Title: Interview with Rev. Robert Lee Mangum (October 5, 1972)
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007019/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Rev. Robert Lee Mangum (October 5, 1972)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: October 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: UF00007019
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 26A

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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 26 AB (1mm)

Interviewer: Lew Barton

Subject: Rev. Robert Lee Mangum

I: This is tape 22. That is tape 2-2. Side one. This is the Doris

Duke Oral History Program. This is Lew Barton and we are recording

under the auspices of the University of Florida. Today is October 4,

1972. I have in my home in Penbruvrk, North Carolina Reverend Mangum

who was kind enough to meet me over here and grant me this interview

for which we're very grateful and a...I would like to ask. you,

Reverend Mangum if you would give us your full name.

S: My full name is Robert Lee Mangum. M-a-n-g-u-m.

I: And your age?

S: I am 39. Born July 2, 1933 in the city of Washington D.C. and was

reared in the southern part of Maryland.

I: And how long have you been in North Carolina, sir?

S: I've been in North Carolina fourteen years and a...four months I

believe it is.

I: Uh huh. Well, I know what a godsend you've been for our people, the

Lumbee indians in all parts of this county in particular. Perhaps

I should include the entire state because you've been a blessing to

just about everybody you come into contact with, I think, and we

appreciate having you so much. You say you've been here how long?

S: Fourteen years and four months. Now, Mr. Barton, I came here to

become the pastor. This was my first full time pastorate after

seminary. I graduated from seminary. I attended Asberry College and

Asberry Theological Seminary in Willmore, Kentucky, graduating from

both institutions and began my ministry in the United Methodist Church

LUM 26 AB Page 2

at PJbro6 at the First Methodist Church here and then also was

responsible as the pastoralcounselor to the MSM, The Methodist

Student Movement Program at Pebook. I remained at the First

Methodist Church at Pe o for five years and then assumed the

pastorate of 0 L ( Indian NINO. Methodist Church, as you

know, & traditionally indian and then assumed the pastorate of

four rural a...three rural indian churches and one mission point

in the city of Lumberton. Ah...those...two of those rural churches

were in South Carolina because, as you know, many of our indian
-tt 1 O0(7/ M&C l6ro I
people from tme community live in DiBan County and Wa4llbro County

and served at the little Hickory Grove Church down there and the

Fairview Churches there. And then the Sandy Plains Church which is

the mother church of this PenrTiuk pastorate a...serving there and then

the other point was the Grass Street Church was meeting in a garage

at that time. AWas a mission project and became organized just a few

days before I became pastor. It was about a year old as an organization

or as a group and the Reverend D.F. Lowry founded the little church and

I became pastor in its infancy right after it was formally organized

in 1963. So a...from that point of serving those four churches then

that four point circuit then became a two point circuit with the

Lumberton work we've got a new building there and you remember that
and did a beautiful story on/npracle on Branch Street. And that story

became a part of a national and international readership in the

Methodist Church because it was carried in the publication of our

church back then called he Interpreter and Methodist potlight and

you gave a great deal of help in getting that national publicity. Then

LUM 26 AB Page 3

after that we became a one point charge in terms of pastoral
ministry because of the birth of the Wiltbrs County Church and

Community Center. The Lumberton work then became the work of

a local indian pastor. So at this present time I pastor the Sandy

Plains United Methodist Church and also direct the Wi+bet-ren

County Church and Community Center which is nearly three years of


I: Yes, sir. Well, that's great. We're so happy that you could come

to us and this would be your beginning point so to speak in your

ministry and a ..that you've been with us just about ever since,...

except for brief times away?

S: Except for vacations) a...my total ministry and life has been here.

As you know,..

I: oL/t. t otj^-'K'

S: We've sought to be a part of the community and identify with the

indian community and have sought as much as any white man can seek to

be unpaternalistic and to be a brother in ministry and a brother in life

in this community and not to be big daddy with something to offer to

some subjects. So as any white man struggles with his own racism and

his own cultural deprivation because of some of his attitudes that

become acquired and then deeply engrained we have tried to though live

out a ministry of identification and of a...sharing in humanity and

in life and in suffering and in progress with the indian communitye4nd

let me say this, the indian community and, of course, my children are a

paroof the schools, the indian schools, our friends basically are indian

LUM 26 AB Page 4

and if we have any identification as people in this county, my..me and

my family, it is with the indian community as a part of it and for this

I give appreciation to this community for making me a part of her and

giving me a home in my ministry.

I: Well, we've certainly and I'm sure I express everybody's view who

knows you we certainly thank you for coming and appreciate so much

what...your choosing to make this your home and this your work and

we certainly thank God for you and we thank you too. Could you tell

us just a little bit about parents, their names and by the way I'm

supposed to ask you to spell these proper names and so forth if you

would please.

S: Alright. I did spell our sir name. My mother and father both live

in Brandywine, Maryland a...post office...I mean Box 95, Route 4,

Brandywine, Maryland. At the age of eight I moved or we moved to

the present location where my parents live and we were reared in that

rural community and were part of the school system there. My folks

are protestant and are Methodist, however, my father was Lutheran

originally and I was baptised as an infant in the Lutheran Church. My

mother is from a...born in the southern part of Maryland but was reared

in Deleware and a...and is a nurse by profession. My father is a

contractor. My father at this time...he has had a stroke and he's

disabled to work. He's 63 years of age and a..he and my mother live

together and are very happy in their life together and working together

for his recovery from this stroke. Now I have four siblings. One

LUM 26 AB Page 5

brother a...the brother married the former Miss Betty Jean Oxendine.

Betty Jean Oxendine is the...one of two children and the only daughter

of Mr. Clifton Oxendine who is the former dean of Pembroke State

University. They were married eleven years ago, April eleven years

ago. They had a wedding ceremony here in Pembroke after the legal

ceremony in Michigan and Lew that goes back to the struggle with

miscegenation a...a...marriages and the struggle to get the legislature

to change that rule against Jdian people as you remember and that

rule was changed eleven years ago just before their, right about the

time of their marriage and Sim Oxendine and I and others were pushing

for the change you remember of that law that restricted whites from

marrying Lumbees and as you know when it was finally stricken by the

legislature Cutler Moore introduced the issue and had it stricken and

he said the law was observed more in its breaking than it was in its

keeping and of course as a minister this created great problems for

Indians and whites in marriage because often they'd prevaricate or

often as you know the white party would become anndian and they would

accept a falsehood, an untruth, to give them a license. Even before

that though pastors had refused to give license. In recent years they

were giving license but they were requiring falsification actually)

and winking, you know, Lew, at whites being indians, but they never

S an .ndian be a white (laugh) as you know. Anyway that's my brother...

is now..he went to the university here. His wife graduated from

university. They both went to Michigan and worked there, were married

after they both had gone and worked in Michigan and he met her here of

LUM 26 AB Page 6

course. He lived with me for a while and worked in a local radio

station. Lew, they now live in Sioux City, Iowa. They have two

children,9o I am not an idian or a Lumbee ,ut my nephew and my

niece are Lumbees..are ndian and my sister in law, Betty, since

leaving this community has become very much involved in national

%dian concerns. In the Aethodist church now she is a part of the

general conference commission on Religion and 4ce and just called

me the other day asking for certain nominations from our ndian

community to serve on the national committee. Then, Lew, I have a

sister who is nurse by profession whose husband is a newspaper

reporter for the Star newspaper of Washington D.C. Te Evening

Star. They live in the suburbs of Washington in Maryland. I have

another sister that is Ann, Ann Rowland. Then I have another

sister, Sue Witall, who is married and in the processes ... estranged)

and in the process of divorce I assume. Anyway, she works for the

Board of Education of Prince George's County and is a computer programer.

Then I have a sister, married sister Deborah, who is in Oregon, Eugene,

Oregon. Her husband's just finished graduate work there and they have

one child. So a little bit about my family. My dad I didn't tell youj

is from Mississippi and he went to Washington D.C. for employment as

a young person.

I: Oh, that's very interesting. I'm sure everybody will be interested

in your biography and a ...

S: Let's see, Lew, let me tell you..you want me to tell you about my

family, my children PI, ^ o

I: Yes, sir if you will.

LUM 26 AB Page 7

S: Alright.

I: And their ages and names too.

S: Alright. I married the former Miss Nella Jean Roberts from Herin

County, Michigan, Pidgeon, Michigan. We were attending the same

college and were married in 1951.after her graduation and right

after my graduation. She graduated a year before me in '54 and

taught one year at Pineville was the post office, well it really

wasn't but its near Pineville, Kentucky. It was a church then

an Evangelical United Brethren, now a United Methodist Ministry,

The Redbird Mission in Clay County, Bell, Clay and IUaT1 Counties,

the coal mining counties of isolated and desolate eastern, southeastern

Kentucky. She taught one year in that school before we were married

and, Lew, we've got problems here but I tell you they..they're really

isolated back in those mountains. Well, anyway, we were married then

and went on to Seminary and had one child born to us in Kentucky,

Phyllis. Phyllis is now fourteen years of age and attends the Pembroke

Junior High school. Then we had born to our family, Susan, while

living here in Pembroke and Susan is in the a..sixth grade I believe it
is) S&ig twelve years of age and is a .... Susan is a...at the

Pembroke Elementary School. Then while here in Pembroke we had born

to our family, Steven, and Steven Douglas is now about nine years of

age and attends the fourth grade at Pembroke Elementary School.

I: Oh, that's great. You have a great family. We're very fortunate to

have you as I said and everybody loves you and we don't any longer

consider you to be an outsider by any means. When the people say

Reverend Mangum, you know,, a..and you're not, you know.

LUM 26 AB Page 8

S: Well, I'm glad for that because I wouldn't be an insider anywhere

else. (laugh) if I weren't here. I'd be a man without a home and

a man without friends if I didn't have..if the indian community

wasn't my community and I wasn't a part of it then I'd surely

by a loner I'll tell you that.

I: Well, I'll tell you if a..if a..you're not Lumbee in the truest

biological sense we've certainly adopted you a very long time ago.

S: Lew, your b J C /y NC- ,

I: We're not going to let you go.

S: Well, thank you and as I've said I've appreciated the kind of

acceptance and the kind of openness this community has had toward

me and as you say I don't consider myself an outsider but a Robersonian

and a part of the indian community.

I: Right.

S: It will interest you that I had heard in our family tree that there was

%dian blood so I began to search that out. I figured of course it

was very helpful that my brother married a Lumbee (laugh) but I thought

it would also be helpful if I could trace out the rumor that there was

J.dian blood in my family. Well, I traced it out but I discovered that

it was on my grandmother's side and it was in such a way traced back that

it never got to be a part of my grandmother's blood)so (laugh) so it

was officially in her background but it never became a part of her family

tree and lineage so it was a relative who had married and therefore it

never, became a... t was an in-law type of situation as I recall and so

LUM 26 AB Page 9

it never; became a part of the family a..who were blood so a..I was

searching for it and struggling to find it but I didn't get it, Lew.


I: Well, I'm so thrilled about you and your work and your being here.

You know, I think the lord has a way of supplying our needs and its

truely miraculous how he does this and I think you are one of the

miracles that have happened to us. In the past friends of the

Lumbee indians have been often very scarce especially among other

groups and a...its a...the lord knows how to answer our needs and

a..he knows our hearts and the way we feel about our brothers. I know

the way I feel about all people myself personally and I'm sure many

if not most of our people share this that we are brothers to all races.

We like to think we belong to the human race first of all and a..of

course a..

S: Lew, let me interject this a..you know, I am a committed follower of

Jesus Christ just like you are, you know, and of course that brings in

the whole aspect of brotherhood and everytime you and I pray Our Father

which art in heaven we say that our God determines who our brother is

and our brother is every person that's born to this world and, Lew, I

think even though you have been able to be a...an expressor through

your writing of indian emotion andIndian culture and ldian concern

and have been an advocate forEdian rights at the same time you shared

with me this desire that somehow in this county and in the world but

particularly where we live here, somehow in this county tri-racial

we come to the kind of reconciliation and the kind of living out

LUM 26 AB Page 10

together our lives that will really give meaning to the word

brotherhood and will really bring about the kind of mutual

self respect and mutual relationship in the whole issue of

human justice and human rights and human opportunities. Now I'm

very much aware, as you are, that you've got to talk.ndian and

you've got to beIndian so long as because you're indian you are

a victim of something less than the humanitarian process of

brotherhood. Then in order to get back to that kind of reconciliation

and that kind of integration where races begin to forget much of

their difference and find unity in the strength of their likenesses,

to get to that place you've got to be dian to get the rights

of indians so that you can negotiate in the process of reconciliation

as people with equal rights and equal opportunities and equal strength.

