Title: Interview with Paul Locklear (September 5, 1972)
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007016/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Paul Locklear (September 5, 1972)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: September 5, 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: UF00007016
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 22A

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Full Text


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and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of

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LUM 22A et

Interviewer: Lew Barton

Subject: Paul Locklear

I: Today I am in the office of Mr. Paul Locklear. Is this correct,

Mr. Locklear?

S: That's right.

I: Here in Penbrtok, North Carolina and you have a 4sed r a ealer-

ship over here?

S: That's right.

I: And you are a Lumbee Indian?

S: That's right.

I: I thought it would be very interesting to talk to you because I've

known you for a long time. I knew you before you went away and I

know you spent considerable time away and there's a tradition

among our people that just about everybody who leave Ia1eCtsr

County eventually returns and this certainly seems to be true in

your case.

S: It seems that way.

I: Would you tell us your full name and spell it so that our typist

will be able to spell it correctly.

S: Paul Locklear.

I: And what is your age?

S: Forty-five.

I: Are you married?

S: No, I'm a bachelor

I: Oh, a happy bachelor (laugh) What...now who were your parents?

LUM 22A Page 2

/^ cD k--
S: The late Riley and Willy Locklear of enbrabk here.

I: Are they natives of Wilberson?

S: Yes, they are. They were...both were born and raised on the

Saddle, what is known as the Saddletree section, Lumberton
township, but many, many years ago they did move to-Priuau.

I: I see and that Saddletree is spelled S-a-d-d-l-e-t-r-e-e .

S: That's right.

I; The lady who is typing might not know how to spell that.

S: It's in the Lumberton township.

I: Uh huh...and where did you get your...where did you go to school?

S: Penbrook, here in Penbrook grade and Penbrook highschool.

I: And I understand you've always been interested in music and that

you've done professional work in the field of music.

S: Yes, for many years.

I: And that you have traveled very extensively and you've met just

about all people in the world as far as different groups are


S: Yes, I guess, Lew, I've met people from every walk of life, from

every country practically around the world. Regardless of race,

creed or color I've met them, talked to them, had dealings with

them and many of them...made friends with many of them. All races,

all colors and from all countries.

I: I remember you from a...because of your connection with the famous

Chavis Brothers, who have been mentioned on another tape. I was

very fortunate in being able to interview their mother who is the

granddaughter of Henry Barry Lowry incidentally and I was just

LUM 22A Page 3

wondering if you could tell us something about, in your own

way, about the changes that have taken place since you left and

the way conditions were when you left. How many years have you

been away from North Carolina?

S: Well, I was gone fromJJ iberson County nea 17 and a half years.

I left in February of 1955 and I returned in July of 1972 and

during my time away I spent most of it...well, about eight years

in Baltimore which I worked out of Baltimore in the entertainment

field and most of the eastern United States and northern United

States and middle west and also Canada and the last nine years,

nine and a half years, I spent in California.

I: Well, has the fact that you are a Lumbee Indian been a problem

for you or has it been asset or would you consider it..'r. 7 /

S: Well, it was..

I: Practically speaking.

S: It was never a problem to me after I left from here. Maybe before

I did I saw times that was a problem but during my seventeen and a

half years away from here there was never a problem. I think it

was an asset to me because, I mean, the fact that I was anindian

and the fact that I have always been very proud of it....just to

mention that I was an ndia I was treated very well by everyone

and it, well, it was just something different from, you know, my

experience of being around here. Most everyone, you know, that you

talk to and you bring it up that you are anjndian, you're always

LUM 22A Page 4

treated very well.

I: I remember how beautifully you utanmr perform on the steel

guitar. I hope I can encourage you to keep practicing and let

me hear you again soon. I know you have worked with a....you

were with the Chavis Brothers in the beginning. When they

really went professional you were their manager at that time.

Is this correct?

