our people in the movement had some of these

views, but the truth of the matter is I never from the beginning bein'

involved and bein' the treasurer of that organization had the idea to

oppose integration. Our people from about '66 onward beginning' with

Head Start program and then working' on in the public schools were some

choosing' to go to white schools, and some of them were involved with blacks

in the community goin' to school and all went well until the fall of

1970. In which very unique thing happened, and it almost brought our

people to the brink of war, which is something we don't like to think of,



or talk about, but it virtually brought us to that point. I spent

S!J tzf sleepless hours rollin' and twistin' in my bed at night prayin'

to God for help that we would be able to avert it. But we came as close

goin' to war as many of our people as we have perhaps for a hundred years

or longer.

B: Right. Uh, could you define this problem so that it might be better


W: Well, it's a complicated one. In fact the Justice Department of the United

States government and some of our local attorneys we have hired with

this case in Fayetteville, North Carolina, 7e,//L, 7 '// I represented

our interest in it, has conceded this, along dth the Harvard Law Center,

out of Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has conceded as

one of the most complex situations they have encountered in United States.

B: Uh, huh.

W: I had soie correspondence I received through the mail yesterday from them,
a written letter to confirm what I just stated.

B: Uh, huh.

W: Here we have three races almost equally divided. And we have the Robtson

County Board of Education, we have the city of -lurMeiion) has its edu-

cational system, the city of Fairmont, the city of St. Paul, the city

of Red Springs, and the city of Maxton.

B: Each has a ... each has a superintendent and a board of education ...?

W: Each has a superintendent, a board of education elected by its people.

These lines were set up originally with the intent of primarily control-

ling where the white children wanted to go to school. The rural area

in Roblson County Board of Education, then what poor whites ; were

left in the county, and what Negroes were out there, At? /s J('1 who

have lived in a rural area and worked the farms originally,



primarily this was our task and responsibility. These lines and geographi-

cal locations were set up with these things in mind. However, twenty

and thirty years later now these very lines were in force. That is HEW

forced the ... these boards of education from lettin' us cross them

as we had been doin' all through the years goin' to our predominately

Indian schools in our Indian communities. And this rpught us, as I

said earlier, almost to the brink of war. There was some gerrymandering,

we're almost certain of some of these lines, but we filed suit in Fed--,

United States District Court in the eastern district here in the state

of North Carolina, trying' to seek an injunction to get some injunctive

relief from it. But it's been very difficult because the Justice Depart-

ment has spent an indefirte amount of money and time trying to ascertain

what was and what isn't and as well as we have ourself.t And it's been

hard for us to come by money and resources as well though we have been

helped from the Harvard Law Center and some work and effort has been

given from the Duke Law Center, and the state of North Carolina has given

some legal assistance. But still it's been a rather expensive proposition.

And within the next few weeks and days, weeks at most and days at the earliest,

we hope to have to make a definite decision on this as to which way we're

going to proceed with it. What we'd love to see and what even makes the ...
aggrevates the situation even more for us Lumbees is that the Robtson

County Board of Education is electd county-wide by all peoples in

the cities and rural areas votes on our board of education. But and

vice versa, we cannot vote on the other boards of education in the city
units. So we feel like here is an unequal protection of the law or voter

uhs-bi-tes u o -. And if it proves that within the leg--, ...

the litigation that we're now involved with doesn't prove very successful



at this particular point because when we filed the suit we ... our two

basic alleged errors was that we were being bussed indiscriminately and

disproportionately than other races, and also that our communities were

being carved up by these lines. And they are cut up as a result.

B: And originally these were segregation lines?

W: That's right. Now they're used for the purpose of integration.

B: Uh, uh.

W: And of course all these things really aggravated us and with the thoughts

to the back of the mind that we had tried several times unsuccessfully

to elect boards ... members to the board, Robison County Board of Educa-

tion that we felt would represent us. We have had one man on the

board of education, butVb've always thought he was put on there with the

consent of the white primarily to represent their interests and go

along with them. They had a black man on there, and this time the

black people didn't return their man and I ... we are confident, and

they told us, and from their lack of support of him for this very reason.

B: Uh, huh.

W: And as a result another Indian lady that we feel will represent our area

come November we hope she will be put on. But again we had another

gentleman that we wanted on there very badly and a large segment of

our people, but they outvoted him in these strong white stronghold

areas because they didn't want him on there because he has been one in

our school suit, and not only that, trying to improve the rights of

his own children from Prospect area, Mr. L. H. Moore, or Harvard Luther

Moore, who is a grandson of the Reverend William Moore who 6s founder

of Pembroote State University.

B: Right.
W: So we're still in a stru e and still have a problem that's still
W: So we're still in a struggle and still have a problem that's still



unresolved, but we've also been working' on this thing politically

this year. Some of our leaders have been and some way or another,

by God's help and by the help of the state and federal government

we're gonna find some relief some way at some time.

B: Right. We are Americans and we are entitled to whatever privileges

are ours under the law and ...

W: Right. And we pay taxes, we are not tax-exeicpt as many of the Indian

groups are. We pay our local sales tax, our local state tax and

Federal tax; in fact the tax money last Frideay I went to the local

Indian bank, Lumbee bank, that we do business with, Lumbee Regional

Development Associates, as a treasurer, and I deposited a little
/// o000
over elpvpev-nth anus- rlIl rs taxes from the payroll of the ... of our

employees. So this shows you how strong, how much taxes, that's just

one payment, and that was not all the taxes for one month either,

BI So in effect they are getting two votes to our one, and then .. '. rc aCt $

'd control.

W: Right. Indeed. They control, and we cannot. Originally also we were

allowed the privilege to hire and fire df our own school teachers and

principal. This has been taken out of our hands, is now done by

the board of education.

B: Yes, and the state gave us that privilege under the old system.

