Title: Interview with Bobby Locklear (October 8, 1972)
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007023/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Bobby Locklear (October 8, 1972)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: October 8, 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: UF00007023
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 30A

Table of Contents
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
Full Text


This Oral History is copyrighted by the Interviewee
and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of

Copyright, 2005, University of Florida.
All rights, reserved.

This oral history may be used for research,
instruction, and private study under the provisions
of Fair Use. Fair Use is a provision of United States
Copyright Law (United States Code, Title 17, section
107) which allows limited use of copyrighted
materials under certain conditions.
Fair use limts the amount of material that may be

For all other permissions and requests, contact the
the University of Florida

Bobby Dean Locklear interviewed by
Lew Barton
October 8, 1972

B: I am Lew Barton interviewing for the Doris Duke Foundations a-l
"Zmerican Indians Oral History Program under the alstoc-ese of
the University of Florida. I am in the office of the Carolina
Indian Voice Newspaper in Timber, North Carolina and with me
this morning is Mr. Bobby Dean Locklear, who has favored us with
an interview for which we are very grateful Um, Mr Lockleqr
we a.v-eciate your being willing to help us out in this particular
way and I would like for you to give your full name, if you will,
please sir, if you would spell it so that the girl who is typing
will get everything accurate. I will certainly appreciate it.

L: I am Bobby Dean Locklear.

B: What is your position, Mr. Locklear?
L: Presently, Lew, I am serving as a High School Counselor at ____
County High School in RaPford,North Carolina.
B: I Understand that you haveAbeen nominated as a Robeoson County
Commissioner. Is this correct?

L: Yes, Lew, I ran for the office of the County Commissioner of
Robeeson County in the May Primary and was successful in that
election, which means that I still hav5 to run in the General
election although I don't have any Republican opposition.

B: Well, there's no doubt t- as to rth. or not you'll be elected
because, um, being nominated 'cAn a to being elected in your
case. Right?

L: This is true.

B: And am, w so we're very happy that you got on and you are
Lnmb-a Indian?

L: Yes I am Lew, and very proud to be so.

B: Well tnis is qood. This gives us how many county commissioners
will this give the Indian PeOple?

L: There's a board of seven, Lew, and this will give us two Indians
on this board, and this will give us um, not necessarily equal
representation,but at least it is more than we have had in the

B: Right. This was a very dramatic campaign, as I understand it, and
I want to congratulate you on the way you carried it out it
was um, there was yo mud slinging or anything like this, just a lot
of hard work and you set out to win and you did win and I certainly

Page 2

congratulate you.

L: Well thank you Lew, it was a very exciting race, I ran against an

l who had been in office for twenty years, and of course. um,

many people, in fact, most of the people didn't think that I'd be able

to win this race, but I had a plan and all I needed was some
people to help me work this plan. So we developed an organization

and what it amounted "o w.s organization and team work, You know

um, I like that word team, you take um, T for time, and the E for

effort, take the time to put forth the effort, the A in team for

aim, with the right objective in mind, an\M, you'll come up with

the majority that you're looking for ane in my case I was looking

for the majority of the votes. So if you take the time, put forth

the effort, with the right attitude, you'll come up with that

majority Lew, or what ever what it is you're workihg for. So this

is the way I won the election.

B: Well that's certainty an interesting formula and its a very

sensible one and businesslike one, um and I'm certainly glad you won

and I'm looking forward to your taking office and being in a

position to give us at least as you say more representation

than we have had in the past. Um, maybe we should talk just

a little bit about your personal biography and, at 1his point .

Um, what is your age now?

L: I'm 35 years old, Lew.

B: 36 and you're married?

L: Yes, I'm married and I have four children. The oldest being eight

years old, and the youngest being ten months.

Page 3

B: .Who was your wife before you married?

L: 1 married Thressa Gwen Revels, the daughter of Mr. Lonnie Revels.

B: Well um, Now what are the children names, Coul: you give us

their names and ages?