S: Well, I organized the band in 1952, Lew and then in 1955 we

left and went north to Baltimore and started working in Baltimore

and out of Baltimore and I was with the group until 1963. Well,

I actually quit playing with them about 1961 and started managing

the group along with some other groups and then I left them

altogether in '63, but we did a lot of traveling together and met

a lot of wonderful people all over the world and made a lot of

friends with like I said ll sorts of people.

I: And in the music field, which we know is very highly competitive,

you have to be good to make it and you along with them certainly

did make it. Do you think being a Lumbee Indian was an asset in

the music field?

S: Yes, I'll have to say it was. We *...when we left from here we
/?, 1ejC1
had no name, well other than right around in Wilberson County we

did radio work around here, but after we left I think it was a

great asset to us and we rose up to the top. We played in as nice

a night clubs as there are in the United States and played along

with some of the top stars in the entertainment field as well as

the motion picture industriC and I think we've gone a long ways

_________________________________________________ !

LUM 22A Page 5

in the music. could have gone farther ) guess but its the

breaks that you get, you know.

I: Uh huh, and now you think you're home permanently?

S: Yes, I think so, Lew. I've wanted to come back home for a long

time and it took me two or three years to get around to doing it,

but a...in California I was in business out there and I owned my

home and a boat and everything else, but you just can't pull up

roots and leave that easy. You know, it takes time, but I'm back

here now to stay and I expect I'll stay here until I die.

I: Well, that's fine.

S: This is home, you know, and regardless where you go you always

want to come back home or I did, you know, and this is home, this

is where so to speak all my roots are, you know, and like they say

you can get the boy away from the country but you can't get the

country out of the boy. (laugh)

I: Well, I certainly admire you and I'm glad you did come back because

there are so many worthwhile things that you could contribute and

you have a successful used car business here in Penbrook and I'm

wondering if you're going to do any more music.

S: Well, I don't know, you know, that's something that you don't

never actually get out of your blood. It's there to stay, you know,

and I get the urge now often to do it and I love it better than

anything else I've ever done because its something that the average

person can't do. Well, its a gift from God. You're born with it as

you know that and I think anyone with a talent should display it,

you know, and its a lot of fun and I enjoy it.

LUM 22A Page 6

I: A good friend of yours, Mr. Bill Paul, feels that there is

considerable talent among the Lumbee Indians which should be

developed and he is doing something about that. Do you share

this feeling that there is an untapped source of talent among

our people that should be developed and utilized and so on?

S: Yes, I think that there's an awful lot of talent around here.

There's talent that should have been discovered a long time ago.

The people just haven't had the chance to do it. There is some

great talent in this country around here, some of the best

talent you can find anywhere. This is my belief and my feeling

and I saw so many people that had a great deal of talent that

they didn't know what to do with it or have no way of finding out

or no one to help them and there is a lot of talent and I think

that somebody should do something about it. I feel...like I said

talent is something you don't learn. Its a gift. You're born

with it and I think that somebody should do something about it and

help the people who does have talent.

I: Well, I just happen to know that you and Mr. Paul are great friends

and I'm hoping you'll work together and a....in the project that he

invisions will become a reality. You know we also have the Wilt ran

County Historical Drama Association which plans to present a historical

drama, the story of our people, but some of our people have been

disenchanted because not enough of our people themselves are being

involved to this date. This has been the complaint. Do you think

we have adequate acting talent that could fit into this production?

LUM 22A Page 7

Of course, it's going to take cooperation between all three

races to produce this kind of thing. It is a mammoth undertaking.

Do you feel, I'm not trying to get you on the spot, do you think

that we have talent that could be utilized in this particular


S: There's no doubt in my mind. All my experience in the entertainment

field, and I have been entertaining professionally since I was the

age of fourteen, I've done radio, television work, night club

appearances, personal appearances all over the United States and

Canada and I've met a lot of talent. The very biggest there are

in the record business and entertainment field and motion picture

and all. I've known all of the, you know, most of the stars, met

them and worked with them and of the talent I have saw around

here in WJ-tMEESa-County among the younger generation. There is

a lot of talent and it could be worked out. I think that this

thing would be a success with Mr. Paul if he gets it going. I

don't see any reason it would be a failure because he his self

has dealed in a lot of entertainment all of his life and he knows

what he is doing and there's no reason in the world with a little

cooperation why it can't be a success. I mean, this would be

my feeling and I think its a great thing to help the young people.