Now white people have always wanted reconciliation on the basis of

paternalism, of big me and little you, of me with priviledge and power

and you with only what I let you have if you're less that white. So its

only justifiable for you and me who are christian, are humanitarian,

who believe in reconciliation and brotherhood to also be willing to think

in terms of the ethnic self-determination of _dian people and black

people and disenfranchised low class white people. So a..a...you know,

whites so often say why all this indian stuff or all this black stuff.

Let's get on with being brothers you know, but you'll not get on with

being brothers until rights are equal and opportunities are equal and

a..and a.. there is the freedom for the pursuit of happiness for every

man regardless of color without impedment and without barrier that's

based on racism and prejudice and a social injustice. So I just wanted

LUM 26 AB Page 11

to get that in that you and I are men who are the followers

of a christ and men who want brotherhood and we want real

interacting Christian community, humanitarian community, but

we make no apology for being Lumbee or for being an advocate

of self determination for ndians or self determination for blacks

in Wilbeson County and of course, you know, that's very much

a part of my commitment to ministry is to be a...to being a

neighbor, to be a servant and to somehow help people in every

way I can to have the political and the economic and the

educational tools to arrive at their own self determination and

arrive to their own self impowerment and their own self respect

and self dignity and a..of course, whenever you work for those

things you've got to combat certain types of institutional racism

and you've got to combat personal types of racism. You get

misunderstood and all of thatAnd so, anyway, thank you for letting

me interject that little.

I: Oh, I'm so glad you did and you express it so well and I wouldn't

be able to you know put it in precise words a..the way I would like

but this is it exactly and this is the way we feel and I'm so glad

you put that in because this is so important. We don't want to be

misunderstood. We don't want people to think we're anti-anybody.

S: No, that's right.

I: But we do have to begin at the beginning and the beginning is us.

S: And if you've been victimized, if you've been victimized by social

process that denied to you your rights then you have to break the

LUM 26 AB Page 12

very means of victimization by identifying with who you are and

what you are because that's basically the reason you've been

a victim .*c climb out of that oppression you've got to climb

out of it not simply as a human being in W+Lecrsen County but as

an ndian human being.

I: Right. Well, it isn't easy and I think here again I know really

that you and I have the advantage of God's favor on this work and

I know it has, now this is my personal opinion but I believe

with all my heart that a...God's hand has been on your work and on

the work here in Wilbtrsurand I wouldn't attempt to do anything

myself without first consultin with God and a ...

S: ________ I really dd4.

I: You know, seeking his will because it would be very futile if..unless

we were in his will and attempting to ascertain his will and I'm

sure he's willing to work with anybody in the field of human relations

and if they...its so/ery delicate ) a C_- a very delicate

and involved basis Unless you have his leading and guidance of how..

we can make so many errors.,,.

S: Yeah.

I:,,I tremble when I think of all the errors I have made and I tremble even

more when I think of all the errors I could have made but I've made

such a few in comparison with the ones I might have made just from my

human limitations and I'm sure you could say the same thing and feel the


S: Yeah. Its a hard reconciliation for the christian to espouse truth, to

LUM 26 AB Page 13

espouse truth, to care about the issues that are real justice

issues and to so deal with those issues and so expose the truth

and so fight, you know, is the proper word but fight and resist

and alter systems that are oppressing people and at the same time

to really be a..with integrity a christian mystic, a person who

is related properly in his experience to Christ and who loves

people and who is not slandering or..or in any way hating or in

any way doing less than loving the people who are often the enemies

to the systems of justice if you want to espouse and to a... and

to effect in your community. So what you're saying I think every

christian feels who has gotten hold of the concept of love with

integrity that somehow the follower of Christ, the Christ who drove

men out of the money changers who were exploiting poor people, drove

them out of the temple, the Christ who said to the pharacies, "You've

done all these good religious things but you've left out justice,

mercy and honesty. And, Lew, you know, really that put him on the

cross. He went cross-grain with the systems of his day and a..and

human emotion couldn't stand the competition that he presented and

couldn't stand the truth that he espoused and couldn't stand the

courage with which he stood against injustice and so they tried to

eliminate him. Now for you and me as christians to be a follower of

Jesus Christ if we understand what it means to love people we not only

care about the symptoms that reveal themselves in the lives of people

that we love but we care about the reason these symptoms have

developed, the reason these people are victims and that means that we

then have to counter system and often stand in contradistinction

LUM 26 AB Page 14

and opposition even to people because they espouse certain policies

that are injust and are victimizing people. Now for us as christians

its very difficult to maintain a balance and a reconciliation between

the commitment to loving persons, loving in the sense of not...of the

willing the good for every man and love is not just a sentimental

emotional thing. A God C love is willing the best for another

man and willing the best even for people who are the enemies of the

justice we seek for every man. So on the one hand you've got you

know this christian desire and this christian motivation to love

everyone and we do if we're christian we do.

I: Yes, sir.

S: But on the other hand you also have the realization that if you love

people then you hate the things that cause them suffering and you

must address yourself to the issues that victimize and that exploit

people. So here you and I are you know with a commitment to love

with integrity that often then makes us misunderstood because when

you deal with the issues people think you're dealing with personalities

then they think you're a big bad wolf you know and so forth and you

know what it is and so do I. Now, Lew, I know your time is limited and

I don't know just what the best thing to do...I'd sort of love to be

able to share a little bit of what I believe about theJndian church

and the progress she has made and about the willingness of the Methodist

Church to put money into the.rdian situation to bring about greater

self-determination. I think this is sort of a unique thing that I

could contribute to in this history.


LUM 26 AB Page 15

S: And the development of the church and community center and the

direction the center is able to take toward indian self-determination

as well as treating the system of suffering. So what do you think?

What should I do?

I: Oh, this is great. This is a great idea and you came up with such

interesting statistics that I ... the collection of statistics that

you published, the church center published in that little folder.

I:think we want..we should include those somewhere and we don't

care how much tape it takes because we've got plenty of tape. We

would like to pursue any line of thought that you would like to

pursue because this is all so much a part of you and we're so much

a part of each other and a..I would simply like to go along and a..

if I ask you anything mostly it will be for detail. Sometimes I

get carried away and interject some things usually in agreement and

enthusiasm but a... anything you can tell us about your work here

and the problems that you face and a..any specific things would add

to it or general things either.

S: Well, the problem that you're going to have with me is that I'm

pretty loquacious and I'm pretty emotional too and a..

I: Well, I am too.

S: I take might take me a day almost to tell some of these. Let me try

to be specific.

I: That would be fine.

S: Well, let me try to be a...zero in on certain areas of concern that

maybe I can speak to that others in your gathering of information may

LUM 26 AB Page 16

not have spoken to or may not in the future speak to. Well, you

know, in coming here to the county and being involved in ministry

there came this growing awareness that the church of Jesus Christ

and this is important in understanding indian history because our

people are very religious and our churches predominate the culture

of the %dian. Its not the school really, its the church that

predominates the culture because the church belongs to thejindians.

Now the school has never belonged to the .Eian and I speak with

emotion here because this is the area that some of us, you know, if

necessary would die to see change because the present system of

education a..60% of the children of this county system approximately

of the county board of education judicatory area, 60% of those children

are ldian and those 60% of those Vdian children are probably 80%

to 90% of all the Jdian children who are educated in -WbrTsotn

County so when you talk about the County Board of Education-and the

education of indian children you're almost talking about all ndian

children and the opportunity for education. Now thejlndian people

have never had their educational system, have never had the decision

making power to educate their own children and this has been a form

of slavery and victimization of theTndian people over the years. In

past history and others can tell you more eloquently and factually the

ndian people didn't even have schools but when they did get schools

a..the predominant population, the white population, saw to it that it

was so arranged that white people would control the ndian educational

system. That means they control the jobs. The white color jobs I guess

over 50% of all white color jobs byndian people are controlled by

LUM 26 AB Page 17

the County School System. Now up until about 1962 that County

Board of Education was made up of five white people and because

of the system of double voting that others in other tapes will

explain in detail, ndian people had never though their children

made up at least 60% back then it may have been more at least

60% of the county educational system of the constituency and about

20% were black a..80% minority ndians nor black had ever been able

through the elective system to put a man or a woman in a decision

making position on the school board of education. Well, jdians..Vwi1 & -

leadership of Mr. Barton here and Dr. Brooks and others, Jdian

people had gotten so disgusted that they ran for the board of elections

in about 1972, Dr. Brooks and Reverend Harvey Lowry, they both lost as

others can tell you why because of the double voting situation but

anyway a promise, political promise came out of that situation that there

would be an indian and there would be a black appointed to the school

board of education that would at least give minority participation and

then they from that point would be subject to the elective system.

I: Excuse me, was that 62?

S: Somewhere back there, Lew, now I don't have exact dates.

I: I believe you said 72 excuse me for ...

S: 62 right, excuse me, it would have been 62 right and I think it was

about then that this happened dll anyway, the mocratic "arty,,,

we're still on tape aren't we?

I: Yes, sir.

S: Yeah, the mocratic party did appoint persons but it wasn't as agreed.

My understanding was that they had said that the high .ndian, the Jdian i4ko

LUM 26 AB Page 18

got the highest vote would be the one appointed. That was Dr.

Brooks. They didn't appoint him. They appointed another man to

that board and they appointed a black man. Now the man that

appoints you certainly is the man with power over you and you're

subject to that man.

I: Right.

S: And the man who appoints you and sees to it you get an office can

also be the means of your losing office. Now to my knowledge right

now this past election the black man lost and I understand the

black man did not agree with the persons and the powers that had

originally put him there and continued to elect him and he lost this

time because he didn't agree with certain things and he bucked them

and he's out now. Now we have the deplorable situation instead of

the progress of the democratic process we have now only one jdian,

the same indian, on that board of education. He was not up for

re-election this time. We have now a..a.. nominee-elect but there

are three white nominee-elects and one Tndian on the] mocratic

side and there's one white republican. Now, Lew, I hope it doesn't

happen but its very, very possible that that Indian will lose because

there is one white who could receive votes and if whites split their

vote and if'ndians split their vote that Lndian who won in the

primary unprecedented and the reason she won, her name is Holmes

and many whites it seems, I feel confident and I think the record will

bear it out, that in areas that voted for George Wallace they voted

for Miss Holmes and they didn't vote for Moore and they didn't vote

LUM 26 AB Page 19

for Oxendine. They knew they werej]dian. So I believe many

white people thought that Miss Holmes was white actually.

I: Right. This is true,

S: But anyway she can..she possibly will lose, now hopefully not, but

if she doesn't lose that will mean that out of a seven member board

of education we will have two Idians. One who is there because

of an appointive system and the power of the white to keep him there.

The other is there as a desire Tndian people but really as an

accident and not by the power of thenndian people. And as others

will bring out the three, the four minority people in this last

primary election the black and the three ndians got the highest

number of votes in the county area where the children are educated

by the system. It was only by the power of the..of the..charter

unit that are immune to the administration of the county system, it

was only by their voting power that theseJndians and the lack lost

and I'll tell you the most deplorable injustice in Wilberson County

is the double voting situation that denies "adian people through

the elective system denies Jdian people the right to have decision--

making power over the education of their children., decision-making

power over the jobs for their popu...their white color jobs of the

schools for their population. So that really, the indian people are

enslaved in a special way through the educational system that is

supposed to in the American dream be the means of freedom and liberation

for every man. In the ndian community its a means of slavery.

I: Would you tell us..could you explain to us how this double voting comes

Page 20

about and what..how its possible..if it were engineered or how it

was engineered or if it was an accident.

S: If you want me to share that..if you think I can share it better

than someone else.

I: I'think: you to clarify it as well as anybody if not better than

anybody I know.

S: Alright and then I'll get back to the church eventually (laugh).

I: Right. Well we're still interested.