W: Under the old system. And this again, you see, we have lost the control

at this point of our schools. With the control we feel like by some-

one else. And this is very distasteful and unsatisfactory with us as

a people and we are not going to be happy or satisfied 4til the day

and time comes that we will have a stake in sayin' what will be and

who will teach our children---not A in terms of race as much, but

the quality of our people, and if our own people don't measure up, we'll



fire 'em We've done it in the past, ..

B: We always did it.

W: I'm sure we'll do it in the past, in the future, no question about it.

B: Uh, how does this effect teachers uh, since they have encroached

upon our rights e feel.

W: Well, the teachers feel more and more that, you know, they have to toe

the line and there's less a possibility for them to speak out and some-

times do some of the things they'd like to because they feel like if

... well, it's just an enoachment to a large degree upon their own

perogative. Though I'm not a teacher at the present time, my wife is,

and has been for a goodly number of years. And I have a lot of other

friends that still are teachers and working and it creates a real

problem, uh, as such, at this particular point.

B: Ne do you think in essence this is taxation without representation?

W: Without equal representation, definitely.

B: And I think you were at a hearing in the federall court and I understood

federal judge Butler to make a statement like this and I want to see if

you remember this statement--he said, for a hundred years our whites

and our blacks took the tax money of these people and built themselves

schools and these people had no schools, and he expressed sympathy

toward us although he has to abide by the law and he can only admin-

ister the law as it is.

W: This is true. The exact time or length of time this happened I'm not

sure of, but definitely this happened. And he said it always amazed

him why this was allowed to happen. That the Indians had to pay tax
even in this period of time had no schools of their own, but yet was

J)l4- ea/l&0( the privilege of going to the other schools. In fact this



the basis for the -,cVn p"/beginnin' of what now is Pembroke STate


B: As I recall this was Judge Algernon Butler.

W: Of the United States District Court, the eastern district, whose offices

or &ere he holds court in d Clinton North


B: Uh, huh. So we do have a very real problem and uh, having these six dis-

tricts it's already in bad enough condition, but before this plan went

into effect in 1970 had not some of the white rural communities been

annexed'to city units for the ... as we see it for the purpose of

building white school districts--building up their districts. I'm

thinking now primarily of ...

W: C Pine ...?

B: Like the CiBern Pine situation.

W: Yes, this was definitely what happened. In fact one of the United

States Justice Department officials and lawyers was down here looking'

at some of the lines, and checking' 'em. The only way he could des-

cribe the situation in particular Lumberton, North Carolina, their

boundary lines was it was like an "ameoba," which is a, little one-

celled animal that has no shape or form, and can create a hole right

in the middle of him and yet absorb things outgde around. In fact

there's one spot in the city, system of Lumberton we have to send

Robkson County buses through to pick up some Indian children to take

them back into our school, we're passing' through their lines to do


B: Um, huh. So the gerrymandering or the design to favor separate schools

is very obvious even in ...looking at the map.

W: And especially, yesand especially\ in the Lumberton area more so than



any place else in the county. Of course,that's the county seat,

that's where most of the politics, politicians are, and that's where

most of the power is, and they pretty well control it.

B: Right. And of course the two areas that seemed more concerned or

who have seemed to express more dissatisfaction than others were

Prospect and Oxendine --4 school, and uh ...

W: Yes, we were, and ir 'trVou and now since then /./,- FOUe and

Magnolia has become as militant or more so concerned'over the respective

schools of theirs. At first they were not very much concerned, but seemly

since then they have, and they still have concerned parent meetings,

organization5in their respective communities and uh, "e seeking some

relief and some help as such. And we're hopeful that they will. I

might point out, Lew, as a result of this publicity some was favorable,

some unfavorable, for our cause, but one thing that has come out of it

is that it seems almost certain now that we're going to get some special
assistance money by way ofMUnited States Government, especially ear-

marked for Indian education. Whereas before for a hundred years or

longer we've been seeking some special help from the Federal Govern-

ment because of the fact we were Indians to help us in our educa-

tional fight and they've always turned us down. We have letters even

datin' back as far as the Reverend William Luther Moore, I mentioned

earlier, founder of the university, where they turned him down in the

requests he made and all along but it seems now as certain that this new

educational bill was passed by Congress some time ago, whenever it is

funded, that by way of the North Carolina Indian Commission will be coming'

some money for the state of North Carolina, us Indians such as the

Cohara in Sampson County, the JCaCP"^ in Lake gya,0 1 ^C ,
a e and us Lumbees will be getting some special assistance
the /-/4Iwc jI and us Lumbees will be getting' some special assistance



for the first time in the history of this state that we know anything


B: Well, I certainly am happy about that.
W: Indeed, so if we don't get / out of the schools that we want we know

this is coming and that ... this will be indirectly as a result of some

of our efforts anyway.

B: Yes, and we're still trying)and it's a very tragic thing. We had one

lawyer, one lawyer from Washington with the Department of Justice mur-

dered evidently because there was a knife in his back and this ...

during, you know, this controversy, and this distressed us very much,

this because this murder so far as I know has never been solved.

W: And we have wondered wheht&br it had any link or connection with

his investigation and assignment to this case in this area.

B: Yes, he spent much time here and he did have the goods. He did have

the evidence and uh, I could ... I can't help wondering about this

and in our suit, are we chargingY0 -Department of Health, Education

and Welfare actually conspired with these units here to --- -- this?

W: I wouldn't think that they actually conspired to do it, but the net

results are about the same.

B: Right.

W: They accepted proposals and things that they put forth, and under oath,
the Robison County Board of Education and other units in the county

had said that they were going to effectively integrate their faculty.

And the Justice Department has brought suit against them for failure to

do this one thing so the Justice Department and have done

this which gives justification to the allegation that we made, we

were treated unfair.

B: Uh, huh.