I: Yes, that's my feeling, too. Have you come into contact with the

feeling, you know, in some communities there's a feeling that show

people are not quite like other people. Have you ever run into this

kind of prejudice? If you have, what do you think this is?

LUM 22A Page 8

S: I think it's jealousy because the show people are the greatest

people on earth, I think, because, well, show people have to

deal with all kind of people in every walk of life and they learn

a great deal about people. I mean, my experience for seventeen

years that I've been gone from here has been a great education

to me. I have actually learned more that I could have learned at

any college or university in the United States and this is

speaking from the heart because it is the truth, and I don't know,

you always find people who resent the musician because of jealousy.

I think that's what it is.

I: Yes. Well, its unfortunate but I'm sure most people don't feel

this way but unfortunately there are a few who do. I've been up

against this kind of thing writing poetry, People, you know, if

you write verse people look at you askance right away and they

think there's a little something wrong with you.

S: See, you have your critics. Any place you go you have your critics.

I: Right.

S: And I don't think very much of the critics. (laugh)

I: Well, its a...music is a fascinating field and how about opportunities?

Do you think today opportunities are greater for no matter what your

race is or anything do you think the opportunity for musical performers

is much better than it was when you were starting to play?

S: Yes. Yes. Much better. Its never been as great at it was right now.

Great opportunities for anyone who has talent.

LUM 22A Page 9

I: Some people feel, you know people who don't really know musicians

and actors and you know talented people who are talented in this

particular way, they have the feeling that they live the life of

Riley and they don't really have to work much. How about this?

S: Well, that's not true. Being an entertainer, or actor, or ever

what it is,is the hardest work any person on earth can do. Its

really a hard..its hard work and its a hard life.

I: Have you heard some of a...we have several rock and roll groups,

you know, in this area by young people. Have you heard, have you

been able to hear some of those?

S: No, I've only heard one or two. I have been busy since I got back

and I haven't been able to get out as much as I would like to and

all, but I understand they are some good talent around and some

great groups and I hope to hear some of them, be able to get out

to see some of them.

I: How does it happen you never married? I'm going to ask you a

personal question? You just want to be foot loose and fancy

free? (laugh)

S: No, I have been married, but right now I'm not. I'm separated

many years ago and divorced.

I: I see.

S: And my children are grown. I have four children which a...well,

two of them's grown and married and I have one son in the service.

He's a pilot. He's in Korea at the time.

LUM 22A Page 10

I: Would you mind telling us their names and ages?

S: Well, Harry, he's the oldest one, Harry Dean and he'll be 26

on the 29th of this month. Joan Carol, she's married and she

lives in Detroit, Michigan and she's 24 and t_ / _- Louise,
she's going to college and David, he's the youngest boy, he's

fifteen, sixteen, will be sixteen in December. He's also in


I: Where is your daughter in college?

S: She's going to a...what's the name of the college down at


I: Southeastern

S: Southeastern, yes.

I: There have been some rumors among the Lumbee Indians of this area

regarding Southeastern and PSU and some of our people say that

Southeastern has more open attitude toward them, actually, than

PSU which our people chartered originally, but I'm not going to

put you on the spot by asking for your opinion on that.

S: No. Well, see I haven't been back long enough. I don't know, you

know. I've been going so long and I've only been back two months

and I wouldn't want to make any statement or pass an opinion of,

you know, about the schools.

I: Well, I can understand that. Do you thing, now judging you see you

have a vantage point, after returning seventeen years later, do you

think our people are better off economically than when you went


S: Yes. Yes, very much.

Lum 22A Page 11

I: Another question I wanted to ask'you before I forget it and

that was I know you've performed on the radio stations in this

area and doubtless the personnel on the radio stations knew

you were an ndian. Did this...did this make a difference do

you think?