S: I'm not sure, well, I want to speak especially to the church because

I see her with a unique role in Wi4.beisen County. In some other
f40 Z ksc ,I
county it may be different but in Wilbersen County the church has

a unique role and if the church becomes a church we can have some

of that brotherhood we want but if the church cops out in Wilberson

County then we'll never have that brotherhood because the people who

control the money, the people who control the political power are

church people and who want you to believe that they're followers of

Jesus just like you and me and we've got to come to an understanding

and we've got to suffer together or a..or we're jst not going to get

where we belong in this process of humanity in WiibtsTh. Now about

the double voting. 4ES Sidney Oxendine ran for the Board of Education,

and I think I can illustrate it pretty well just by these incidences.

Sidney Oxendine ran for the Board of Education back four, it was four

years ago wasn't it? Right. That was it. In '68. Yeah, '68. Sidney

lost. Let's see they run every two years don't they? That was 1970,

Lew, not 1968 that Sidney ran for the Board of Education.

I: Oh, yeah.


S: Sidney lost. Now in that election, uh, Sidney actually got

enough votes in the county to have won. But here again, it

was the buble voting that defeated him. Now there was an

Indian running who is that man who was originally appointed.

And that many that's staying there by the powers of the white

establishment. That man and Sidney were in essence competing

against each other because only one of them could have won in

that electionessentially. Maybe, both could have but in

terms of practicality, uh pretty unlikely that two Indians would

have won. But the reason it's unlikely that two Indians would

have won is that the whites were supporting this original Indian

appointee to the School Board and they were not supporting

Sidney Oxendine but the Indian people wanted Sidney to speak for

tem and their educational desires. And the Indians gave Sidney

more votes than they did this man the whites put there. Yet

Sidney lost the el tion. Well, you can imagine how upset he was

and it's because of the double voting. Now, we had heard that

in Columbus County that the attorney general had ruled that the
vilti v; //
city schools of Whitefifttd--the persons of the Whiteftfit city

school charter unit were voting on the county board of education

bit were immune to the administration of that board. That was
/I I/
double voting and that's called nonequal votet( protection. So

the attorney general was asked for an opinion. Attorney General

Morgan, that was a string)too Lew. The very string that Sidney

was defeated because of double voting in Robegson. He ruled that

LUM 26 AB 22

it was unconstitutional that it was wrong. Aed they abode by

his ruling and had an election whereby the city was no longer

able to elect--participate in the election of the county board.

And vice versa--had never been true. The county had never voted

on the city board. So, they gave equal voter protection. The

county could elect their beard and the city elect theirs and

there was no cross voting. Now, in RobeVyon County, the situation,

exactly the same.

I: Right.

S: We had by legislative action, five charter units: Maxton,

Eairmont, St. Paul's, Lumberton, and Red Springs. Two of

those units had special levied taxes for the quality of their

education and its improvement, Lumberton and Red Springs.

Now, this has been, I can't give you the dates of when these

charters were set up. But, this essentially became a sanctuary

in the segregated system for white education for their children

and their grandchildren. Now, the blacks were educated in this

system also but the blacks were educated in segregated schools

in that system. However, all, get that word"a double 1 g,

all Ihdian children were relegated to the county system. And

their education was relegated to the responsibility of the county

system. Now, in not only having those sanctuaries of white ed-

ucation of their white children. And mind you, through the years

there was only a small percentage of white children were educated

by the county system per se. In this process, then, when the cities


would make their districts. They would make their districts

to take in certain white families and white people. Then they

would have in Red Springs and Lumberton their special levy of

tax. Often, Indian people, and we can produce copies of tax

receipts where Indian people pay taxes to the Red Springs tax

district yet were farmed 0/. /s U- rr CJ


LUM 26 AB 24

I: This is side two of Tape 22, continuing the interview with

Reverand Mangum. Reverand Mangum, I'm sorry we were interrupted.

Well, we were but--I hope you can pick up there and continue

because this is the heart of the problem in Robertson County

as you are pointing out so eloquently. This is the big issue--

this is the thing that has kept us dowrn, a 4tually in a sense

it's legal or it's been made to appear legal. Uh, your ex-

planation is so clear on it and your eloquence and your fervor--

we need all this.

S: (laugh) Well,

I: Because it's very real and very close to you and me and people

understand this.

S: Well, uh, it--you've got me started on this--on the real, you

know the real bread and butter of my sole concern right now.

And, uh, I want to go ahead then and share with you, step by

step then my involvement with this and the way I see it. This

will take some time, but if you want it, I will sure give it to


I: And we certainly want it and we have plenty of tape.

S: All right. So, you know, it's a clear case of a nonequal vote(
4? protection. It's a clear case of the ability of a political

system even when we promise in the"pledge of alligence'L liberty

and justice for all and the pursuit of happiness with equal

opportunity for all and all of our preamble and all of our first

amendment and fourteenth amendment and all that we say here in

Robertson County. There has been means to enslave people politically.

LUM 26 AB 25

Now, so this is very practical. I mean, it is easy to see

what-has happened. So, Sidney Oxendine then was a victim of

this enslavement. He was not able to become a decision

for quality in progressive education for Indian children back

in 1970 this was. Well, so, the next thing was that he knew

that Morgan, AttorneyGeneral Morgan's office had rules that

it was unconstitutional in Columbus County to have double voting.
S-flcon S, M ac i W LA t1%
So S9neey and I, 4rdney Oxendine and I and Oxendine--that's

the fellow's name, isn't it?

I: Yes, sirE o

S: All right. The three of us, I don't know we may need to scratch

Hugh's name. He was a school principal that day. He took a trip

to Raleigh for another county. But anyway, as an Indian he went

that day to Attorney General Morgan's office and we talked to

Attorney General Morgan and he told us, Yes sir, it's unfair

he said just like Columbus County, it's unfair. He suggested

that we deal with our legislature that we try to get changes

through out legislature. Now, Lew, let me regress a bit. Uh,

Dr. Brooks, you know, is one of the real pushers for changing this

whole system, years from the very beginning, back in '62 and back


I: Yes sir.

S: Now, it seems that there was little opening for at least getting

some quality into the Indian school system back, a few years back,

when the former dean of Pembroke State University, uh, the late

Dean, Doctor Hubert--Herbert Oxidine volunteered to be principal

LUM 26 AB 26

of Pembroke High School. That was back in about in about '66

I: '64, 1diiv'*

S: '64, somewhere back there. He volunteered to be the principal

of that school til the ladies of the college make it a laboratory

type school really get one school with quality education for Indian

people. Well, as you know, they hired another man who had a

master's degree but who had very little experience in the work

of being a principal. I will not express my opinions about the

quality of the man, about his production or whatever. Simply

to say, if the county school system, that--as it was then and

always will be until we change double voting was white dominated

but if they kept up to their, essentially their pledge, the pledge

of their being educators of quality education for our children--

there would have been no way under, uh, under, you know integrity,

that they could have denied this Dr. Oxidine the principalship and

he would have sacrificed money. He would have sacrificed prestige

and all of that. But here was a man and he died because of this

thing. You know that. He had a heart attack soon after during

this time or after he had heart condition. He brooded, I think,

over this thing. Honest, if ever a man was killed by offering

himself on the altar of service and then when he offered himself

as a sacrifice, then he was refused as a sacrifice. The system

would not even accept the sacrifice that he made professionally--

to give quality to Indian education. Well, anyway, Lew, they

denied that man or in the process of denying him the principalship,

Dr. Brooks and others gathered together and I was a part of a group

LUM 26 AB 27

o people to go to Raleigh and appeal to the State Board of

Education, public education. To appeal to them to do someding

for Robetson County situation and appeal to them as Indian

people and to,.appeal to them, I went as a white who came and

idenfied with the community and simply said that in the case

of many whites, they send their kids to Lumberton. But then

many whites who identify and whose children are part of the system

of education that's inadequate in Robepson County.

I: Right.

S: Well, anyway, we were told, "go home and do your homework"

essentially. Well, one of our good friends, Mr. Jimmie Chavis,

Mr. Jimmie Chavis, the son of the lateReverand Jimmie Chavis.

Mr. Jimmie Chavis, you ought to get a tape from him on this day.

It-was.a dramatic thing. He stood up before that group and he

began to speak of how the Indian had struggled--how he had gotten

the rebuffs from the state, and rebuffs Lesu the local level, etc.
And the man told him as he spoke, you need to go back home and
change things yourself, don't depend on us to change it. Well

with that, Mr. Chavis was so frustrated he sat down. And later
he said--he said, I felt something coming on me and I didn't want

to be standing when it arrived. (laugh) You've go to know Mr.

Jim Chavis to know he feels, how deeply he feels.

I: Yes, we have a tape on him$.

S: About this injustice against Indian people in thsschool system.

Well, anyway, we came home Lew--I mean, Lew, we come home and we

tried and we've not done anything to change this system. Well,

LUM 26 AB 28

anyway, so there we were again up there at the Attorney General's

office and there he was telling us, "you o to your legistgrq

you go do this and that and the other. And here we were again

trying to say, "is there nothing under law, is there nothing

under law that can help break this kind of injustice against

Lumbee Indian people? All right, so, from that interview

there came, and let me go back a little further. Even before

that when, in about the fall of that same year, or a little before

that--I had appealed to the legislatures when H.E.W. was forcing

the closing of district lines, immediately I saw there a change

maybe a chance for merger. For getting education set up on the

basis on the priorities of student--not on .the domination of

the power structure. And ask for our legislatures to meet with

the tri-racial group of Robebsonians who wre disgUbcd with #t_ m
this injustice in the education system and since they were forcing

the closing of district lines and I knew, you know, there already

hubub around :.airmont, white people were going to put out of the

Fairmont system who had been coming into that system. And so

immediately they were going to want to redistrict Fairmont to

get their white kids into the schools legally. And immediately

-Garman Pinefwanted to redistrict to get their kids into the

Lumberton district. And I saw this as a time of dynamic--when

there could have been through aggressive courageous leadership--

there could have been a bringing together of the whole of Robertson

County and say, now this is the time to take about merger and

talk about a educational system that will representation to all

LUM 26 AB 29

the people and give quality education. Well, I was told then

that if we wanted to take a delegation to Raleigh go on up-

there, that they'd hear us. But they didn't have time then--

they were so busy to come to Robe pon and to sit with a group

of citizens tri-racially to discuss this. Well, you know the

results. Immediately, the whites got their lawyers. They

redistricted f.airmont so they could still educate those white

kids in that white system. They redistricted Lumberton and
aI &,or vie,
Claermen Pine:got put into Lumberton. And there the starch

was taken out of the fact that in the sales of those white people,

they would lead for change and if leadership had directed it

properly 7 at wind for change could have been the means and

leverage to have gotten the system of merger that wouldhave

given representation and quality education. But instead they

allowed that power of white people for change to be used to get
I I It
right back into the old sanctuary system that they had had for

years. Now, so here the Attorney General is telling us, you

know, he was saying essentially, you get your legislators to

do something. And if they asked for a hearing from male opinions,

then he would give it. Well, uh, the next sep was that finally
S gitOS.
Gus SpT-ets. And you've got to give Gus a lot of credit. Gus has

had a lot of courage ingetting out from and saying things were

wrong. And I have a lot of admiration for Gus.

I: Now this is the member of the House of Representatives from our

district, which includes Robetson County. Well, so Gus.finally

I guess there was some discussion with him after this, about this,

after this visit with Morgan. And Gus then asked for an opinion


from the Attorney General's office. The Attorney General finally

gave an opinion from his office and he said, and I have a copy of

that--it's not with me. But he didn't sign it--he had his aid

sign--one of his associates. But anyway, he ruled that the system

of Robefson was constitutional because. Now he told us it was

unfair--it was similar and like a Columbus County. Later on,

and I'm going ahead of myself. Later on, uh, in the spring or

late winter of '71 it was, right. I met him up in the legislative

building in Raleigh. And he said, it's still unfair. I'm sorry

I couldn't have helped you any more than I did on that opinion.

Now, here's a man who says one thing out of his personhood and

says another thing -atur. And this is the reason he said it

legally, Lewf Attorney General Morgan's office said that because

the Robertson County Board of Education administers all of the
S+r%, 0 .S-rn()
busing of the county. These are-.tzrng men--these are s-ang men

and I will show you how to knock them down. Because they administer

the busing of Robertson County and because they own the property

of the charter unit, Fairmont and because they approve all bond

issues if subject to the approval of the county board of education--

that there is definite constitutional representation necessary

for the people of the charter unit because of busing the property

of Fairmont and the bond issue tht is controlled by the county

system. Now, those are eotsrg men, Lewf the city of Fairmont,

f it doesn't own its property, then sell it to it. Let it own

its property if it wants to stay a charter member.