W: Uh, to a large degree in some areas what we thought they were doin' was

putting' Indians and blacks together and hardly ... into where there

was vry few white students to put in these schools. They didn't even

put white teachers they just put the Indian and black teachers and

1C/(/ 1I iA i and Union Elementary School this was particu-

larly true and brought it to where there was some actual blows, and

some teachers almost harmed and this aggravated the situation and

the peoples' feeling's because this is what was done.

B: Do you have any idea as to what the Robtson County ...

B: This is side 2, of tape 18, continuing the interview with Reverend

Woods. At the end of the tape I ... I was asking a question as to

the number of Indian pupils who make up the Robison County system

at present if you have any information about that.

W: In 1970 about 56%-60% of the student body in Robison County Board of

Education were Indian children. And since these lines were enforced

that number has dropped. And I'm thinking' it dropped down to some-

where between eight and nine thousand from something' like somewhere

around ten or eleven thousand. Now these are estimates, I don't have

the exact figures at hand at the moment as such. We lost twenty,

was it twenty-seven teachers, I believe, from our traditional Indian

schools went into other school systems,most of them did. Here's

another threat that we're afraid of that we're going to lose positions

that are rightful ours by the number of children we have in this

county going to school---uh, to lose the right of employment. We

do have because of Pembroke State University being and then predominately

in the past they training' people for teachers. We have alot of our

people are trained in this profession because there were not many other



opportunities available and open for us, in business as they are

now and other doors; in law. In fact times have been so if you went

to law school you couldn't come back here and get admitted to the bar

and practice law and that's the reason Commissioner Brantley Blue is

in Washington, and was in Tennessee, and a friend I was in college with,

a fellow from raLy Loughry,I always called Jack, is practicin' in

the state of Tennessee, instead of here in North Carolina because he

did sj and before he went away to law school said he was

coming' back because of problems that were involved. But some of these

problems at least we'll cross the hurdle and finally made history

and got one back here and hope we're hopefully we'll get some more.

B: Do you think we've been prevented from having an Indian lawyer until a

few days ago when olth Locklear did pass ...

W: It was Horace Locklear. Yes, this ...

B: Horace Locklear.

W: This has been our feeling's justly or unjustly so, and we were ...felt

rather strongly about it and from various sources of information that

they just planned it this way just the way it was anyway.

B: Anyway he's the first Lumbee Indian to pass the bar exam, the North

Carolina bar exam, and to pass it in this state, although we have very

able lawyers practicing in other states including the United States Indian

Claims Commissioner appointed by President Nixon that you mentioned while ago.

W: That's correct.

B: The Honorable Brantley Blue, Commissioner Brantley Blue.

W: And we might point out this, Lew, Almost a hundred years ago we had our

first Indian doctor known as Governor Locklear--Dr. Governor Locklear.

He had his problems, he'd been away from school a good while, and then he

ended up marrying a white lady and it frustrated his life and he e
e end



up in dillusionment and a final leaving from among his people.

B: Um, huh.

W: Lately in the last ten years we had another Indian doctor who finished and

came back here now we've had countless other doctors to complete medi-

cal school and some in s& eas but they always practiced away from

here ; were never able to come home. Dr. Brooks came back and he'd

been gone from school from the time he finished high school away from

here at college and his medical training' and he married a white lady,

and he came back. I wouldn't say that that aggravated it as much, but

his agitation, the troubles he's had here has led to his divorce, and

he's remarrietow the local Indian lady, uh, as such. So there's been

problems for our professional people when they seek to go into other

areas like this. And this is a matter of record not of feeling nor

of prejudice.

B: Right. This reminds me of the case of Mr. James K. Brayboy do you

know about him?

W: No, go ahead.

B: Well, I have been told that because he married a white ...

W: You're right. Now I remember. Go ahead.

B: He had to leave this county and he simply went across the line into

South Carolina a few miles away and there he was accepted and became the state

teacher of the year and almost became the number one teacher of the United

States last year. I believe he was about third runner-up ...

W: Right. He was one of the Top Five in the nation.

B: But it's very tragic and ironic that conditions like this rob us of

some of the very best talent that we have and talent which is so very

desperately needed not only among our people, but among other people of



the area as well.

W: Who could benefit from it as well. This is true. I pointed this out

some time back, uh, Senator Everet B. Jordan, who was kind enough to

introduce some additional legislation for us,t has not been passed for us,

in the United Sates Congress. He was down here campaigning he was up

for re-election, and I pointed out to one of his staff members that

anything t-Kar athiLng that we get or is done for us down here, even

though specifically earmarked for Lumbee Indian, indirectly it will

help other people.

B: Right.

W: And this amazed him, because apparently it had never dawned on him or

to people as such. But this is tnue.

B: But the help we can get elsewhere will ... will leave funds available
for something else, because there's always a shortage of funds in Robtson

County since this is one of the poorest ...

W: ... counties in the state. And yet one of the largest geographically in

the state.
C ollti
B: Right. And uh, eaa you tell us a little something about this Jordan bill?

W: Well ...

B: I think it's already been introduced in the House ...

W: It's already ... it's already been introduced into the ... the Senate;

whenever ... in the late 1950's, the Lumbee bill bein' passed, the In-

terior Department bein' prime responsible for it, they had a discriminatory

clause added into it that denied us certain privileges and rights. And

we were wantin' this taken out. The original authors of the bill among

our people did not have it in there and when it passed the state house

of legislature in Raleigh and went on to Washington it wasn't in there. But

it was added there, and we had been asked them to take it out, and put the



bill back like it was original like our people voted on it in the

fifties here. And it has been introduced in the United States Senate

and was up for hearing' but it has not proceeded any farther, and with

Congress so near the adjournment this session we're somewhat afraid

that it might not pass through, but if it doesn't then hopefully come

next year there will be a new Congressman, or Sen. Jordan bein' a fine

man, but because of his age was a factor against him, bein' in his seventies,

he lost ; in the run-off. So we have made contacts with the two men, one

Republican the other Democrat that are running llii G 1 fl, the

Democrat representative, and Helms, the Republican representative, and

the Congressman, Charlie Rose III, who was the attorney and helping'

found our Lumbee bank, we're sure that we're gonna get considerations and

help all around, perhaps as well or better than we had this time be-

cause our present Congressman, Alton Leonard, just was.uncooperative

all the way with it.