S: Yes, it did in a lot of ways, but I can't say what all I would

like to say about it but I don't think it would be right, you

know, but I don't think myself or the boys in the band could

ever do a proper job in performing on the radio and everything.

We drawed more fan mail at any radio station we played at

around here than any other group ever did. We did have a good

band, put on a good show. We put on a lot of shows at schools

around in Wilberson County, all the indian schools, we was never

invited to a white school to put on one. Now all the staff at

the radio stations was white people a...the office help, the

disc jockeys and all of them, now we were treated nice, very nice

by those people during the time we was in the station, but now

outside is a different thing and I wouldn't want to comment on that.

I: Well, I have a question that's bugging me but I won't ask it. A

gentlemen who did work in the music field and is and I won't Jl

any names in this county met one of our white leaders from W-ilTrso

County away from here at one time and he said that this same man

had never spoken to him in his life, but when he met him in New

York city or some place like this, he came up to him and he wanted

people to feel that he had known this boy all his life because he

found that he was so popular and of course this boy said to him

LUM 22A Page 12

"If I met you on the streets of Lumberton, you wouldn't

even speak to me and don't you come up here pretending to

know me now." (laugh)

S: Well, I've had the same thing to happen to me too. (laugh)

I couldn't help but laugh when you were telling this. I've known

a lot of white of people in WAnbeseon County, like I say, you

know, that there wasn't but very few people I guess that didn't

know me before I left from here because I played over the radio

station in LuTuM g. I also played at WWO in lmbuig and WFMO

in Clearmont and a few times from Lumberton radio station, so

everybody knew the name of Paul Locklear and very seldom I could

get on the street or road but what people were stopping and talking

to me, and after I left from here and as far s California I have

run into people, white people from out of Wibrsan County, who

couldn't do enough for me of from here, I mean, and they wanted

to be my dear friend and, you know, and wouldn't talk to me back


I: And do you think this is because of just plain old tradition, plain

old folk ways and they, people might do better if they weren't

afraid of what their friends would say or they might be condemned.

S: Yes, they're just afraid. Just like I've gone out with white girls

off from here in other states that was born and raised around here

which wouldn't look at me even today if they pass me on the street

here in Penbrrbk..

LUM 22A Page 13

I: But if you met them away it might be different.

S: It would be different. It was different.

I: That's a very interesting point because, you know, human prejudice

I say human prejudice because I guess all of us may have a little

bit in us, but it seems to be more intense among some group than

others, but I think that eventually we're going to have to get to

the bottom of prejudice and what causes it and why it exists and

all this and really understand it before we'll ever be able to

eradicate it.

S: That's right.

I: These, your experiences, I know they're authentic because this

seems to be the pattern, you know. Would you care to tell us

anything else? Do you..can you recall any other anecdotes

or incidents that occurred to you when you were traveling?

S: Oh, I could probably sit here and talk all night, Lew, on things

like that but I don't think you have all night. (laugh)

I: Well, I..it's interesting to talk with you and these are social

matters, sociopsychological matters, I call them, because I think

psychology and sociology work together and group psychology is 5o

very involved, you know, and I think eventually somebody will be

able to come up with a book that will explain these things more

fully than has been done before and maybe it will help a lot of

people. How do you feel yourself about other races?

S: Well, I'll tell you the truth, Lew, like I said I've met people

from all walks of life. I have worked side by side with a black

man and thought of him as I did the white man or the ,dian

man and found them to be just as good a friend as anyone on earth

LUM 22A Page 14

could have. When I first started in the automobile business,

I was claimed by a colored man. He give up a job at one of

the biggest universities in the state of Maryland to sell

automobiles. He was successful at it. He made more than $25,000

a year selling cars and he taught me everything I know about

selling automobiles and become one of the best friends on earth

that I ever had, but I didn't think of him, or I didn't look

at him as being a black man. I looked at him and thought of

him as being a friend and I've met many people over the years.