I: Wants to change.

S: Right. If the busing is a problem, understand it as a contract


basis and it's not a basis of representation for people on

the county board of education. If they want the county board

to contract to do their busing, that's a contract issue. That's

their decision and they have the power to elect their school

board and to make that decision in each of these charter units.

Don't use that as an excuse for them to have power over the

school board of edcuation for the county which they are immune

to, really, actually immune to in terms of governing their

schools. The busing is a strawman--strawman completley. And

finally, the bond issues--let the county commissioners decide

on bond issues if someone other than the local charter units

must decide on the approvability of bond issues. Don't let

it refer back to the county board of education. That's unnecessary.

So, even though the way it's set up now, it may be, in a court

of law, it would be decided that these are real issues. They are

straw men and because they're straw men, a court of law and it

may have to come to this. A court of law would defy the double

voting as unconstitutional. I know it and you know it. So,

finally there was that hearing that came--there was that opinion

that came out of his office in about the spring, the fall of

1970. All right, now along in 1968, along with this whole school

picture, came also the hearing of the study by the State Study

Commission on Merger and.Dr. Pierce was the Robedson County

person thatRaleigh had designated I guess to get together the

study commission in Robertson County to study the situation.

As you know, that study was made--they pointed out the disparities

in the educational system. i pointed out that in Robertson


County about 14% of the children leaving the schools of Robertson,

the high schools, 14% went into four-year colleges, and about 43%

or 49% went immediately Lew, immediately into the work force.

Whereas in Lumberton, about 32% of the kids went into four-year

colleges immediately and about only 15% complete& reversal Only

about 15% went into the work force* And the charter unit system,

that was the very poorest, is Fairmont, and they put 22% into

college and the Robertson County system was 24% it was I believe.

And RobetSon County was only 14% evenxin-the weakest charter

unit, they were putting about 10% more of their graduates into

college than the county system. So, uh, the study showed that

all of the education was pretty weak in Robertson, that's true.

But, if it was all weak, look at the terrible disparity and here

we are in the county on the bottom of a generally weak system

in Robetgon County and no means of changing it. The Indian people

still had no means of making it better. They are subject to the

white determination of what the education will be for Indian children.

Now, we then heard out of this study commission. There was proposed

to the legislature, legislation, that there be a referendum or merger.

That referendum lay with, that proposal for referendum, lay with

the legislators until it was supposed to have a deadline of March

1, 1971. It died, Lew, in the legislature with our legislature

caucus, the representatives and our senator. Now, I was told, I

guess I can tell this. I was told by one of our Indian county

commissioners, the only Indian county commissioner at that time;

I was told by him that it might help if I got together a group

to go up there and to lobby with the legislatprEs to reopen the


issue. And so I, and I got my Indian friend Henry Bgssell who

was at the First Methodist Church, who was white who has left

the community. Uh, to help make contacts and we devised a

Methodist group of ministers and one lay person who was em-

ployed by the church, triracially, whe-weastri-racial as I

recall, essentially we were Indians with some whites; I'm not

sure, we may have had a black. Uh, I'm not quite sure. But

anyway, we got an appointment with our legislators and it was

in the month of March as I recall, 1971. And we went up there

and we said now, this is the school issue. And we shared our

feelings about this whole injustice and the lack of equality.

So these men said all right--we'll have hearing to see whether

or not to institute a referendum. Because it had already died,

you see. So then they called a hearing. And I was the spokesman

at that hearing. The County Board of Education was a spokesman

to speak on merger. There wasa group from one city, St. Pauls,

to resist any talk about merger. And, uh, so after that hearing, it

was decided to make merger a referendum. And the legislators did

put it on the docket. And they worked out a little bit of the

mechanics and a bond issue. They attached the bond issue to it.

Now the bond issue essentially is 4 ay of killing anything.

To attach.it to the.issue of principle. The issue of principle .

is that there be justice and representation in governing the

education of children. And the issue is that we have quality

education that puts the student ahead of the political system


and the head of the employment of adults. Now, those were the

real issues. But, uh, when you attach a bond issue to it. The

money is necessary. Then it puts it in the financial realm and

it makes it difficult to pass the bond issue on the basis of

principles. Well, anyway, you've seen what happened to the

merger issue. It will be voted on this November. The city

units, as you can expect, they all coalesce. And, boy, you

know common enemies have a way of bringing separate people

together. All of these county units--all five of these city

charter units met in concert and put out a statement that

because of--that there isn't enough money being appropriated

for a merge system and because a lack of quality--because a

merge system would deprive the city units of some of their

quAlity education--they would not favor merger. So, it's--
the things going to be defeated.They're against So the merger

was one means of possible bringing about a better system and

giving Indians some power and better education for their children.

That will be defeated. Well, the issue before us, though, of the

double voting and this last primary, Mr. Moore, Robert Moor7 who

is Methodist and is a community developer under the Methodist

Church in the Prospect community of our RobetEson County, pre-

dominaiely t all-Indian community practically. Uh, Mr. Moore

felt that in his desire to get better education for Indian children,

that he ought to run for the school board;and run he did. He

canvassed the white communities as well as the city units as well

as the county. And he continued to have them saying: "well, we


shouldn't be voting on the board of education anyway." You know.

And they wouldn't let him--the injustice of the system. But,

he ran; Mr. -O iirfe ran again and Mrs. Holmes. Well, as you know,

Mr. Moore got the highest number--he and Mr. ,lxid4ne. Got the

highest number of votes in the county area that is educated by

the county system. In that Fjudicatory$? he got the highest

number of votes and so did Mr. Oxidine and they both lost. They

were the choice of the people to guide the educationcf their

children and they both lost. And they lost because the city charter

units are able to vote on the county board. Now, I think that

dramatizes and explains clearly enough that system and its in-

justice. Now, what are we going to do to break it? As you know.

I: In other words, they're thwarting, so far their legally, end quote,

thwarting the democratic process. In the name of freedom, they're

depriving people of freedom and this is taxation without representation?

S: Yeah, they use that same argument, taxation without representation

an4 say because. .

I: This is counter to the one man, one vote process--it's counter to

every--several things fundamental to American democracy.

S: Right. Correct.

I: And this is horrible. This is blasphemy to me.

S: It's the democratic process--it is. But, you know, you and I are

the victims of it. My children are victims of it. I don't have

to be Indian to be a victim to it, because my children are a part

of this educational system. And my wife teaches in it when she

can get a job, when she wants a job. I don't know how to explain

that. I'll tell you one thing, uh, you know, she has certainly


had--had deep, deep emotional feelings about the fact that

our system is prostituting the education of our children--the

fact that we have no power to make that system a quality system

for the sake of our children.

I: Right. We have no power at all over the schools that educate

our children and this is Horrible. Uh, it's repulsive; it's,0.

S: And how do you get to it how? You see, this is the issue. Now,

uh, there will be no merger. You and I know that. We'll not

get to it that way. Now, uh, now the legislates are going to

be approached. The legislators are going to be asked--and by

the way, I want to interject this: that-t e4two civil rights

hearings--one secret hearing--I mean a closed hearing. This

county board of education refused to appear on the basis that

there was litigation and process and there is a Lumbee citizen--

Lumbee parents' litigation against the school board. And Mr.

Barton you are a part of that in trying to get something done

legally. Uh, but that litigation has been used as the excuse for

them not to appear before the Civil Rights Commission, the Cunty

goard and its leadership two different times and this past weekend

in the civil rights' hearing, there was no one representing the

county board of education and that was the reason because there is

still litigation in regard to the $ard of 9ducationEA legislation.

So, you are not even able to get them to appear to answer questions.

I: They won't even answer questions about this.

S: Yeah, about this whole system. Now, back to this process of trying

to break it. Uh, now the two directions that can be taken are this:


merger will not win--we feel sure of that; therefore, the legislatures,

the legislatures set up the charter units. The legislatures can

if they will, break this double voting. They can simply legisla-

tively establish a situation that denies the vote to the charter

units for the county board. They can do that legislatively. Now,

they are saying, though, that if the attorney general is that it

is constitutional we as legislatures are pledged to the constitution.

And how can we introduce legislation that's unconstitutional? Do

you follow me?

I: Um, hum.
S: So now the legislatures have a way of saying, it's not our baby,

you know. We excuse ourselves from breaking double voting. All

right, we're going to press them Lew. We're going to press them

for all we're worth to get them to do it. If they don't do it,

the only recourse. Now, I'll say something else. And this

isn't to be gone everywhere, but there is also the thought that

maybe these legislatDr) would be asked to redistrict the voting--

to put the voting of the county board on a districting system so

that as the county commissioners of this county are voted and elected

on a district basis so would the county commision--the board of

education be elected on the same districting system. This is an

undesirable compromise in my opinion, because you still have a form

of double voting. At the best out of the seven-board, seven-member

board, the Indians only predominal Pand predomina C-with black help,

the minorities only have the power in three precincts vote-wiseito

get a man to the county board. And only is it really sure in two


precincts. So what am I saying? I'm saying that even if you

redistrict this system, you have only given a small voice to

the minority people in the education of their children. So

I'm not interesting personally in redistricting on this basis.

I: Right.

S: It's a compromise. My interest is breaking double voting and

if this county doesn't want merger, at least let the people who

are educated by the county system determine who their decision-

makers will be: black, white, or Indian. Now, you and I know

that essentially most of them will be Indians, because most:of

the people under this county system are Indians. But the Indians

are fair. Now, whites are saying you give Indians the same powers

and the same rights--you let them have their rights, they will be

just like white people. I'm saying that Indian people believe

befeviLein the principles of freedom, and the principles of equal

representation. I can illustrate that in the Prospect situation.

Whites had such a small percentage of the population that according

to the democratic party, uh, structuring rules, white had no right

to expect representation. But the Prospect executive committee and

the democratic committee in the Prospect precinct, which is the

Smith's precinct, they saw to it that whites were represented in

their democratic committee. Indians didn't treat whites like they'd

been treated# Indians gave whites representation. So, what I'm saying

is we've got to give the rightsA the people's rights and we can't

justify injustice because Indians might become like white people

and be unjust too. I'm saying Indians, when they're given the

opportunity in this county have been just and have been fair and


have been willing to recognize the rights and white people

and black people tooJnfow, uh, the only recourse it-seems to

me, Lew is the courts. And, you know, I don't have that much

confidence in the legislature, I don't believe they'll do it.

They may. But, anyway, the courts can do it. And, uh, it

seems to me that if the present suit washes out, which as,

you know, it may. If it washes out, it has as a component
to ,..
double voting. Then I think immediately we need civil liberties ,_,L. L'

has-already agreed to take a suit if it's necessary to take a

suit. Uh, now, and this is for this tape but this isn't for

publicity now, because over these next six months, we can't talk

publicly some of these things.

I: Right.

S; So I assume that this is safe in telling you this that it's not

going to interfere with the procedures that take place in the next

six months.

I: Right. Because this won't be, in general circulation in the next

six months.

S: All right. Well, anyway, if unnecessary, then preparations are being

made already, quiety and rather secretly to enter a court suit and

civil liberty and other bodies are going to help and we might get

it done cost free. And we might be able to build on this new suit--

build on what information has been gathered by Caleen Caley for the

suit that you're involved in this Prospect situation and the suit

against the county board. So, uh, you know, I want us to break

double voting--I personally. And of course I must-give deference

to Indian leadership. I'm a white man who is not a man of power and


I'm a servant. So, if men who are elected by the system--they

feel and our Indian leaders feel and particular our elected

leaders and eventually we're going to have two county commissioners

if they feel the best process is to go for the compromise issue,

I must go with them, you kow. I must have deference to them. But,

to me it's a sad mistake if we don't challenge, the double voting,

on the basis of double voting and break it. If we enter into a

compromise, we're still not giving the power that the Indian people

deserve over this school system. Now, this, uh, brings up the

reason why certain Indian people feel that they oughtn't to go

all the way to break double voting. They have known that white

people don't like the districtLng system for the county commissioners.

And many white people would like to break thatlup and put the

county commissioners on a county-wide basis, just like the county

board of education. Now, if they did that we would have the same

problem--we would never get an Indian county commissioner, see?