L: Yes, the youngest is Brannagan that's an unusual name, its one

that I saved for seven years, he being the last born I was saving

that one because I had never heard of anyone named Brannagon, anyway

his name is Brannagan Ray Locklear then I have um, twin girls

Anilia Kay Locklear and Amira Faye Locklear, and the oldest is

Gwendolyn Denise Lockleqr.

B: All of those are very pretty names to me, I like them, and they're

very original and very appealing.

L: Thank you Lew.

B: Um, your wife, um you married a Lumbia Indian?

L: Yes I did.

B: Uh huh. Did you have gy, any particular problems that yot hadn't

al:ticipated in this campaign? or had you studied it all no and

thought it all -sar very carefully, I'm sure you had, but ha you

encountered anything unusual and unexpected?

L: Not really Lew, I as you said, I thought about this for a long

time in fact, something like four years. And um, I'm a little bit

cocky about thing:- when I set my head to do them, I you

can't tell me that I can't be successful,, Because I had thought

about this and I had to plan it as I said, all I needed was

enough people to help me work this plan. So um, I announced my

candidacy with um, complete confidence that it was just a matter

Page 4

of time until the election is over that I would be successful.

B: Well that's great, I'm sure that um, you don't object to the
title, the People's Candidate and I believe that in this case that

ylu was the choi.-e of the people in the sense of the expre -


L: Well I would certainly hope so, Lew I would hope that I am not

going to take office in um, Decembe and not be the People's

Candidate because certainly it would be most difficult for me to serve

the peoplE if I'm not the candidate the people would like to have

and certainly I do plan when I take office to render those

decisions that will be in the best interest of all people in-

volved. Not necessarily the)or not just the Lumbia Indians

of Robebson County but all three races.

B: Right. Yeah, that's great. Um, I was very thrilled with your

victory and 0a lo o Ovy) people were encouraged simply because

we um, never been able to seat a RcbefsPn County Commissioner

in any other area other than um, WA/S Smith Township?

L: Well, we'vwegot one in Smith Township yes, and I came from the um,

well lei s put it like this Lew, there is one county commissioner

from the Smith Township who ran from the Extin Districe, you see

in Robefson County Lew, you have seven county commis: ioners which run

from districts rathernfrom the county at Large So I ran from

the Red Springs District which is composed of seven precincts or


B: I see. Well, when you t ink in terms of Indian Settlements


and settlements of their Black Brothers and the White Brothers and

so forth, isn't it a pretty heavily populated white area around Red

Springs, or do you think the population is more evenly didtributed?

L: Um, yes it is LewJ, t's heavily populated with whites. Let me

give you, um, the May Primary...well lets say the January prior to

the May pimary. There were approximately, and I cah't give you

the exact figures, but I can give it to you within fifty registered

votes. There were approximately 1850 r-r-stered whites in Red

Springs District from which I ran, there were approximately 1150

Indians registered and 1050 Blacks registered. So, you see, if

I hadgotten votes from the Indians, I couldn't have been elected

and if I'd gotten votes from the Blacks, I couldn't have ... in

other words, I had to have votes from all three races in order

to be elected .

B: Yeah, well this is what makes this, one of the things, the many

things that makes this race so interesting is because you did

win the confidence and support cf people from all three groups

and this is um, this is something which I admire you for very

much. This is what I would like if I were running for office,

I would like to have the support of all three groups. And you cert-

ainly had to have that and did get it and I'M sure that um,

the people th6 vored for you knew1they were voting for, they

weren't just voting for a rnme. But they knew you personally

and knew you by reput".tion-andw*, 1!S they knew you as a doer,

and as a i person. And I'm very happy, and I'm

sure all of our people are very happy throughout the county

Page 6

I don'f think you have many ( ) people unless its a few

people who were supporting your opponent. So it was a great

victory This was a great victory to me.

L: It certainly was L:w, and I'm certainly looking forward to

taking office in December and hopefully being ab3,]to do

those things that would be in the best interest of all people


B: Great um, do you thiarMat take this as an indication that um,

the atmosphere is changing in Robeison and that people are

coming closer perhaps? Understanding each other better?