You can find bad people, Lew, in all races, white, black or

red or brown or what and you can also find good people and

that's like we're in the same category along with the black man

so to speak. We've been held back, or I feel that the indian

man has been held back and the black man has too, and I think

if a man tries hard enough he can get out and do what he wants

to do, you know, regardless of what of everything there are

against him, you know, working against him. I guess it's harder

for some people than it is others. Of course, I've been pretty

lucky and I feel that being an entertainer helped me a great deal

to get through life and to do what I wanted to do and to meet my

goal. It introduced me to a lot of people, people in positions to

help me, and did help me and it done me a lot of good.

I: It's been my impression, you know, of the entertainment field, that

this is one field where prejudice doesn't really exist to any great


LUM 22A Page 15

S: No, and I feel, Lew, that any man regardless of race, creed, or

color, if a man is trying his best to do what he thinks is right

and trying to get ahead and to work; I don't mind helping a man

like this and I'll go to great extremes to try to help this man.

I think everybody deserves opportunity in life and it makes me

feel good to see anyone out trying to, trying to do something

trying to get ahead and get somewhere and make something out of

their self and become a leader in their country, and I'm always

willing to give a helping hand to a man like that and I don't

judge him by the color of his skin because some of the greatest

people in this country are among the black people or among the

red people and the white too, but I have, after I left from here,

I have had white people from out of the county to go to cities

where I was and look me up, make it their business to look me

up, you know, where they wouldn't do it back here and I'have had

them tell me they couldn't afford to do it here and I told them

if I couldn't have their friendship here, I didn't want it there.

I: Well, its strange and its difficult to understand how these

conditions could exist, but we know that we do, you know, I

remember a writer, a white girl who was a writer when I was in

my teens, she was very much interested in social problems and

especially the problems of the whites...of the blacks and jkdians

in this county and she would want to talk to me about those

problems because, of course, I was interested too and we could

never, I could never drive to her home and pick her up at her home

and she couldn't have driven to my home and picked me up at my home

LUM 22A Page 16

so we simply met out, you know, on the river and she packed some

sandwiches and we went down to the river and we sat there and we

discussed all the sociological problems that we wanted to and

sometimes we spent days doing this, but this kind of person is

really rare, wouldn't you think? I mean, you just don't find

many people that interested in our problems, but we do know that

there are certainly people who are interested in our problems

and who want to help. Do you think the fdian's chances, I

believe I've asked you this though, his chances are better today

than ever before?

S: I think so. I think there are greater opportunities for him

today and I don't see any reason why that he should be held back.

I don't see anything that could hold him back now if they really

want to, you know, do something to move forward.

I: Perhaps our people are learning to work together better. Do you

think this...

S: That's one of the things that everyone is -going to have to learn

to do. Just like in World War II, I don't think the United States

would have won the war if they hadn't of worked together. Everybody

worked together, you know, and this is something that I've found

everyone has to do. You can't get out and pull against your fellow

man and go very far. You've got to work with people and..regardless

who they are, you know, to get along and to make some progress.

I: I've always been interested myself in furthering human understanding

and I want to ask you this because I've had this kind of experience

myself. There have been times in my life when I was very greatly

LUM 22A Page 17

disillusioned and almost ready to resign from the human race,

disgusted and all this because maybe a number of things were

happening at once that were wrong and I couldn't do anything

about it and suddenly a person appears in your life. You meet

a person, one person from another group, and this person is so

dynamic and so sincere and so real that he sort of balances

all the bad things and it makes you actually forget the bad

side because of this one person.

S: And it can make a turning point in your life, yes, I have met

people like that, that I felt made turning points in my life and

caused me to better myself.

I: So an individual, then you think, doesn't have to despair and

say "Well, I'm just one person, I don't like the way things are,

I don't like the way my group treats other groups, but I'm one

person and there's nothing I can do about it", you think that one

person can do a lot about it.

S: Yes, I feel this way, Lew, and nobody can make me believe different,

you are no better than you think you are and you're no worse. If you

believe that you..there's something you want to do and you fully

believe deep in your heart you can do it and you put your mind to it

and you work to do it, there is nobody can stop you. You can do it.