B: He didn't support it at all.

W: Oh, no, oh, no.

B: Uh, I remember some remarks made by his ... his secretary, when you

start talking' to her about a bill like this which ... is designed to
eliminate this discriminatory clause, which Sen. Jordan definitely described

as discrimination against Lumbee Indians because uh, although the act of

Congress recognizes us as American Indians, as the Lumbee Indians of

North Carolina, yet you have in this clafpe after all these flowery

words uh, "They shall not be entitled to any privileges as Indians be-

cause of their status as Indians." "es, they patron one side of the face,

and slap us on the other! But maybe we'll ... maybe we'll be able to

overcome this. And one of the pet phrases that is used by Congressman

zm&l l lady assistant is "Let's all be Americans." Can you imagine



anybody saying to an American Indian, "let's all be Americans."

W: When we are the first Americans! The original Americans, and if that isn't

true there is no such thing as American period!

B: Right. Well, uh, we certainly have problems, but you feel that we are

making great progress?

W: Yes, we're making' progress on, we think on all fronts. And we think this

is the decade. Professor Adolph Dial of the University, and just

happened to be my brother-in-law, but he and our new attorney Horace

Locklear both are convinced, and both have travelled across the nation with

aot of other Indian groups and leaders and contacts, they are convinced that

this is the decade of the American Indian. Personally I hope so, not

because I'm an Indian, but I'd like to see this nation do justice to

the people that were here originally when this nation was found and


B: Uh, huh.

W: And we're coming' up now ..soon be celebration' our two hundredth anniversary,

and I'd love by that time for this nation to feel justly and proudly

that we have done something worth recognizing and the recognition of the

original inhabitants of this country. I really do. And I'd love this

country to get to the place that it feels this way, instead when you
their their
start talking' about American names, have to admit / guilt and / shame

and disgrace and this kind of thing. I'd like for them to feel proud

that they have dealt justly with us, and when they haven't that they've

given us an opportunity to try to make amends for some of the things that

have happened in the past.

B: Yes, this is great and I think it will happen because ...

W: I do.

B: For the first time people are listening to the American Indian, and they



are cond4 during it and somepeople are ... many Americans are very con-

cerned about it. And uh, I believe one of the reasons they haven't been

before is simply because it was not brought to their attention. People

assumed that all was well and good with the Indians, you know, because

after all so-many of them were under government supervision, uh, which

doesn't ... which doesn't actually guarantee that they're going to be

treated well at all.

W: True. From their own testimony those who are under government super--,

supervision, and this brings up a point that I remind this fella that was

killed, the Justice Department attorney down here investigating, asked us

asked me why you are not interested in a treaty or c. r/,'// that of a

reservation. I says from the effect that reservations have had on Indians

and their lives and how oo- things are, I says, our people you

couldn't give them one. They wouldn't have it because we're far better

off without it. We have the freedom to buy and own, : and compete in

many things We're far superior and better off than they are. No,

siree, no thank you for your reservation as far as we're concerned as a

people here. We're far better off without it.

B: We prefer our freedom, whether we win or whether we lose.

W: Amen!

B: We want to do it on our own.

W: Right, right.

B: We want to be like the lady in the ad, "Momma, I want to do it myself."

W: Yes, we're better off we feel because some of the recent goals been set

for other Indian reservation and groups to achieve such as a shopping

center ori using project-- these things in particular we've already

achieved "Pd a bank. We have our Lumbee bank that's been in operation

now for about nine or ten months and goin' strong; we're building' a



permanent building' to house it in. We have a Lumbee Housin' Project

that is well ... under as way in construction in addition to the many

individual owned homes that I mentioned .earlier. Part Y of thesLumbee

Housing Project will include about thirty-five or forty units for older,

retired people with low income, and below moderately incomes, to help look

after them and this will be a real blessin' as well as some individual

family units. In addition to this we already have a Lumbee Indian Shop-

pin' Center, owned and controlled by our own people and primarily by

one propriety, uh, Mr. Ward Clark, Jr., who happens to be also part-

time minister among our people as such. He was a former public school

teacher. So some of the things that they're proposin' we've already

at, and almost already achieved to date, In fact we opened the first

uh, Indian bank in the United States.
B: Right. one of thihhas been easy, is it- A i /V

W: Oh, no. Oh, no.

B: But of course the Founding Fathers never promised anyone that democracy

would be easy. They just said it was the best form of government; self-

government is the best form of government.

W: True, and a man like Abraham Lincoln, whom I've admired a great deal

in my growing' up, coming' up the rough side the mountain like he had, and

I've identified myself with him so many times in reading' in his books

and thinking' back as a source of inspiration and guidance and that uh, the

things that he stood for has meant aot to me, and I'm sure to ayot of

own, our others of our people as well. Uh, in trying to be self-reliant

and independent while you must be dependent upon others to some degree,

but yet never overbearing on others, and expecting' others to do for you

when you can do for yourself.

B: Right.



W: And if we had all but always had a chance to do for ourselves equally

with the others we would have been farther down the road than we are.

B: Um, huh.

W: And this only in essence really we're askin' for is an eqpal chance

with the other guy.

B: Do you think this is something however which conjures up fear perhaps

in the Causcausian group? Maybe they think we're getting along too

we&l, or we're ... a threat to them or something?