L: There is no doubt about it Lew, as you know, in the past many

years ago um, it wouldn't have been possible for an Indian to

have won an election of this nature, Because we just did not

have this togetherness r-ong the Indians, the Blacks and the Whites

for that matter, that we now have, and I tink that this has, lot's

say, laid the ground work for an:' future candidateSthat has desire

to become elected officials in Robeeson County especially

among the Indians.

B: Well, this is certainly encouraging, um I know that many people

have worked fora a long time toward t1is kind of goal, I suppose

people has been working since before we were -ver born, hoping that

some lay something like this would happen. I feel certain of that

and I'm glad it has happened for the first time in the history

of Robeeson County no doubt about that. And I know you will be

fair to the people and I know you personally and I know I

Page 7

know how honest you are, how hardworking you are and you have so man y

admiral traits, and I'm certainly glad that the people recognized

this in you and gave you a chance and, you know, endorsed youasm, I

keep repeating this but it was a great victory in more ways than


L: I suppose one of the, maybe the primary reason or the primary thing

that really gave me a C and um, you know, told me that I

could accomplish this feat was the fact that I'm involved, well

I'm a veteran and I'm presently the commander of the local VFW

post in? &" and two years ago I was the District Commander

which means that I had the post in three counties1an my jurisdiction.

And in the VFW the, there is constantly competition going on

between the District Commanders in the state of North Carolina.

The State of North Carolina has seventeen District Commanders.

And of course at the end of the year there is an all state

District Commander chose which means that this is supposedly the

outstanding District Commander in the state. then that District

commander that is chosen on the state level, is entered into

competition in the Nation, with all of the other Dl;rict Commanders

in the fifty States. And um, I was chosen that year as an All-

American District Commander which means that I was one of twenty

two in the Nation. Of course I wear a little pin that^I got as a

result of this and I brag about it saying that that year there was

no whites, no blacks and only one Indian that could wear this pin.

So, I figured that if I could accomplish something like this,

then why couldn't I accomplish such a little thing as winning

the bounty Commissioner's race in Robejson County.

Page 8

B: Well, that's real faith and that's ... that is a real honor and I

Congratulate you on that because it's a singular honor, right? It's

never come to anybody in our group before, I'm sure and maybe

never will again. But um, this is very encouraging and um,

maybe through you people will see that we do have able people, fair

people, people who will serve all three groups with with

justice and fairness and and. and that we're

not going to be discriminatory a': insft anybody and I think it's

a great opportunity and I'm sure. you'll live up to it. I'm sure it's

a bu- to you.

L: Well, I'm going to do my best Lew, this is all I can do.

B: Yes. I'm sure you will. UM, where did you go to school?

L: Well, I did my undergraduate work at Pembrose State College which

is now Pembrose State University and I did my graduate work,

earning my Master's Degree in Guidance and Counseling at

western Carolina University which is located in North


B: i'Uh huh. Um, did you notice any differences at the different

institutions ?

L: What kind of differences, now lew, are you speaking of in particular?

B: Well, uj,sometimes there has been complaints that um, you know, of

some Indians students that perhaps um, they. weren't treated fairly

or something of this nature, this didn't happen to you did it?

L: No ( 1 ), I would say that I was just another student on the

campus at Western University .

Page 9

B: That's great. um, I think all of this i aw changingO

social attitude, and um, things of this nature. And um, I think

that we have a lot to be thankful for as a people. rUm, I

believe um, in every community, I believe everybody should be

proud of his own community and his own county, his own state

and so on, um, are you not also active, very active in the JC's?

L: Yes, I'm still a member of the 4s of course you know this

is the young man's organization, ages 21 to 36, and I'm in

other words, I'll rooster out this year, this is my last year

as a regular member, although I do plan to retain my affiliation

with the 4s as a rooster. Um, I'm a past president of the

Pl&biuoe s and I fehl that the JC's did quite a bit for me,

as you know the primary objective of the JC'S is to-develope

the individual through community effort and um, this certainly has

helped me,being a member o5 the JC's and being a member of the

Pembrose VFW and also my work as a counselor. All of these things

has um, worked together and developed in me the individual that

I am at this day.

B; Well this is another thing that I'm sure you're qualified to talk

about if you like, and that is the development of the 'C's in

this county, particular in the Indian community within the past

few years.