But if there's doubts in your mind you're dead before you start. In

order to do anything, in order to make a success out of your life

you've got to want to do it and you've got to try with every ounce of

power in your body and if you try hard enough, you're going to succeed.

I believe this. This is the way I've always felt. I've always

LUM 22A Page 18

believed. I started out selling automobiles when I quit the music

business. I wanted to own my own business. I went from a salesman

to a salesmanager, from a salesmanager to a general manager, and

from a general manager to my own company because I wanted to do it

and I made up my mind I was going to do it and I did and this is

my feeling about it. I believe a person can do what they want to

do but they have got to want to do it in order to do it.

I: And this is another way of saying too, don't you think, that America

is truly a country where there is opportunity for all.

S: That's right.

I: It may be more difficult for some than others, but the opportunity

is still there, isn't it?

S: It's still there and you look at the people that are successful,

Lew, and I know a lot of people that are very, very successful.

They didn't have a easy life, it wasn't handed out to them, they had

to work for it, but its a country where regardless whether you are

black, white or red the opportunity is still there. Like I said

a while ago, its harder for some than it is others a...maybe some

people have the path already played for them where others don't.

Them that don't, they have to build their path and then take it, but

the opportunity is there for everyone. It all depends on the

individual, how hard he wants to do it.

I: And if he's willing to pay the price...

S: If he's willing to pay the price, its at the other end waiting for him

and it will be there when he gets there.

I: That's great. That's very inspiring. I wish, well, many people will

LUM 22A Page 19

hear you say this and I'm glad they will because I feel this way

too, and I know we always will have problems, but I think everybody

else has problems too and that we can work together to solve those

problems, and I'm not in despair because of race relations and if

you let that sort of thing rip you know it defeats you doesn't it?

S: Yes, it will. That a..you see...a..many times in striving to get

ahead you find many things that will hit you and knock you down.

Knock you right flat on the ground, but you've got to want to do it

so bad till when you get knocked down you pick yourself up and go

again. You can't let it overpower you and get you down and say

well, I can't do it, its impossible. Nothing is impossible. If

you believe strongly enough, you can do it.

I: Well, that's great. I believe this too.

S: I saw too many men try it and I've done it myself and I know it

can be done. It's entirely up to the individual. You've got to

want to do it. There's a price you've got to pay.

I: And sometimes part of that price might be leaving home, but you can

return eventually.

S: That's right.

I: Well, what would you say to our young people who are..who are starting

out in life and who are so very idealistic, but who didn't have it quite

as rough as you and I have. Would you say to them that they do have

a chance and...

S: I would say this to them, Lew. Anytime you do anything, do it right,

and don't never start a job you can't finish.

LUM 22A Page 20

I: That's certainly a good philosophy.

S: Because a quitter never wins and a winner never quits.

I: Well, A6 you think you'll be here permanently now?

S: Yeah, I'm home to stay.

I: Great. You know, this sort of reminds me of the legend in Hawaii.

They say if you hear the song Aloha, Farewell to Thee that you will

eventually return to Hawaii. So I was over there once and I was

in the service and they played this when the ship was departing

and I did go back once (laugh). So this sort of reminds me, you

know, of that tradition in Hawaii because there's something about

home that's different from anywhere else, isn't there?

S: Yes, there are and this is a beautiful country, this part of the

country, and some of the greatest people I've ever known lives

right around here and it was real nice to come back and see all

my old friends and everything and I'm glad to be back here because

like I say these are the nicest people around here that I know


I: Do you think our people are very hospitable to all people?

S: Yes.

I: Strangers t

S: Yes.

I: Do you think that we could perhaps develop this area into a tourist

resort that would be very enticing to many people, partly because

of this?

S: I think so, yes.

I: It certainly a place that..it's hard to explain this feeling of

LUM 22A Page 21

wanting to come back home but its hard to be specific about it,

but its a number of things, isn't it?