And until we get a lot more political power throughthe voting

process a lot more people registered until there's coalition be-

tween blacks and Indians and so forth. Minority people again would

only get the people on that the white establishment wanted onr-the

county commissioners. So, by the process of the election through

districts, we're able to get an Indian voice in the county government.

But, .


S: These people feel that are in that--on the county commissioners--

they feel that if we try too hard to bust double voting that it may

backfire and that the whites then would see to it that the county


commissioners uh, basis was put on a county-wide basis rather

than district basis. But, now I say fear, you know, fear can be

its own biggest enemy.

I: Right.

S: And I say go all the way for the rights of the people and deal

with the backlash when you get it. To me, the backlash would be

a constitutional issue that would deny minority people represen-

tation and it's just as much a court issue that would succeed

as would be the double voting. So I say, don't be afraid. I

say break double voting if there's a backlash then that becomes

a court issue too and I believe we're on the winning side there.

Do you follow me?

I: Yes sir. In other words, we ought to go ahead and do it, uh,and

not worry about the..

S: Backlash. Correct. Because the issue is justice.

I: It's moral--it's moral.

S: It's a justice issue! It's a moral issue of nonequal represen-

tation of disenfranchisement of the people.

I: It's American--it's, it's the violation to me--it's the violation

of the very basic American principle--that is, representation--

taxation without representation and it's the violation of the

principle of one man one vote. And these--and this is what I

attack it on. What are the results? Even if I knew it would

accrue to our disadvantage in certain cases--I still would have

to .

S: Fight to break it.

I: Right.


S: I would say--and there again, Lew, if you really break, you

know. Suppose it were to backlash and the county system were

to go under the commissioners and you couldn't change it were

to go on a county-wide voting situation. Still, in terms of

producing an Indian community, an Indian mind, and producing an

Indian person to be able to have decision-making power over the

quality of education would be far more important than even having

power with the county commissioners in terms of the future of the

people. Well, I think I have gone pretty fairly through that.

And, uh, we're hoping for changes there, Lew, hoping for changes.

I: I'm glad and appreciate your explaining this because the people

on the outside, they can't see really what the problem is unless

it is explained you know, clearly.

S: Now, let me explain too, with my work, you know, with the Rob7pXson

County Church and Community Center. It will be three years old

December as an official project. It's older in terms of a past

course that helped the development et cetera. But, it was founded

essentially to give the church and to be the church and total minis-

try to the whole man. We have a slogan that says: that we exist

to help the churches of Robertson to become more involved in the

ministry in the whole gospel, for the whole man, in the whole

community with the whole church. And so it becomes very much the

concern of mine as a part of the church and community center ministry,

the school system. This is an issue that deals not just with symptoms

but it deals with the causes of uh, persons economic, educational, and

social privation. So the community center is not just committed to

dealing with the symptoms but the causes that bring about these symptoms.


We're seeking to bring people in confrontation with facts and

figures and each other so that out of this kindof concentration

and dialogue we can get it the gut issues of injustice, and

racism and nonequal employment and all of these things so we

can move toward a more humane and Christian community in Robeason.

So it's very much P--- -of my calling, my profession and my work.

Not just as a pastor, but as a director and a leader of this church

and community center. Now, the church and community center as well

as doing work with persons--ref6eral activity and counseling activity

and emergency aid activity. Of course, I could explain here---

I won't go into detail. The high incidence of poverty is still about

38% of the families of Robefson of the people of Robertson fit

within the government guideline. Still, thousands of Robertsonians

have less than an 8th grade education; functionally illiterate the

last figure used in the last decade was 20,000 Robertsonians. Many

many of those people are Indians. The Serris Committee, you see,

to not only dealing with helping people in their need, helping to

get them on social security, welfare, being a champion, being with

them to get their food stamps if necessary, helping to be their friend

in their hour of need--helping with emergency aid so that they can

be tidied over with rent or utilities or food until they can get

permanent aid. Uh, we're also involved in the gut issues of trying

to bring about the tools for people for their self-determination

and trying to confront and break the injustice that deprive people

of their rights. Now, one of the things we are seeking to do is

raise the level of awareness of the minority people, particularly

of their need to use the political process. And we're making in-

formation, such as this little brochure we printed: facts about


Rob?*son County. Wa make information available and we work with

two self-determination programs; one for Indians and one for blacks.

In trying to help bring about a greater awareness on the part

of minority people of their need for registration for voting;

the need for their participation in the process. Now, last year

we saw that the system was rigged against minority people so we had

to become involved with the Indian caucus program in confronting

the system. That system has 117, tri-racially, 117 elecdtoa officials,

including registrars and poll holders and poll judges. Of those

people, only 21 were black and Indian; and only five were Indian

registrars and only one was a black registrar. Now this denies the

political process, because, Lew, if you've never invited me in your

kitchen to eat with you,in your living room or parlor to sit with

you because you consider me second class because I am Indian, don't

expect me to come into your living room and register to vote if you're

the registrar and a white man in that community; psychologically it's

been tough. So there had to be a fair system of giving Indian and

black people registrars so that they could register their people.

And furthermore, there were three members of the ?Oard of elections

and everyone of them was white and had been white for years. And so,

with the Indian and Adolf will have to explain this. Adolf has been

a great leader in getting monies and programs in here for the Indian

self-determination. He will have to tell you about the process of

confronting the board of elections and seeing the change. But anyway

that confrontation took place last fall. As a result of that confrontation,

our Indian Republican person, Robert Jones had already done his homework.


And we already knew he had lined it up to get on that board of elections

as a republican Well, when we, after this confrontation trying to get

a Indian registrar, a roving registrar--it hit the newspapers and that

publicity went throughout the state and it helped through the light on,

the spotlight on the terrible disparities in the elected system in

terms of having Indians and blacks participating in that system.

Well, you know the results. The democrats then put up three names:

an Indian, a black, and white. And so, the state board of elections

was able to choose from four people--uh, two Indians, one black,

one white as I recall. And, the appointment was, one Indian, who

was a republican, one black and one white who were democrats. So

now we have and of course there was a big hassle, but now we have

a tri-racial board of elections that's trying to do everything

they can to make the election system as easy for people to participate

in as possible. And immediately our Indian took the leadership--

took a little, I can tell it now I guess, took a little bit of paper

that the community center had developed on the population from the

last census of Robegtson County by precinct and every area that a

certain percentage of one race got a registrar. That meant that

about 15 became Indian registrars. That meant that a number of blacks

became registrars. When that man finished giving up this system of

117 officials, there were about 60 that were Indians and were blacks

who were either registrars or poll holders and there wasn't a precinct

that had a black or an Indian in it, of any number at all, that didn't

have a black or an Indian on that elective board within that precinct.

That was beautiful!


I: Oh, that was.

S: And it happened in a year's time. It didn't just happen--it

happened because people needed fixin because people confronted

the system and said it's got to change. And it did change.

But it didn't happen because white people wanted to give you

fairness --white people wanted to admit that there was unfairness.

It happened because people challenged the system. And that's

the pressure that has to take place in the school system. We've

got to challenge it, boycott if necessary in the schools, dem-

onstrations at the Board of Education at Raleigh:before the legislative

caucus. Lew to change it, we've got to do everything less than

violent and less than Christian and dishonest--we've got to do every-

thing we can do to change it.

I: Absolutely.

S: Now that'change Lew--and that to me the most beautiful picture of
) I
change that has taken place in Robertson in decades, in one year.

I: Maybe in a hundred years.

S: Well, now we've got five blacks, just this past week or two, we've

got two more Indian roving registrars--we've got four Indian roving

registrars can register people anywhere if people feel reluctant

to go to their registrar because he's white or because he has his

registration books in his home; these roving registrars can register

them. It means that it has opened the door completely to the regis-

tration system. And two of these Indians that are registrars, are

aggressive Indians. They are determined that Indian people have their

voting rights and they participate. Brenda Brooks is one of them;


Herbert Moorepanother. And, uh, well, the blacks then and of

course, I was involved in pushing forthe blacks to get their voting

registrars, to get their voice. And so, two blacks went--the

legislator, George Johnson, who is the second legislator since

Reconstruction to electla black legislator. He and the leader of

the black Methodist caucus went before the Board of Elections and

appealed, as I understand got five blacks as roving registrars.

Well, now we have a beautfiul picture--of having four Indians,

five blacks, and three white roving registrars. Everybody can be

registered and participating. Last year, you know Lew, because of

this Indian Self-Determination Program funded by the Methodist

Church. There were over 2,000 people, Indian people, put on the

books last year. This year there will be a couple of thousand

to o yet to be put on the books. Things are changing) and beautifully.

And we at the Center are trying to help facilitate this process

by making statistics and information available wherever possible.

For instance, we've got up with the help of Mr. Moore and others--

we've developed a chart now which shows the population of each

precinct--it shows from the census those who are 18 years of age

and older. Those that are registered and those then that are eligible

to register and what percentage are registered by precinct and by

races. And then we're going to show in some precincts the percentage

of people registered tha participated in the last election. So,

we're going to be able to show graphically anAdemphatically where

the weak areas of Indian participation, black participation and even

white participatiorLn poor, white areas), So, the community center

you know, cares about these, uh. .




I: Tape 23, side one, continuing the interview with Reverand Mangum.

Now, Reverand Mangum do you know about where you were when the tape

ran out, just now?

S: Well, we were dealing with the elective system, I think; the fact,

that I was mentioning to you our interest. Uh, I sort of slide into

the involvement of the church and community center. And, uh, I

will get back to talking more about the church in a minute. But,

we got some issues then I got the saying too, that the center is

involved in issues and concerned about issues as well as symptoms

related to those issues. I did mention a letter that was circulated

uh, in talking abou fie Board of Education situation. But, there

was a letter( we don' know how widely it was distributed during the

primary) that simply stated, you know, very boldly--that white

people must not vote for certain people if they want to keep control

of Robeson County. And then they listed Mr. Moore and these

Indian people who are running and blacks who are running for office.

So, at least it's interesting, you know, if you stroke something

if someone says, "ow" you now at least they feel you're around. And

that's better than being ignored. So I don't people are ignoring

Indian people anymore. And this letter, of course, was submitted

as you know, as evidence in the civil rights here this past weekend.

And, the letter is just an indication that people are very much

aware that Indian people are insisting on their rights and that they

no longer going to sit idly by and let people mistreat them.


I: Uh, who wrote the letter. I mean, who was this letter from, uh,

sort of a political body?

S: Well, no; It was written by an individual. But, I'm not

free--I've heard but I don't knowif it's so even. It's one

of those things where nobody's going to tell who wrote it.

It's written in such a way that it says my name on the outside

of the envelope. So the letter was discovered but not the en-

velope. But anyway, it is a part of this picture of racism in

the county. It goes on to say, you know, about our interest

as white people and that we want to maintain our power in Robertson,

that we should know certain things. And that Indian people are

trying to get power of the county board of education and the city

board. So, you see, the whites know that the boards of education

are the wrong places for anybody to have power unless it is white,

see, in terms of converse thinking. So they just admit that having

power over the boards of education is quite an advantage to any people.

And they're saying that they just don't want--they want to be sure

that Indians a4d-blacks don't get any of that power. Well, it's an

interesting letter and I'll not read it or say much more about it--

just to say that people know that Indian and Rack people are expecting

their rights in Robe&on, and they're going to get their rights, too.

Now, Lew, in the elective system we mentioned how beautifully things

have changed. I didn!t-mention-the:fact that there was a full-time

employee, executive secretary of the board of elections, and that

person now is Indian of all things--so that elective process--that

elective system the whole stuff has just changed radically. It re-

lates back to the church; it was church money that made possible an

organization and certain confrontations to finally cause the situation


4,so be that change to take place. Now, in the employment situation--

uh, we're going to be able from the community center to publish

hopefully in the near future a compendium of data on socioeconomic

conditions in Robertson. Employment is one of,our concerns. And

of course as a justification of my ministry in terms of causal

issues with the community center and as a pastor in the county.

I am a member of the civil rights commission. I'm a member of

the advisory committee to the ciil rights' committee of North

Carolina. That's calledtateAdvisory committee: the North

Carolina State State Advisory Committee to the Civil Rights

Commission of the United States. And we recently has a hearing.

It was my responsibility to chair the employment section on the

local level; Mrs. Brenda Brooks to chair the political participation section

for the Indian. And Mr. Adolf Dial was the chairman of the committee

project itself, here locally. Well, anyway you are a part of that

program-- a testimony, and you gave a very eloquent and beautiful

and powerful statement, Lew, and I had deep appreciation fcrit. And

I hope Florida gets that--I hope the University gets a tape of that.