L: Um, it seems that this is a growing organizatiornnd a very active

and effective overall organization each uh, each chapter in the Jo's

they are accomplishing great things and um, doing many things

Page 10

um, you know in public interest.

B: Do you know hoy this came about? I mean the interest in the JC's?

Lt seems that un, um, it has developed, you know, more strongly

within recent years than in thh past.

L: Yes, we, I say w this is the Pembrose JC's, we were extended

a charter by the L[ 0b-e 11)' JC's in April of 1966. At that time

we were the onlzTndian, all-Indian chapter in the United States

to my knowledge at least that was what we were told. And we in

turn, approximately a year later extended a charter to the

W Cceek JC's The JC's is an all rural chapter

in fact they were the only Tr( -A chapter in the UNited States

and I, um I guess it's just like a snowball Lew, just jept getting

bigger and bigger, they in turn extended a charter to some body

else and now we have ten chapters that are predominately Indians,

and neither one of them just has Indians, we have maybe, if my

memory serves me correct, I believe we've got two whites ail in

the Pembroke JC's. And at one time we had ai ack but he's no longer

active. But anyway we've got 10 chapters now that's been extended

among the Indians.

B: Well, is there not also a good-sized chapter in ____ County?

L: Yes, 6County is our neighboring county and there's in

that county, 20/o of the population is Indian and they nlso have

a chapter in that county.

B: So, all tthese chapters work together usually on um, on politics

and public interest, don't they?

L: Yes, they do Lew, in fact these ten chapters have what we call and

inner Indian Councilwhich means that um, each chapter has two repre-

Page 11

sentatives that make up this inner Indian Council and um, on

important issues, um, that involves the JC's or issues that, um,

or community endeavors, this Indian Council meet and, you know,

iron the thing out, take the. in other words they come up

with the recommendations and they take it back to their various

chapters 16 vote on this and you, know, make it become a reality

of what the issue may be.

B: Well, that's great and I hope it continues to grow, because um,

you've done so many worthwhile things. Didn't Didn't the JC'S

sponsor Lumba6-Homecoming Day this year?

L: Yes, they did Lew, the ten chapters worked together. They had

an overall chairman and they put together this Lumbef2Homecoming

Day which is a gala affair for the LumbC Indians where the LUmb@Es

comes from all over,' .you know we've got Lumbfs living in

probably, all fifty of the states now, t'.t have gone there for

employment, one reason 0i 4/ /.tX not living in

Robebson County anymore, but they always come back home for this

S. that's not allof them, but many of them come back home

for this affair thqt we have that we call the Lumb&-Homecoming

Day. Just a big family reunion Lew.
B: Uh huh, Um I believethis year was the was the third um,

annual LumbfW Homecoming Day, wasn't it?

L: That's true.

B: And, do you, do you know how man people, um have you and idea or

any estimate as to the number of people who attended this year?

L: Lew, I don't have any concrete figure that I can give you but

I I would estimat-e that there were, the two days that it went on,

you know, we had a two day affair I would say that there was

Page 12

between four and five thousand people who attended this uh, at

one time or the other during those two days.

B: Uh huh. We had participation from people in other areas, countries

as well, didn't we?

L: Yes we did.

B: Baltimore, the Indians, and other groups. ..

L: Yes, we always extend anj invitation to these other groups of

Indians to participate in our homecoming.

B: Well, it was a beautiful aff ir and everything went out so well

and the parade was so gorgeous, you know, um, just um, just to be

a part of this once a year kind of does something for you doesn't

it? It gives you a lift um, it makes it makes pride

too doesn't it?

L: It certainly does Lew. It gives you a good feeling to see that

we can bring together all these people um, primarily the Indian

people to participate in an affair like this. We have um,

anything from, um, the greasy pole climbing contest to um, good

ole gospel singing.

B: Well it certainly is entertaining and um, it was well covered by

the press and things of this nature and we've probably 6onew shots

and things like this. A number of Newspapermen I've met myself

and um, the first two years um, of the um, homecoming I believe
tw) cSCt Ok+) rf^-
we received a from the Governor of this state. Is

that right?