S: Yes, I've been a lot of places, but no place I've ever lived I

enjoy like I do here. It's just a nice place to be and mainly

why it is a nice place to be, Lew, is because the people who live

here make it this way. They make it pleasant and nice and they

make you feel glad to come home.

I: And do you think, we've been called clanish at times by some

writers, do you think this is an apt description? Do you think

this accurage?

S: Well, I'll tell you, if a person, if enough people start talking

about you, Lew, and tell you you're sick, you know, after a while

you begin to think you're sick. You actually get to feeling sick.

And if enough people tell you that you're lazy, after a while you

tell yourself you're lazy, you know, and enough people can tell

you anything in the world and in a little while, they have you

actually believing it because so many different ones has told you,

and the only think in the world I think is wrong with our people

around here, they've been told too long that they're not this or

not that or not the other, you know.

I: Do you think its been drilled into them more or less intentionally

or unintentionally that we are inferior in some ways to say the

caucasian race?

S: Well, I don't know, it's just kind of hard to explain or a...I don't

know I think its been done maybe, well...I don't know...I don't

know how to comment on it. I know it has been drilled into the people

LUM 22A Page 22

and I think a lot of them have an inferiority complex about it.

Because I know numbers of people that have left from here and go

out of state and would be entirely a new person. Could do much

more than they could do in this county and could become a lot more

than they did here because of the difference in the place, so

certainly it must have some bearing on it in some ways, you know.

I: Some of this could be plain ol' frustration, couldn't it?

S: It could be. It could be. I mean, the whole subject is a lot deeper

than most people realize it is, but I have found this out, its things

I have saw, you know, they can think better, feel more free and every-

thing else, you know.

I: I realized a long time ago, that no matter what I am or am not insofar

as racial make up is concerned, I couldn't change it and after I thought

about it awhile I said, "Doggone it I wouldn't change even if I could".

Because this is me. This is what I am and I'll do the best I can

being what I am, whatever that is or whatever that is not and I will

not apologize to anybody because of what God and my ancestors made me,

because I didn't even ask to be sent into this world, I came here

through the act of God and the act of my parents and so this is the

kind of philosophy that sort of helped me.

S: That's right. I am me. I am myself. I am Paul Locklear. I've

always been that person and I always will be and I'm very proud

of who I am and what I am, and I wouldn't want to be anyone else

or anything else. That's just the way I am.

I: Do you think some of the racial barriers that were here before you

left have come down or do you


LUM 22A Page 23

I: On the other side of the tape, just before we ran out of tape,

Mr. Locklear, I believe I asked you something about if you had

noticed that any of the racial barriers had come down during the

seventeen years that you've been away from.-Walbe on County?

S: Yes, I have noticed quite a few of them, Lew, that's come down.

There are a lot of them, but just to name some I have noticed

since I've been back a...before I left from here you never heard

a indian person's name on the radio and now practically every

day in the news you do hear different ones names mentioned among

the indian race of people and the positions that they hold and

this and that and theother, you know, which is quite different

and I was surprised to hear these things.

I: How about the way..being served at restaurants and places like this,

of course, you know the civil rights act of 1964 made it illegal to

refuse service, the public accommodations act I believe this is, but

can you see any difference in the attitude there?

S: Well, yes I can. There's quite a bit of difference and I've noticed

that you do see the Indian race of people working in places that they

used to not be able to and a...or various places around I've noticed

that a Jidian girls hold jobs now that used to be impossible for them

to o things have changed quite a bit since I lived here before and

there is a lot of difference in the way the community is being run

and the positions that the indian race of people hold now.

I: Uh huh. Of course, when you went away 4entbT State College

LUM 22A Page 24

was a very small college and now its grown to about 2,000?

S: Yeah. Its a...it was very small when I left from here but its

built up quite a bit.

I: Well, another thing that probably, this might have happened since

you came,no it didn't. happen since you came back but it happened

very recently and that was the establishment of the first ndian-

owned bank in the United States, The Lumbee Bank, and I wanted

to ask you if you thought this was a good idea and what impact

you thought it would have on a...