I: Well, you're very kind. I hope that we can get a hold of as much

of that hearing if possible.

S: It was taped, the whole thing so I hope you can get as much of it as


I: I think Brenda possibly was using her tape, most of the way.

S: Right. Brenda Brooks did tape much of it, I'm sure. Well, anyway,

we learned there that, and had known before intuitively and if not

factually certain things1but for instance, we learned there about

statistics and by the returns of information. Now, there were 320


questionnaires sent out to employers, only 88 of them were returned.

So many of employers found it convenienttto ignore the civil rights

hearing. Now we're trying to get subpoena as you know, to get the

Indian Commission to have a hearing with subpoena power--the Eastern

North Carolina Indian Commission. If they don't do it to get the

Civil Rights Commission to come back with two commissioners in

attendance and have subpoena power before the hearing. But, anyway

the employment situation is deplorable in Robeibson. Uh, until

recently, Indians has no jobs really in the system of good jobs that

were governed by a tax--county tax, state tax, and other types of

taxation and jobs that were available here in this county in government.

Now, at present, it's still very bad. For instance, in Social services

Department, health Epartment, and Xntal healthh Oinc combined, those

three agencies to which our county government relate. Those three

agencies out of a hundred sixty two or three employees--there were

only 12 employees that were Indian. And only four of those employees

made $6,000 or more per year. Now, Lew, that's enough to make anybody

bad; it's enough to make anybody stomp their feet and almost refuse

to pay taxes because it's tax-supported institutions that are coming

up with this kind of non-affirmative action in the employment of

minority people and employment of Indians.

I: I have to interrupt just for second there. I hope you'll excuse es

particular tape. Will you please continue here?

S: Well, anyway hopefully we can get a hearing or subpoena power so that

the Indian will not be ignored in his, uh, in his total commitment,

and his total drive for equal employment opportunities as well as

equal empowerment politically. Now, uh, the other employers showed


up bad, as you know, in that Indians and supervisory capacity,

managerial capacity, out of 500 or so employees, only 20 or 40

Indians had any kindof managerial positions in Robeason County

and only that number or so are blacks; 450 or sowwhites had mana-

gerial and higher position and twenty to forty Indians I think

is the way it worked. But anyway, it's the same old story over

and over again. If an Indian's not a school teacher, he will make

a good construction worker or he'll make a good farmer or he'll

make a good laborer or a good factory worker at minimum wage)

but that's about all he'll have to look forward to. So, Lew,

there has to be a lot of initiative on the part of the Indian

community. We've got to take advantage of every program possible

for scholarships in health careers for instance. Uh, scholarships

in other areas to keep our young people going to college and

training themselves and being able to compete for the good jobs

in Robeitson County. Uh, we don't want to just make people to be

good citizens somewhere else. We've got to have them coming home

and staying home to help make this county better.

I: A great many of our people do have to leave home, as you well know.

They cannot find livelihood here, means of a livelihood here and so

they go elsewhere, very reluctantly and always with the idea of re-

turning when they've accumulated a little money.

S: Yeah, right. So, hopefully the Indian community will take this

information that will make it available from the Civil Rights Commission,

the committee. And personally we'll make it available to as many people

as we can of the statistics so that we will see, maybe L.R.D.A. can get

involved in trying to push for jobs and begin to get the people lined up

and start going from agency toGagency putting in applications with certain


people, using certain people to make application. We also must learn

immediately the process by which the board of directors of all of

these tax supported agencies are constituted--are appointed, elected,

and how they're constituted. We must begin to get Indian people

in decision-making power. At the social services level, we've got

Indian power now on the board of directors. We've got to get them

in there on the house department; we've got to get them in mental

health; we've got to get them on road commission and all that kiid

of thing. We've got to go down the line and systematically get

Indian people into positions of power on these boards. And that

often is a political system of appointment rather than the elective

system. So we've really got to do some homework to change the

employment situation. And, of course, as we've mentioned before,

we've got to get control; we've got to get decision-making power

over the board of education in order to help effect the jobs of

our people. So, Lew, those are some areas of concern of mine

and I've spoken in general to employment leads and situations.

I've spoken to political situation and the voter registration and

the elected system and to the education system and thecdouble

voting and so forth. Now, I've just spoken in general thtithe

church and community center, which which I work is trying somehow

be the friend of persons helping them on person-to-person basis

but also providing opportunities for volunteers to become involved;

opportunities for information to be gathered and dissiminated so we

can raise the level of awareness, expose the racism, and cause

the victims to understand how bad off they are in terms of contrast

and comparison until minoer4ty are angry. And that's what this little

green leaflet was all about.


I: Well, that's a very interesting one. And hope you'll favor us

with some of the information, if not all on there, because this

was well-written and condensed and it gets right down to the brass

tacks. And, I'm telling you, this is--this little leaflet was

certainly an eye-opener to many people in the county, including

minority people themselves, because they were not aware of just

how bad things really were.

S: Well, we felt like it was a Christian responsibility that as many
people as possible understand what the circumstancesIthat white

people that is would rick the conscience of whites and disturb

them. And cause them to admit to themselves that things were wrong

and things needed to be changed. That it would stimulate and excite

and anger minority people, until they were willing to say: if it's

going to be changed, we're going to have to get involved in making it

change and we're going to do all we can to change it. Then they

would become a means for people who wrote proposals and were dealing

with creative programs to be able to send this as a panoramic view

of need and of disparity and deprivation in Robertson. And of course

it's been used for these purposes.

I: And we certainly will appreciate your sharing it with us, because

that's very valuable.

S: We printed 15,000 copies of this Lew, and it has had pretty wide

distribution among the Indian community. Pastors of the churches

tri-racially were invited to utilize this little piece of information.

Uh, we start--and I'm not going to read all of it. I'm just going to


read the introduction. Because this gives pretty well the concepts

from which it is written.

I: It is a good overall picture and this is a good starting point.

S: Some of the statistics you'll find here in this are outdated yet we

have a bibliography for this and we make it available. We know some

things are outdated but at the same time, we felt the conditions still

exist that are so similar that we wererit really pushing untruths if

we use some old figures because sometimes this is about all that was

available--old figures, old studies that were made--older studies.

But anyway, we start the whole leaflet by sayingKf can change

Robetson--calling the facts about our county of Robesqon. We

live here, work here, worship here, and rear our children here.

We want the best for ourselves too--we have a right to expect equal

opportunity, justice, and freedom and the responsible pursuit of

happiness. But these facts force the question about genuine equality

justice and freedom in Robeeson--it is not enough to care about our

own--we must care about the work, dignity, rights, and opportunities

of every Robefbonian. It is not enough to know and proclaim that

we've come a long way in the past few years. We must have the honesty

to admit how far behind we are and how far we must go and quickly.

It is not enough to know and to care--we must act to assure a better

more just Robe-son for all. If we care enough, we will help change

Robesson now. Please read the facts carefully--we believe rocks are
for building, not for throwing. And then we come on with a statement

and I wrote the prelude to this and utilized the help of a psychiatrist

from Duke University who is doing community psychiatry work ielating

to the community center. He published this second edition last January,

1972, the first edition in December. We also utilized the work of a


Duke student, a divinity school student who was a native North

Carolinian. Uh, we dealt with income--we pointed out that according

to studies over past years, that 39% of population of Robeison was

within the poverty guidelines. I'm sorr to report that still 37+10

38%, this is a 1972 figure--are within poverty, government poverty

guidelines. We've only dropped one or two percent according to

O.E.O. government property guidelines in six years. Now, I know

by inflation and by the continued rising of the standard of poverty,

that it's a relative thing, Lew, using O.E.O. guidelines we still

have nearly 39% in poverty. A study made by the North Carolina

fund that became the forerunners to the community action program--

tri-county community action under QE.O. here made a study of certain

pilot areas and this is back during the 60's and they learned that

the median incomes and the disparties of the things that we're trying

to bring out in this study--this does not mean the census information

and we're trying to get that on the 70 census now. We haven't gotten

it yet, by precincts, townships as well for the county people. But

when this figure was given, $1324 was the median income of the Indian

families that we studied! The black families were $1618 and the white

families was $4656. Now in these pilot areas, now that's not an average

of the county, it was pretty well populace was Indian, rural people.

This is how gross the disprities which meant in these areas the

white people were used as the land owners apparently and they were

the professional peopleand the Indian people were the tenants.

But, anyway, we have figures here that just point out the general

poverty, figures in this that point out the per capital income. The

per capita income in this county for '72 is only $2,019,


I: Isn't that terrible?

S: Yeah, in 1972, I just got this figure the other day. So, this little

leaflet tells a lot about income. Now, it's something interesting.

We tell because out of this study that O.E.O. made, North Carolina

fund, we reveal a figure and this wasn't published until '67. This

figure I think it is. Uh, in fact, I think the previous figures I

quoted on median income were not published until 67--but this figure

reveals that a family making $6,000 or more per year in these pilot

areas, but 33% of the white families made that much or more but only

1% of the black families and only 8% of the Lumbee families made $6,000

or more per year in that area of Pembrfte. What does it mean? It

just meant that the whites have had the good jobs--they've got the cream
"m^CS a 10 C
and the Indian has the low income and has the poverty-th-ea4 white

poverty in the county too, but look at the awful disparity, terrible

disparity. Now, the employment situation just simply pointed out that

unemployment is high, underemployment is particularly high and we see

here that the Indian has a high percentage of agricultural workers.

And in this study by O.E.O. people or by the North Carolina fund, it

was discovered that 48% of the Indians, Indian families, derived their

basic income, in other words their occupation was agricultural! where

only 29% of the black and 25% of the white families were agricultural.

So this accounts for a lot cE the low income because of a the agricultural

nature of the Indian community, toof the tenant farmer, and the share-

cropper, and the day laborer situation. Well, in the area of white-

collar jobs, only 10% of the Lumbee families, 9% of the blacks. But,

35% of the white families--the white wage earners had white collar

jobs. So this is the kind of thing this little leaflet brings out.


It just continues to say the Indian and the black man haven't had

a fair shake in Robettson County. Now, we go along with unemployment.

We talk about the law enforcement and statistics there, about social

services. And I've already quoted some stuff about the employment

practices of the county. Now, we deal with drop-out situations,

education. When a study was made back in the fifties, information

was gathered. It was learned that 65% of all the kids in the

county who had entered the fifth grade, dropped out before they

graduated from the 12th grade. Recently, figures confirmed this

kind of sitatuion that from 1964 to 1968 or so--those entering

into a higher grade, had 40 to 50% of the children had dropped out

in the county system. So this isn't such a wild figure--it's

fantastic the rate of drop-out. Now when you have non-quality ed-

ucation, you have 6 administrative units and you are not able to

diversify your curriculum where the student comes first and his sense

of worth and accomplishment, you're going to produce failures.

You're going to produce automobile accidents, you're going to produce

illegitimate babies, You're going to produce crime, And Indian people

have been the victims of those. Honest, if we don't change the school

system, Lew, I don't what we're going to do in order to make a better

life for people in Robetson, particular Indian people.

I: And this is the key--this is the key to it all.

S: Yes, certainly it is. So we deal with education here. We deal with

the act that, uh, 57.6% of the children in that school system during

the last school year were Indian in the county system: 22.6 blacks;

19.8 white and yet, a very small percentage only two out of seven of


the Board of Education were minority--one Indian and one black.

And I told you how they got there and that shows how limited their

power is.

I: That's right.

S: And I also .

I: The power is nonexistent just about.

S: And I also showed you further statistics showing how the kids of

the county don't go to college and how they do go to college on

the city system. I know that culture has a lot to do with it;

I know the income and you know, opportunities of environment and

all that. But, man, there shouldn't be that kind of disparities

in who goes to college and who doesn't. Then, of course, sub-

standard housing. We deal here with substandard housing in this

leaflet. We point that over 50% of the housing in Robertson

County according to the '60 census was either dilapidated or

deteriorated and the '70 census doesn't help us much either.

The '70 census points out that 56% of Negro occupied housing

units have not complete plumbing compared to 28% of all units

having no complete plumbing facilities. And so the Indian situation

figures right in here with the black situation on inadequate housing.