W: I'm sure ... I'm sure there are some who would like to see us back in the

fields pickin' cotton and just tobacco work and the other menial to

that of hard labor jobs because our people coming' up out of hard

circumstances have learned to work hard as a normal thing. And many

of them have not known this kind of previous experience so they don't

work, and can't work quite as hard and take it in stride as many ... so

put us out on competing basis at this point and we'll outrun him every

time almost. And this is true not only in the ..the work-a-day world, but

many times in the academic and intellectual arenas as well, we com-

pete and do rather well.

B: Uh, huh. I wanted to ask you your opinion about uh, the director of

welfare services has resigned and I think that post is still to be filled

and ...

W: That's news, Lew, I didn't know that.

B: You didn't?

W: Miss Patue 's gone?

B: Yes, she's resigned,she's not gone yet, but they have A%. I "ia4 '

W: Ahhh.

B: ... a new appointment, but ...

W: Well, my reaction is from the problems we've had in the past this shouldn't



mean anything but something good. Or an improvement. Hasn't been

in the worst of the world, but it hasn't been the best either. The

problems we've had and bones of contention so I can say that I feel

that this would be definitely and should be and if it's not with three

minorities sitting' on this advisory board somebody's gonna be a fallen,

uh, fail to take advantage of a wonderful opportunity. We have two

Lumbees sitting' on that board, one black, and two white. So surely

if they don't get a good input and a person that is much more amiable and

acceptable to the public, yet do a credible job, then I pity the whole

lot of us.

B: Have you observed this among uh, people who administer social services,

um, I'm not saying they're all this way J^-P

W: Some of 'em are commendable and I've worked with some of 'em when I

did the field work for the Board of Education; some of these people I

had aot of respect for and 4 appreciation, while others I had real

reservations and questions about and still to some degree I have.

B: Some seem to feel that they're primary purpose in serving on the Welfare
Board is to reserve, is to protect Fort Knox I've often said, you


W: The money part of it?

B: Yes, ,

W: Rather than to render services to people that are in need.

B: That's right. To render as little service as possible and in some

cases to sabotage the program ...

W: Ahhh!

B: They don't really believe inthe program, and have you ...?

W: Let me say this Lew. I was amazed to see this past year that the Social

Service Department was the one department didn't spend all the money



that the county commissioners allowed. I didn't want to hardly believe

it when I saw it in print.

B: As desperately as we ... the need is here in th&s county. We've got

something like $3000 ...

W: Well, some people make less than $1000 a year income. We still are

low income; there are aiot of blacks and some whites and Lumbees, uh, as

a whole. ... the blacks as a whole across this state are in much better

shape than we are. It's a sad story that I don't like to admit, but

it's true.

B: Uh, huh. Well ...

W: Taken as a whole ... takin' the Negro race as a whole, economically

positions and all, they're better off than we are.

B: Uh, huh. And uh, there's a great difference in the per capital income

of the black and Indian families, and the white families in Robson Cbunty

although theirs is not the highest. I think they have on a national level,

they're low, I believe they have something like $4-5000 a year and we have

something like $1200 or $1300; there's about a hundred dollars difference

between the black and the Indian, according to the last statistics, I


W: Uh, huh, I see. There's another, Lew, study that's being done now by

the University of North Carolina at Raleigh through the Sociology De-

partment of which LRDA sub-contracted fQe or sMN interviews of Lumbee

Indian families. We sub-contracted it and did the Lumbee part of it

because of the uniqueness of the structurecof the family in terms of

numbers, income, family, this kind of thing, and the same g equal num-

ber has been done of the whites and of the blacks here. We did not

accept that part of it; there's a black citizens' committee in Lumbarton,

North Carolina, that are doin' the blacks, and RTI, Robtson Technical



Institute, is doing the white part of the survey. There they hired

people. And here should be a rather interesting and revealin' and
this is just will-/completed this summer, and this winter. This

study was funded I think some federal project, I'm not sure of the

exact .. the specific name of it as of this moment.

B: I would like to ask you, if I could change the subject just a it, on

what is your impression of the forthcoming drama, outdoor drama?

W: I trust it will be a real blessing, and I'd like to see us be able to

become, uh, strike at the wind, because this is ... just like we were

talking' about the school suit earlier; there are so many forces out

there that have been brought to bear, to bring other things into bein'

and we are bein' a minority people many times we get caught in the

middle. That we didn't have nothing' in bringing' into bein' in the first

place. They were designed to achieve other goals, but yet we get caught
and effected by these. And this depicts as the rgh y men did years

ago a strike at the wind because they were so many forces against

them that they hardly knew where to strike to get things changed

and corrected. And sometimes we fought almost the same way, and I think

the title's aptly chosen. In the first place and I trust it will be-

come something not only to our own people, to many others. The story

of our history and of our struggle of survival, and I think the Old

Main incident--I'd love to see it become a national shrine and a state

shrine so tha hen people comes we would have some things to show them.

These are some firsts in this nation.

B:) Yes, sir. Well, I guess you know that we've had ...we've had word

from the State Department of Archives and History that they plan to

nominate Old Main for preservation and for listing on the national




W: Beautiful! Hooray! Man, what a day! There's another victory, there's

a victory.

B: Hasn't even come out in the paper yet, but I have a carbon copy of the


W: Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

& So some people are listening .

B: Yes, indeed, and I've always felt that this old saying about "the word",

uh, the pen is mightier than the sword ...

W: Well, you and I you bein' a journalist and I bein' a preacher, we'd

have to agree on that! Or eitherwise quit our professions!!