S: I think it was a very good idea. I think it was one of the smartest

moves that could have happened, putting in the bank. Its helped the

town and it has helped there dian race of people, I believe, I

fully believe its done the _ndian race of people more good than

anything else that has happened around here. Simply because I

feel that its helped loosen up the other banks. There were only

one bank in PIefrok. Competition is always good regardless of

what business it is. Competition is good and I think it has helped

in many ways. Its been good for the town, its been good for the

ink, its been good for all the other banks around in the areas and

I understand the Rank is doing a good business and I think it was

a very, very smart move.

I: Well, I agree with you and I'm certainly hoping we'll continue

to make progress not because we want to shut anybody else out but

because as you say competition .is good for everybody because if

you have only one of something everybody has to go to that one

place or just one person. How do you feel about a two party system

Page 22A Page 25

in the county instead of the one party system? Or don't you
(laugh) want

S: Well, I don't know.
I: to get into politics.

S: No, I don't ...I don't know whether I should get into the politic

end of it or not. I don't have any comment, I guess, on that part.

I: OK, well fine. I was wondering when you were..when you left home,

you know, can you remember how the restrooms were segregated and

how many restrooms we had even in the courthouseCdI t .

S: Yeah. Six restrooms at most of the places, you know, I commented

about this one time off from here. I made a comment that if this

was in my home town instead of two) you would have six, you know,

and someone asked why and I said,"Well, you have two for white,

two for rdian and two for colored." And they couldn't seem to

understand this and thought it was a joke, but that's all in the

past now. It should have been in the past a hundred years ago.

I: Right. But better late than never, right?

S: That's right.

I: Well, I'm,you know, now we can receive service, we can go to a

restaurant and we can be served but mostly it seems that the old

hot dog stands have been replaced by the drive-in restaurant.

S: That's right..

I. I think these have become more numerous, perhaps since '64 when the

act was passed, but at least we can get service and that's something.

Maybe we don't care about eating with somebody else just like they

LUM 22A Page 26

don't care about eating with us.

S: That's right. That's true.

I: So maybe a..do you think thedians' pride...if say a Lumbee indian

knows somebody who has this feeling toward him, do you think that he

will...this will bring him to a point of mind that he doesn't really..

he wouldn't even accept the invitation if it were given because of

his pride, you know. I'm not stating it very well, but you know

what I'm talking about.

S: Yeah, I know what you mean. Yeah, and a..well, I'll tell you) the

people in 11L County here, the ndian race of people are

no different from any group of people anywhere in the United

States. The ndian race of people is a group of people just like

white people or the colored people or any other race of people

anywhere in the country. And there are, among theJrdian race

of people, some wealthy people, just like there are in the white.

There are highly educated people. They have the same opportunity

to go as far as anyone on earth, but if you live in a place where

you don't have the opportunity to advance or do you have obstacles

standing in the way to hold you backhand this has been drilled into

you over a period of years or all your life it makes a difference and

it will get a person to where they a...a...hesitate on making

decisions or making moves or going into certain fields or into

certain things and a..and I think this is loosening up a lot. I can

tell that it has loosened up a lot since the..in the short while I've

been back and I think it will all be overcome in a short while, because

the ndian race of people, I feel, can go as far as they want to and there

LUM 22A Page 27

is plenty of leaders in this community around here among the

adian race of people that is..hasthe know-how and everything and

I have no doubt that it a..it won't come to pass that the .dian,

the white and the colored and all will be working together, you

know, and this thing that's the way its been will be in the past.

I: Well, I have kept you quite a while already and I certainly

appreciate your being willing to talk with me and to share your

views and your experiences with our readers and with our listeners

and a..I want to thank you for the Doris Duke Foundation and I

want to thank you for myself personally because I greatly esteem

you as a friend and I hope everything just works out fine for

you at home. I want you to stay home. I'm glad you're home, Paul,

I really am.

S: Well, thank you and I've enjoyed the talking with you.

I: Thank you very much.

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