But, for the whole county we could say roughly that still about 50%

of the housing of the county is inadequate and a high percentage that

of Indian people. Come to the area of health This little leaflet

points out in the health area, Lew, that Indian people get a bad

deal. Uh, we're understaffing Robertson--we don't have enough.

doctors, enough dentists. Maybe I ought to read this; then when you

begin talking about changing the situation. You become a villian.


You know, and all--this summer I could tell you show I got in

trouble because of misunderstanding with the medical profession.

Good people, but my mind to challenge systems, somebody's got to

get crucified from time to time and misunderstand. And it's going

to happen. When you challenge injusices and inadequacies, people

are going to shoot you down or try to anyway. In this situation,

we had six physicians, two dentists, and twenty-six hospital beds

per ten thousand population in Robetson. North Carolina, though,

had nine positions instead of six, had 3.3 dentists instead of 2

and had 34 hospital beds instead of 26. Aad North Carolina was

behind the U. S. average, which had 14 fiLinrs; Robe*son only

had 6; had 5.9 dentists, Robeison only had 2; had 40 hospital

beds, Robejoson only had 26 per 10,000 population. You see, we

don't even have the health facilities to take care of the poor

of Robegkson County. And so, uh, in forty cases of tuberculosis

for instance, 29 were either black or Lumbee, which shows, you

know, a very disportionate number of minority people with tuberculosis

out of the forty. Only 11 I would say were white, and yet, the

whites have 43% of the population and the Indians in this county,

85,000 people--the Indians have 30% and the blacks have 27% of the

population. Nutritionally, only 10% of the whites in this county

have inadequate diets, but in a study that was made a year or so

back, 29.5% or 30% of the Lumbees, three times as many Lumbees had

inadequate diets. And 43.7%, over four times as many blacks percen-

tage-wise had inadequate diets as whites. We deal with crime and

traffic in this thing and who's in the court and so forth. Uh, and


point out the large number of Lumbees that were sentenced. For

instance, it is not a popular figure but itngoes back to education,

you know, and opportunity--goes back to the courts and the way people

are treated. But in July 7, of '71 the people who were sentenced

in Robertson County courts, there were 66 whites, 107 blacks,

and 115 Lumbees. So, uh, we have some figures there. And then we

have figures on social services and the number of people that receive

aid. You might be interested on my listig of that figure, uh, that

for food stamps, 46.3% of black and 41.6% were Lumbee and 12.1% *C

A40M just a few months back who received food stamps were white--

12.1% white receiving food stamps. In other words, predominantly the

black and the Indian get the food stamps. He doesn't have the decent

job; he can work in these factories. Well, we didn't mention it but

we discovered in some of these factories; Indians and blacks got the

nasty jobs in those factories. Whites refused to take take many of

those jobs. So, we can go back to the whole situation of under-employ-

ment, low wage--it was brought out in that hearing, regarding employ-

ment--that North Carolina average wage was 50, the lowest in'the nation

in June of this past year. And Robepton County was 65 per hour

below the North Carolina average hourly wage for industrial workers

at $2.10 and at where that put Robertson and most of those industrial

workers in some of those plants are Indian. And so, this little

leaflet brings up information regarding social services program--

selective service even then going to education and health. The county

or Robertson has a high incident of rejects for education trainability

and health reasons from the selective service. We rejected 53.5% of


regieters in Robertson County and only 48.2 for the state of North

Carolina. So, you know, in every area, it reflects the disparity

and this victimizing of people. And this little leaflet tries to

point out those disparities. Then we talk about the political

situation and we talk about back when this was written the changes

had not been made, though they were anticipated and back then,

we were able to write in this leaflet that out of the board of

elections, all were white, all free. There were six registration

commissioners--three were Lumbee, three were white and there were

no blacks. Of 39 registers, 39. .33 were white, only five Lumbee

and one black. Of 78 election officials,and judges, 63 were white

and 15 were black and Lumbee. Twenty-one out of 117 were black

and Indian. And all that's been changed and we're glad for that.

What we pointed out are the things related to the county commissioners,

the county board of education had been dealt with and representation

and so forth. So this little leaflet was written up to excite people

and to get them more aware of their own plight, more determined to


I: Well, it was certainly a valuable contribution and I'm sure it was

heeded and it has done so much good. Those four little pages have

done more good than anything I can think of at this moment.

S: I'm glad--that was the reason. And, as you and I, we're prejudiceJ

,ee, it goes back to our faith, you know. To me ,this is a part

of living on our Christian witness.

I: Right.

S: Lew, I'll try not to hold you too much longer. Let me speak

specifically to the involvement of the church of Robetson County.

All right?


I: Good, fine.

S: All right. As Lew has told you perhaps in other tapes, or you

have heard from other people; uh, the Indian is very religious

and we have a lot of churches and we have a large percentage of

our people related to those churches. I would say we have about

125 Indian churches in Robegson County and they're about 300

churches in Robe on or about 250 ministers or more in Robefson;

we are a church county. But the church has not addressed herself

to social issues--has not addressed herself to justice issues.

And essentially, the church has dealt in paternalistic ways and sort

of leavened the attitude of people in being good to their neighbors

and being good to each other but allow them to be an accomplice to

and a prt of victimizing structures and a cruelty system. So, it

was felt by me and by others that the church had to be able to do

something creatively to bring about change in Robegson. The Quakers,

the American friends, had put a group of people in here for a couple

of years and spent money and they didn't come for the churches things

but to speak to the justice issues. They helped to register many

people. And, oh my, they've got the wrath of the county powers upon

them and the wrath of establishment Indians and the wrath even of I

guess of some establishment blacks. But they got a lot of people

registered and a lot of things going for people: welfare rights_

organizations, so forth. Well, they were showing some of the justice

issues the church should be involved in. Well, now they took a

confrontation stand. They did not take a stance ofiliving here and

trying to bring about justice and brotherhood within the county. And

we felt that the church in Robertson must address herself to the issues


and must also provide a salvation army type of ministry to be the

friend of people who were the victims. So with that in mind, there

was an approach made by an Indian who is a non-church member who

went to the National Council of Churches and said to them: you

ought to put some money into Robeeson foursome creative program

the churches in Robetspon, the Indian churches an accomplice to

the status quo. Well, I didn't like that but he was telling the

truth because many Imdian people were victims of this school system.

They were pastors but were also school teachers. And they couldn't

buck the system because of their livelihood. The churches were not

supporting the pastors. So, you've got to be sympathetic with Indian

leadership. They were over the barrel.

I: Right.

S: But this boy went up there, this young man, he said now something ought

to be done, the church ought to care. Mind you, this man does not

profess to be as we call, as we call the parlance here, a saved, born

again Christian. This man did not profess to be a Christian. He was

Christian in background and concept but not a Christian in his own

personal commitment. But, he understood the Christian church ought

to be involved and it wasn't. So the National Council of Churches

related to the state of North Carolina Council of Churches. And I

became involved in different leaders from this community. And they

agreed to endorse the program but that program, mo own denomination,

helped to kill that program because it was to be a major contribute.

And said we don't need outside forces in Robeiason County. So that

gave me leverage. This was back in about 1967 that it was rejected.

That gave me some leverage. Because I was told by the administrator


of my denomination, though we don't want to elect a national council

in and have this program for the rights of people and brotherhood

and all, I believe you've got influence and you can help bring people

together. So I then proposed to him that we bring together first

with the Methodist, the Methodist people tri-racially to talk out

the issues, to deal with the real gut level issues that relate to

employment, that relate to the political disenfranchisements in

educational system and all that. Well, he approved the idea along

in the spring of '68 we were to get it started. Well, we weren't

able to come off the ground with it, then in our Methodist denomi-

nation there came a program the "Bishop's Fund for Reconciliation"

whth allowed for creative programs to be established, to bring people

together across racial and separate. and denominational and class

lines around justice and mutual respect to create such programs for

the benefit of people. So, we were able to get funded for a program,

devised passports made up of basically Indian leadership and then some

whites and blacks of this county. And we devised a program that was

finally funded for Robeppon County. .for the Robe-tson County Church

and Community Center. And it was the dream of this program to bring

together the tri-racial church community of Robe)aon in confronting

the justice issues and alleviating suffering on the personal level as

well as alleviating suffering on the system level and on the cruelty

system level of charging these causes of suffering. So, the Center

then addressed herself to total ministry. And that ministry we began

the program in December of '69; we started that ministry addressing

ourselves to person to person ministry to enablingmen. .ment of

volunteers to become in church and university. We helped to get

the university volunteer program started. Now, the university has


a field work program and we were right in there at the outset at

the ground level, helping them create a program of student involvement

in community affairs. Now the sociology department has intern programs;

the community center helps to find places for the students to work and

helps in the coordination of programming for students. The center

was involved in helping to bring about the whole existence of Pembroke's

outreach into the community, the part of the university. Then we're

involved in trying to get the church involved in giving them opportunities

to become involved. We have forces now that deal with issues--a task

force for literacy to bring together government and church and all the

powers we can to deal creatively with this problem of adult literacy.

illiteracy. We have a task force dealing with pastoral counseling

to develop a center in RobeAson County for pastoral counseling.

We've got a task force dealing with nonprofit housing to bring together

the church people tri-racially to deal with housing creatively and

to get money from the government to deal with nonprofit.eto have non-

profit housing and scattered housing projects throughout the county.

We've got a task force now for human relations that's going to be dealing

with the employment situation and so forth, and trying to deal with

the racism of the county and bring major exposure of the injustice.

We've got a task force that deals with emergency aid funds. There is

no money to take care of people in emergency circumstances. There

are a lot of agencies that are referral activity; now, we've got to

raise the money and we've got one in Pembroke, one in Lumberton

fund, now we're working with Maxton and Red Springsj other towns to

devise those funds by which there's money available to help people be-

tween the time they're sick aid the time they get disability, between


the time they're sick and they go back to get their jobsT-to

pay their light bill or to pay their medicine bill and so forth.

The Center itself raises and spends $-$10,000 a year just faith

..,uh, fund raising because it's not underwritten by an denomination;

we just have to get the money where we can to this peron to person

interview. Then we've a task force dealing with nutrition. The

Center didn't. .as a part of this. .the Center didn't start it but

the Centerworked with it, for high protein foods for this county.

Another task force deals with consumer protection to bring about

protection of the consumer, the Lumbee, and others in the county.

And, there's also a task force that deals with. .no, I've dealt

with all seven. .and then of course we enable wherever we can,

these self-determination programs. We spun off the Lumbee Indian

caucus; we spun off the black causus for self-determination. These

programs are dealing with ethnic self-awareness, voter registration,

and voter education. And the center does not own those programs;

it simply helps to spin them off. And we work to spin off whatever

programs we can: daycare centers, helping to write proposals for

program, doing whatever we can as an enablement ministry for the

creation and for the commotion of programs, AA programs, et cetera

et cetera. The Center's involved in person to person ministry,

volunteer recruitment and involvement and involved in also the

enablement aspects of ministry, in dealing with creative issues and

helping people get a job done for the embettermentof themselves and

their community. We're also dealing with information. We're doing

a door-to-door canvass. And we're learning people's needs, literacy


needs, political needs, church needs, health needs, and so forth.

So that the Community Center can be a resource to government agencies

and programs to help them know where the people are so we can write

programs to meet the needs of those people. We're also involved in

publishing as we mentioned--this little leaflet that Lew's referred

to and we've mentioned--a compendium to raise the level of awareiss

of people, of conditions that exist. We're involved in these dialogue

sessions where we bring together people tri-racially so that they

can understand each other and what the dynamics are that separate us.

So, uh, this is some of the ministry of the Community Center. Now,

at present our real concern is that we involve ecumenically, inter-

denominationally every Indian church that we can, black and white,

in this whole process of being the church in Robeftson County. And

of course, we're meeting with a lot of resistance on the part of white

establishment churches because whites find it so difficult to approve

of the involvement of the church and church money in offering assis-

tance. And this is where we've come into conflict. Now how long we

can stay in existence--whether or not we can keep funded, I don't know.

But we're still in there pitching; we have full-time staff of five

workers. The Luteran Church is willing tl help fund us and give us

a staff member. The proposals are before them. The black Presbyterians

are writing a proposal, working to get Episcopal, liberal concerns

and Presbyterian concerns and Roman Catholic concerns. We believe it

can be done. But we've met with resistance and we're going to continue

to meet with resistance on the part of white establishment churches.