B: A very interesting thing happened to an Italian-American, you know, sixty-

one years ago. His parents paid part of the $40 burial expenses, and

the rest was never paid for some reason so this man has been left on

/ top of the earth for all those years, and he's placed inside of a wooden,

crude wooden box with a glass over the front and he's been on exhibition

all these years, and uh, when the weather is hot it smells a it, and
Lup rv b1A
he's been housed inside this funeral home in Warn g and just within

the last four weeks we ...we came out ... I came out with a story in

the RobAsonian about this Italian-American. And an Italian-American
a' C-f 07C ^/A./Mi
Congressman got hold of that story and now there's an international
incident about this thing and I think this man is going to be eventually


W: I would agree, and I'm glad tosee it come to pass, and I'm glad to know

that a Lumbee was the first one that picked up on it and to point it


B: It certainly does prove that uh, this is something which shocked me so

much because I've never actually come into contact with this sort of



thing before and I believe that minority groups sympathize with him

because he was a poor man and because ...

W: And a traveler at that passing' through the country.
B: w0n d in this area of the country although the Italian is Caucausian the

minority groups identify with them ...

W: True, true.

B: So we hope to see this resolved too. I ...there are so many areas,

you know, that people can work and can work with each other and for each
other. Uh, I believe that uh, that we are learning to more and more

of this. Not only to help ourselves, but to try to help other people.

W: Right, because we are our brother's keeper whether we sometimes say "like

it or not", and many of the times we do like it because we do like to be

of help. This is a particular characteristic of our people, though,

that I ... I'm very proud of. A guy that's pushed down or in need,

needing food or family been burned out, uh needing help or needing to

be take to Chapel Hill or someplace for medical services or treatment

they're very kind and very gracious whether he's black or white.

I've known of a few cases where some of our girls have married outside

of our race and one case specific, a white man, he lost the use of both

kindeys, and he had to go to Duke, three, four trips a week and ar-

rangements were made by the ministers or other interested people to

take him there, and money raised to help pay some of the expense was

there by the church, an Indian church. And this is only one of a

number of such incidents, where ...people ... sometimes they've done things

where they were not as, where one of our girls were married and in-

volved, but I'm just sayin' that there's a ... our people have a big

heart and are willing ... and a lot of people have also taken advantage

of ths-r situation and put a law on us also, it's gone both ways.



B: Do you see a marked difference in the attitude of our Caucaucian brothers

outisde Robison Cbunty and inside RobAson County?

W: Definitely, definitely. I can leave here and some of the places I
travel and go away from here and how I'm accepted and responded / some

of the eyeball looking' and liftin' of eyelids and expressions of faces

I receive back here sometime, it hurts me really personally. And I

wonder and it makes me say, "Well, why can't I get the same treatment

here and why can't I be as proud ame=g my own friends and neighbors

right here in this county and feel as well as I do other places I go?"

It really burns me down deep and bothers me even though this is home

and I plan to be buried here, ord willing unless He so decrees ohher-

wise. But it is a real problem, though it's improving' and I'm glad to

say. Uh, though I married a local Lumbee Indian girl while I was

away in graduate school I had quite a few chances at Mexican-American young

ladies. I had a date or two but not much, and quite alot of opportunities

at young ladies of white race, and not out of prejudice but out of

concern of what would happen to me and them if I did marry one and come

back. I knew the problems I would face would not be good for her nor me.

B: Or for the children.

W: Or for the children. And I knew and I tried to explain this to a+ot of

'em, and even my male companion friends uh, couldn't understand this.

And I said if I would fall in love or love a person and would want to

marry them, /j 4_as I said I think I'd try to love 'em enough to leave

them back there and not get married because if I went back to Robe-

son County and was walking' down the street and she my wife who she

was white and somebody said something to her or looked at her I said

I'm not a violent man and have never been a fistfight since I've been a

grown adult, and taken especially since uh, since I've taken the vows



I have of the ministry. But I says if a person would treat my wife

*..L I says it would come as close to me punchin' them in the

nose if I didn't do it, and probably would as anything I know of.

I says I just would not want to put her nor myself in such a situation.

So I come heresingle and by the grace of God when I finish my studies

I'm going to go home that way, and hope that God will prepare a Lum-

bee for me. That I'll find someone and I've been fortunate to find a

fi wife who's quite qualified not only as a public schoolteacher, but

has almost a major in music as well, and is a great asset to my church


B: Oh, that's wonderful, that's wonderful. This is perhaps theology, but

you kno there is a feeling among some of our Christian people that be-

fore we get married we should consult God about this.

W: Well, you know, people ... it's not characteristic of the Christian religion

but others they consult the signs of the zodiac or astrology or the

old Indian did the spirits about some of the decisions they made and

why shouldn't we? Something as important as a marriage partner, or

considering what vocation of life I'm going to be and do. These are very

momentous decisions for an individual and God is concerned with our

wellbeing and our health, then surely He must concern that we get the

best out of life for ourselves and for others, then He is concerned at this

very point about us finding' and discovering' what latent and hidden

abilities we may know or may:not know about ourself, and they be

brought to bear for the help of mankind. So it's a very practical mat-

ter, not only a matter of theology as I A- it and feel, and try to


B: Right. That's very true, uh, I certainly look hopefully toward the future,



don't you? The past looks darker than the future to me at this point,

how about you?

W: Indeed, indeed, would agree. Would agree. I have lots more hopes for

my son though he's only three now. As I look to the future economically,

socially, and hopefully we get some more health and doctors and medical

care in this area, there are hospitals but the hospitals do not have

all the staff they need, and we don't have all the economic resources

we could use, but still it is better than it has been. And with the

university here surely he has the chance if he has the ability to do so

and I've taken out a little bit of an educational policy, it ain't

but a few thousand dollars, but a little bit to help me so when that

day comeslopin' if I can keep it paid up, when he's eighteen and starts

to college, I'll have a little bit to help me if I have health and

strength then to see that if he can go to school. This is another area

that there's beginning to be a change among our people. The younger

ones are beginning to take planned parenthood more serious than the

older ones in terms of limitin' the number in the family and a few

insurance policy, health policy, life insurance policy, educational

policy and beginning' to plan for the future and this will help us all

and insure a better and a more richer and quality-controlled future

for the oncoming generation of our people.