So, we're going to build our program with staffing from denominations

wherever possible whether than our having to raise the money to hire a

man, we'll have the Lutheran Church give us a staff member; we're going



to try to get the Catholic Church give us a priest for a year or

two or a lay person that would work just with our area of community

development and housing perhaps, something such as that, to give

specially, people that would carry out specialized ministries under

our program. But, anyway, we're dreaming big and our ultimate goal

is a changed Robetson County where people can live mutually with

human dignity and with the pursuit of happiness. Now, uh.

I: We've got a big job.

S: That's right. And God's people care,and God's people are getting the

job done. And I applaud all that is happening. And I applaud, I've

got to put in a plug.

I: I certainly applaud you and Li- --L j'L----/" -

S: Well, I'm just a part of the picture;now I applaud the Methodist Church

particularly because the Methodists have been willing to give up monies

so that creative things could be done even when awful criticism has

come from Methodisl for the expenditures locally of that money. In

fact, last year when we were a part of confronting the Board of Elections

and seeing- change there; d& three members of the Board of Elections

were white and members of our prestigious Methodist Church in Lumberton.

So you can imagine there's flack. But, uh, we believe, you know that

the churches of Robesopn really are the answer and the remanant,we

don't expect to win them all. They don't have t be a part of our

program. But we're giving people a chance, Lew, to live out what

is means to be a Christian and not affiliate officially with the

Community Center even but to be a part of a task force and to help

carry out there ministry of concern for people. And we're not empire

building. These groups as they set up their ministries, they can

have nothing to do with us if they don't want to, as a community center.


But we're involved in getting a job.



TAPE 23 ( LC,. r?3" .

IC I('" cT/hwi' X5 \-:<<; r W3-^3^. .th ^ 7^, /,,.,
S:l7Thouand indians and twelve--eleen thousand blacks under the age

of eighteen. So in a few years if we don't have too much migration

problems, uh, in a few years, we'll be almost a perfect three-way

division, tri-racially in Robetson County. Now, I don't know

who had patience to listen to all that I have had to say. And some

of it, I know, was pretty disjunctive and maybe irrelevant to Indian

history but I, as a person, would like to speak to the Indian church.

Now, being a pastor in an Indian church and with an Indian church

over these fourteen years, as you can imagine, I've had a great deal

of concern that there be full-time Indian ministry. Now, uh, we

have had so few Indian ministers who were full-time. And by that

I mean, who derived their livelihood from the occupation of ministry.

Now, this is changing beautifully. And, uh, one of the examples of

this came out of our. .and of course, you know, the Methodists are

far fewer than the Baptists here. We have about forty Baptists

churches among the Indians. We have about ten churches that are

United Methodist among Indian people. We have about, oh, about

a dozen churches with the Church of God among Indian people. We

have about, oh, about four or five Assembly of God churches among

the Indian people. We have, oh, about half a dozen, eight or ten,

Freewill Baptist-churches among the Indian people. We have signif-

icantly enough no Presbyterian churches; the resbyterians, you

know, were able to make slaves, had black slaves; had slave galleries

in their churches but never made slaves out of Indians. And never

were missionaries out of Indians. And so the Presbyterian el black


churches but they have no Indian churches. And this is sort of

distinctive in pointing out the separation of the races over the

history of this county. So, there are no Presbyterian Indian

churches. There are no Episcopalian nor Roman Catholic Indian

churches, per se. There are no Lutheran churches, per se.

Of course, you know, I intend--that, uh--capitalize on the guilt

of that situation as much as I can in getting help for the community

center and support to be able to be involved in ministry with Indian

people and to Indian people. But, anyway, with all of these churches,

uh, when I came to this county fourteen years ago, you could count

on your finger the full-time ministers that were Indian. We had one

who was a Methodist who had quit the school to become a full-time

pastor# W had, to my knowledge back then, one Baptist, no parsonage,

there was one Baptist who was a full-time minister. There was one

Baptist church, such as the church I pastored thatemployed white

ministers that were on a full-time basis. There was a man who worked

as an associational missionary when I came here who is Indian. But,

when I came to this county fourteen years ago, there weren't over,

I guess, two or three full-time Indian ministers. Ministers who derived

their main livelihood from the church. Now, that has changed and

beautifully. Many of our young people hae gone to seminaries. We

now have, uh, back then when I came to the county. There was only

one Indian parsonage to my knowledge, at that time--one Indiag parsonage

in Robe&son County. And I lived in it and I was a white man. Now,

we have a beautiful of a number parsonages among the Indian people.

We've got a number of full-time minister, who are Indian, who are


pastoring Indian churches. And out of this kind of full-time

ministry, there is the time to become creatively involved in

the total ministry isaahe concern about the social issues and

the causes for deprivation and the causes for emotional problems

et cetera, that relate to the social issue. So, I just speak

to, very applaudingly, the wonderful progress that the Indian

church has made in going full-time with their possess, am* in

providing parsonages) Ond in encouraging their young people to go

on to school and to seminary. Now, we have a long ways to g I

know. Right now, among the Indian churches, uh, there is only

one, two, three--to my knowledge, there are only three Indian

ministers who are siminary graduatesserving Indian churches

right now in the community. But, there are a number now that

are full-time though not formerly trained, or seminary trained.

But the trend is now for an educated, well-trained, full-time

minister. And I am really happy about that because of te great

changes that can take place through the church and the energy

of the people of the church because of the Indian people, without

exception almost, relate to some church across this county. I

spoke before to the fact that theAMethodist church had made monies

possible to help Indians in self-determination. Some of the great

thrust has come in helping to bring about self-determination and

self-appreciation has been the fact that the Methodist Ehurch has

provided the funds for funds for Indians from this community to go

to places over the nation--to Farmington, New Mexico to Esters Park,

Colorado, to Indian conferences, to other places, Oklahoma, across


the nationr-so that Indian people through the church have begun

to become aware of their belonging to an Indian community. And

this coming now, a growing sense of responsibility to other Indians

across the nation in the church particular to provide leadership

and monies and help in total ministry elsewhere. Because, really,

in the Indian situation, the Lumbee situation, as you know, is

beautiful compared to most other Indian situations across the nation.

And the Indian here has so much to offer to other Indian communities.

Well, the church has given the opportunity for this travel and this

mixing with other Indian people so it becomes inevitable that this

community going to make a terrific contribution and already is.

From this community and our denomination has come de leadership

for the national advisory committee for Indian work in our own

denomination. Uh, and many things are happening because this

community has been allowed to become a part of the total Indian

picture. Just this week-end, Indian people from this community
A ,IVt C'
went to an Indian conference r Cherokee the first time in history.

And, uh, this is beautiful that the Indian community here feels a

part of the brotherhood of Indians around the nation. And I must

say, and unapologetically I must say that the church, in particular

the Methodist church has helped to make some of this community of

Indians around the nation possible. Did speak briefly of the fact

that the Methodist church accepted and funded a proposal that was

a spin off from the church and community center for ethnic self-

determination for blacks and Indians. The black program received

$20,000 last year and 15 this year. The Indian program received $C2O?O

Blast year and 15 this year. And they are simply involved in ethnic


self-awareness in bringing church people to the challenge of

participation in the elective process,and they're involved

in getting the registration done and changing the elective

system and dealing with the school issue and et cetera. Ad

primarily voter education and voter participation and voter
registration. But, uh, here again, you know, this wa-smet with

a lot of disfavor on the part of Methodists and Baptists and

others among whites. It's met with middle class Indian disfavor

at times. Uh, a small minority because so many middle class

Indian people derive their livelihood from being an accomplice

to the white power structure and the white status quo. So you

can imagine criticism often comes from all angles when creative

things are done and when church money makes it possible. Now,

finally, I would like to just say a word about the fact that,

somewhere in the tapes I'm sure there will be discussion about
the fact that here is a small Indian faction of people who have

arisen and who have a certain Indian name that they call them-

selves and uh, they're wanting rights for themselves and they're

adamant in their desire for rights. Well, let's hope that somehow

the Indian community will understand these poor disenfranchised

people and will unite with them around principles that relate to

the victimization and to the issues of justice and injustice so

that, uh, and I think it will happen. There will be real progress

together, as Indian people in these next days and in next years.

I applaud personally 4 what has happened in our county--uh, among

Indian people the kind of leadership that it's had)to the kind of


writing that men like Mr. Barton do, the kind of leadership that

men like Mr. Danford Dial gives, to causal issues, the kind of

determination that economically that's made possible by men like

Dr. Brooks and Mr. Adolf Dial and others in the establishment

of the ank. The kind of political leadership of men like Mr.

Robert Jones, who's chairman of the board of elections and who's

gotten so much there since he's been there. There are so many

Indian men that need to be applauded--te Indian church men over

the years who have stood with such insecurity and so much to lose-

who have stood and have forced issues and have gotten education to

the point where it is even though we want so many changes. If it

hadn't been for leadership and particularly church leadership,

we'd be so far behind what we are now. The leadership of Janie
Maynor and others in this Old M-in issue and our people in Washington

who are Indians that have given help and how we've been able to say

together that Indian people want to be heard and they want to preserve

their heritage and want to be able to be able to have a voice in the

destiny of their future. And Old ain has done so much to unify

Indian people. And I applaud what happened in that. I applaud the

leadership, uh, though, I don't always agree with things, I still
have a lot of admiration for President Jones and for others Pem-

broke. I'm much concerned that Pembroke faculty become more Indian.

I'm much concerned that Pembroke address herself to the problems of

Indians, that she not be so status-quo, middle class white, regional

white in her orientation. That if necessary, she establish an Indian

college. And along with that, I applaud the efforts Mr. Barton and


others and Mr. Howard Brooks and Mr. Ackley and Mr. Carrons in the
Henry Bqrry Lowry College promotion. Uh, this activity that they

worked to bring about Indian self-determination and ethnic self-

appreciation. And I applaud that. There are many good things that

are happening in this community. And, honest, it's a privilege

for me to be a pat of it, to be a part of the community and to be

able to say that I'm a servant with, uh, this community for more

Christian and more humane and more just and more truly democratic

community in Robeeson County. We can applaud dF the L.R.D.A.

and the possibility it has and the work it's doing. We can applaud

the development of the, uh, the Indian, the Eastern Indian Commission--

Eastern North Carolina Indian Commission. And, Mr. Early Manor

who chairs that. Uh, my, it seems that so many good things are now

happening. And with the momentum, and I feel the momentum is that

of the Indian right now. With the momentum that we have, if we'll

work together and work courageously and work with determination,

we can see the changes that we need in this county. Now, I must

applaud also Mr. Herman Dial, who was our first Indian county

commissioner. I must applaud the commissionerelect Bobby Dean

Iocklear who pulled off a political upset, an Indian over an old-

time white power structure man. It was just a miracle pulled off)

so to speak. Uh, we must applaud these men for the kind of work they

have done to bring about change. Uh, there are many people and Ii

sure I'm forgetting so many. But there're many people who deserve

applauding and there're men like Harbert Moore who just keeps

fighting away with all of his energy to expose the system and

to bring about facts and figures to make people know that he knows


what he's talking about and that changes must take place. Uh,

there are many Indian people living today that deserve a great

deal of credit because they are the reason that changes are

taking place for Indian liberation and true Indian participation

in, as full and as equal citizens in te democratic process and

in the dreams of our democracy. It's always dangerous to applaud

people because you leave out so many. And there have been people
Lv-'fVife r ileCL 0(=- tyreiCrc
like Miss Mary Lttlea r, the late Miss Mary Latelemaoe-.who

has been a real friend in the church and the social realm to the

Indian. Miss Anna Mae Locklere who has been a lay Baptist woman

who has done so much. The Reverand D. F. Lowry who has been

a real father to Indian concerns in education and other issues.

There are so many good people who still live, as well as those

who are deceased, that need to be applauded. And, uh, those that

are deceased--any Indian person would remember men like the Reverand

Mr. Venus Brooks who gave so much of himself to his own Indian com-

munity. And Mr. Lonnie Jacobs and on it could go. So, I understand

definitely, please, that I have not mentioned the names of all of

the key people, of the key leaders, but just a few off the top of

my head. There are so many that deserve, who live now and have

passed on deserve to be applauded at this moment. Thank you for

listening and I hope I haven't bored anyone too much.

I: Thank you so much for being with us and giving us this very infor-

mational and very inspiring interview. It has meant so much to the

Doris Duke Foundation Program. We thank you from the bottom of our


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