B: Do you think there's an attitude hhere, a non-Indian attitude that if

the Indians are given little help and discouraged enough that they

eventually will have to leave home and so the so-called"Indian problem"

will be solved in this particular way?

W: Well, in this particular area it might solve it for the particular whites

that are here, but it goes somewhere, it just moves to another geo-

graphical location.



B: You have the same set of problems wherever ...

W: Wherever they go. So why not just solve it here and it won't be ... need

to transpose it someplace else.

B: Right.

W: In fact if you solve it here it won't be a problem here nor ... or any

place else. The failure of the South particularly to solve the racial

problems of times past has caused it to go ... migrate to the North,

seeking' freedom, seeking' relief. And now the North caught up and the

South trying' to solve it, and if the thing is solved then men won't need

to go North, East or Suth or West--he can stay at home wherever he choose

to make hom and enjoy the fruits of his labor and of his work and

try to live each man in his tepee in peace.

B: Right. I have faith in this country and I'm sure you do in this ... the

basic concepts of this country, its freedoms, its opportunity, however

limited they are for us we do think of this country as a land of

opportunity, do we not?

W: Yes, and feel very strongly about it or so many of our Lumbee youngsters

and older ones before me would not have spilt their blood and some

have died for the cause of this country in war.

B: Right And if ... even though we have more than our rightful share

of difficulties and obstacles K' and this sort of thing I cannot

help feeling proud of our people because of their accomplishments and

of the many ways they've distinguished themselves in all ... almost all

different field of human endeavor.

W: This is true. Now let me refer to something I said earlier--the con-

ference, the church conference that I am a member of is all Indian.

The leadership is Indian, it was formed by Indian leaders, incorporated

by the state of North Carolina, given a non-profit charter and corporation



as such, and uh, what churches we have are Indian minsters, and nearly

all of the members with the exception of one or two, are all Indian.

Not that we discriminate that much, but it's just the way things areR/{I

have been--and the monies have been raised to build the building's,

over a half million dollars in physical assets, uh, this conference

has; this is money come from our own people--no money from the out-

side; the ministers--we have two men now on full-time, we have about

five men in the ministry who have college degrees, or four, and with one

just about to completeIcollege, and several that have not gone to college

that we train--have an own in-built training' system of courses of study.

We train our own people, and I share with them some of the things I've

learned, having gone away to seminary. And so we are able to ... here we

have our own. And we're competing' with the Baptists, and with the

United Methodists who have outside source and help, and with the other

religious groups that are among our people. And we had just as good, if

not best, quality-wise, than any among us.

B: Right.

W: And it's our own, we control it, we decide its destiny and its fate, and

our revenue come from our own people, and we have churches that are as nice
as any you want to attend--in terms ofa'ir-condition, central heatin'

system, uh, classrooms, and teaching' aids, and so on it goes.

B: Um, huh. This is great and uh, the religious life of the Lumbee com-

munity has been a real thing ...

W: Ah, indeed, indeed. If you ... intend in any degree to understand the

Lumbee you must understand the role of the church in his life.

B: Right.

W: And that of the ... you take the church and the school as we know 'em today

this has comprised, and the community life, most of our way of life, which is



for a long, long time. In fact since the church and the schools came

into bein' among us.

B: Um, huh. I've noticed that some Indians some Indian groups else-

where throughout the country have become disenchanted with Christendom

it seems, hut here it ....

W: We have almost become more enchanted. The younger generation ...

B: Right.

W: We have more interest and enthusiasm and more involvement on their part

to help modify church building s, uh, community clubhouses, Jaycee huts

and other social and economic improvement programs along these lines.

nI suspect, Lew, probably in the history of our people, our

younger people are more trained and more educated, they're enlightened,and

they have more opportunity at the better jobs, and some of/Aem are

getting' it, and they are maiin' their means felt in a constructive,

not a destructive way among our people, and I am one who's past thirty-

five, and to say you don't trust one after he gets over thirty-five,

I'm grateful of these younger people.

B: Oh, they're great.

W: And the little bit I had to do with starting' some of the young people's

movements among our little conference and have contributed a little bit

maybe to some of the other groups in the ... among our people, I've

seen the seed grow, and I don't regret the sacrifice of what I've put /'Avo/oed

B: Well, I've often described our people as a loving people, a kind people,

a generous people, uh, they are ... our people are something to really

be proud of, they?

W: We feel so. Definitely.

B: And perhaps our ... whatever accomplishments we've made, would you say



that they've been made inspite of, but not because of?

W: The obstacles and things that were before us, and the limited opportunities.

We've turned a lot of tragedies into triumph, and to some ... to some

measurably degrees, some greater than others. In fact before the Ku

Klux Klan plan became a problem nationwide we had the first confron-

tation with them and put 'em on the move from our area.

B: Right.

W: And you probably remember years ago that when we had a local problem here

with the state board of education over the hirin' of a principal here at

Pembroke High School that some of things we wanted them to do has later

become state policy.

B: Uh, huh. This was in 1964.

W: Yes.

B: This was when the local board hired a Ph.D., and the county board rejected

him, and instead installed an M. A. And this brought a lot of dissatis-

faction from among our people.

W: And again this points out the control the Robdson County Board has, and

the others over us, over against our will and our wishes.

B: Would you say they've wrested this power from us, and the power to control

our schools, uh, inspite of the spirit of the law which established schools

for the Indians and definitely states that they shall have the right to

hire their own teachers and their own principals and things like this and ..

W: Right. Right. And later you see now the government, the state govern-

ment, and a ot ... to a large degree, the federal government's going back to

this thing of local controlled education and destiny of peoples.

B: Right.

W: Yet this was the very thing we were, we hammered at and they tried to go



to court, and elsewhere, back then to try to get some relief, but

fought a losing battle.

B: Right. I believe that eventually the mother who brings a child into

the world will again hav e the freedom to send that child to the school

which he feels will give it the best education, don't you? I believe

it's inevitable.

W: I think so, and I think it's perhaps alot of inherent right. Because

if you're Buddhist, you want to send your child to a Buddhist school;

that ought to be your privilege. Or Catholic or Jew. And have a Jewish

background. Or if you're an athiest, you shouldn't be force to have to

go to a religious school as such, that ought to be your privilege.

B: Right.

W: Uh, to a large degree some of these things are true, and to others who

don't have the money to send them to some of these places, they just

don't have the means and the ability to choose as such. And our people

were doin' well; we fought for the freedom of choice, and we were making'

integration headways, and were doin' it peacefully, but as soon as they

forced the other program, then almost brought us to war.

B: People thought and feared for a long time that when integration came, and

when we received the right to go to Cher schools, that we would im-

mediately break down the walls and we would ...

W: -lee 4-'em out!

B: Flood them out.

W: We haven't done this at all.

B: We went in the other direction and people have been so surprised over this,

and not only do we have a court suit, but our black brothers in this

/^unty have an almost identical court suit, which ...



W: For closing' down one of their schools, from grades one through twelve.

There's not been a white school that I know I of in this qunty, especially

high school and much of elementary either. They may have cut down on

some of 'em, has been closed. But the blacks and Indians were the ones

all designed and earmarked to be closed down and this resent and will

to the nth degree.

B: And so what they are doing really is building a white school system

at the expense ...

W: And the white communities, economically and socially and what have you,

at the expense of the blacks who have suffered more to date than the

Lumbees have even though they were the real pusherin other parts of the

country and we got the benefit from it down here of integration. Yet

the blacks have lost principals, teachers, and to a large degree be-

cause of this thing. We're just trying' to insure that it doesn't hap-

pen to us.

B" It's very sad that ... that such noble intentions should be reversed and

made to actually work against the minorities for whom they were ...

W: Really intended to help.

B: To help. And this is so ironic it's almost like blasphemy, isn't it,

it's a ... complete about face has been done; we ... we remember when black

students were not only given the right to attend the schools of their

choice, but were escorted by federal ...

W: Marshals.

B: Marshals, and uh, their rights were safeguarded, but now this ... this

seems to 19, this is regimentation and the loss of freedom for every-

body. And I was so happy when this happened because they could go

wherde1ft they wanted to go and this was freedom to me, but this is not

freedom as I see it, how about you?



W: You got one choice, and that's all. That's no choice.

B: They tell you where to go, and this is where you have to go no

matter whether it's conveniently near or whether it's in the distance.

They force you to follow a principle that they speak of as "racial

bpaance", and why ... why should the individual American be saddled with

the responsibility to bring about a racial balance? If the government

wants to do this, and they're determined to do this, let them do it and

not relegate it to the shoulders of the individual citizens. This *.SeAwts

repulsive to me, they tried it and '. they ... they haven't succeeded

and they're gonna ... they've became tyrants, in an effort to force their

people to do the job that they think ought to be done. And no matter

how the people feel about it and I'm sure that black people share this,

I know they share this feeling in this county and I know that the In-

dians share this feeling.

W: Yes, yes. And I think some of the black national leaders are beginning' to

wake up to some of the things that has happened and I trust that they

will also be intelligent enough and acu y aware of what's happening'

enough to correct some of these deficiencies and some of these mistakes

and some of these tings that happened, at this point. If they don't in

the long run they're people are going to be the losers as a result.

B: Right. And this is very sad because this is a land of freedom and

there should be freedom for everybody. You can actually bring about

tyranny in the name of freedom and you dont have freedom at all. So

sometimes it can be robbing Peter to pay Paul or ...

W: Right.

B: And this sort of thing. Well, uh, I want to ask you the $64,000 ques-

tion. If you want to comment on it, fine, and if you don't want to,

fine. But I wanted to ... you are so active and you are so dedicated to



the improvement of the community as a whole, I want to ask you do you

think we're getting a fair shake at Pembroke State University, which

was formerly Pembroke State College for Indians?

W: In the immediate past, my thoughts were definitely we were not, because

whenever I was ... went there as a freshman, the fall of 1956, that was

the first large influx of non-Indian students, and most of them were white

besse theyvhad n black at that time at all. I helped to break the

structure of our Indian organizations and things and get some of these

people involved, and helped to get the first one elected to the student

council, which was the student governemnt association on campus, while I

was there. And from that day until this one I've seen such a reversal

in terms of refusing' to hire competent Indian professors or people

with Master's degrees, and some, one with a Ph.D. It turned out to be

a blessin' in disguise for the man that didn't hire the Ph. D.because

he is recently finished a specialized, after havin' finished his Doctor

degree in the area of Physical Education, he did a specialized degree

here at the University of North Carolina, and .js%, this past spring

Dr. io 3o Brayboy in- k( a public health officer for the

United States Government of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and as a

result of this he will be given an assignment with the responsibility

of overseeing something' like forty doctors and I don't know how many


B: Um huh.

W: So ... what ... they refused to hire him here as he tried and wanted to

come home to work here at the local university turned out ,... this ...

to a great blessin' to him. Yet on this same faculty we do not have

any Indian men employed in the physical ed. plant ...department that



I know of, and here we've just completed a two and what, three-tenths

million dollar phys. ed. plant.

B: Right.

W: And this is very, very distasteful to me personally, and I don't think

that overall we're getting the kind of break that we need and are deservin'.

We don't need all-Indian staff, we don't need all white staff, we don't

need all black, but there ought to be a fair representation. And the

sweat and sacrifice and blood of our people gave birth ...


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