L: Yes we did, designating this one day out of the year as Lumbf6e

Homecoming Day.

Page 13

B: This this was um, a big plus and certainly that's something

we can be thankful to the present Governor for. Because this is

one thing that he did certainly did for the Indians.

1 Uim, it was a big plus, in my estimation, and um, it took so much

cooperation from so many people, you know, to get this thing

rolling and have it to operate as smoothly as it did. I know

I got there were so many cars in the parade it took us

about two hours to get just a few blocks. But I had to crawl out

of the car and just stand there and watch the people go by and

yell and wave at them, you know. I this is a warm sort of

thing. It gives you a very warm feeling because you see

people you haven't seen in years and years and um, we still are

idcn'. .ing ourselves as a group and um, I don't think there's

anything that can compare with it during the whole year. Do


B: I'll agree with you, you know these Indians who leave

Robe~son -ounty and they go away seeking employment, they always

like to come back for such an affair, come .ack at Christ-mas

time, some of them come back, maybe at Easter time. You take the

Indians out of Robeoson County, but you can't ever take that

county out of him. lHe till got the to-t e-M 92-4 heart.

Doesn't make any difference where he goes, He's always glad to

come back. In fact, many of them, even after they retire, they always

come back to Robetso n County, to live.

Page 14

B: Right. Yes there has to be something here, um, to attract

the people by it and to give them this love for the county, I've

never been able to analyze this for myself. Have you ever thought

about the why's behind um,this almost universal return of our people?

L: Well this is something that is hard to explain Lew, um, I'm the same

way. I don't know of any placed in the U.S. or in the world that um,

I would rather live than right where I'm living here in Roberson

county. Although Ive not lived, well I was in service and I did

a good bit of traveling then and I have, um, worked in Washington

D.C. and um, two or three other places. But I still r their live

in Roberson Uounty. And it's just something that's hard to explain.

In fact, I don't have an explanation as to why the Indians who

leaves Roberson County always love to return. Eventually whether

it be after he retires or what not. In fpct, I've got a brother-

in-law who I finished High School with and he is living in

Greensboro and he's Accountist for House of Representatives

and it looks like Lew, that we may have the first Indian in the

state of North Cardlina to be elected to the House of Representatives

come November, He's got a in fact I'sal he's got setter

than a fifty-fifty chance.

B: Now, this is Mr. Revels?

L: Thi s Mr. Revels ( j e -A.r rr;<) his sister.

B: Um, would you give us. you mentioned his full name a while


L: This is, his full name is William Lonnie Revels.

Page 15

B: Uh huh, Well he certainly is an active person and um, so very

broad and well informed and um. ..

L: You know I'm a Democrat and um, you know all Democrats

are good people, good Democrats but um, the ,._

I'M t that this brother-in-law of mine, He's a

Republican. But um, you know, I kind of feel a little bit obli-

gated toward him for two or three reasons. Umphe had wanted'to know

what I was going to do to help him with his campaign, so I

promised him that I'd help to get a little money to h}k run

his campaign because you know, it does take money to finance a

campaign for television advertising and newspaper and etc. So

um, I got out and contacted some friends of mine, got him up

a little money and took to him. And some of the people were

fc2-4LI n me about this, you know, a good Democrat out

collecting moneia Re ublican running in Gilford County. AdPXA

I told them I had three or four reasons. The first was that un,

I married his sister. Another reason wa he married my

cousin, and the third reason I finished High School with him,

But the primary reasih and the best reason is that he's another

good Indian.

B: Well I um, I'm glad to see t-at politics is taking this um,

kind of turn myself, XI ')I think um, the trend .

and this is a national trend, maybe even a statewide trdnd

at least, if people vete more, don't you think, now for the

personality than they do for the party they're not

or in other words the party is still in tact, the parties are

Page 16

still in tact. But the personality of the person do you

think they are that's more important now that it used to be?

L: It certainly is Lew. Um, It's good to have, in fact competition is

great. This is what has made this nation, competition. And it's

good to have a two-party system. And um, my philosophy of, um,

politics is this, it doesn't make. irregardless of what

his race, creed, or color or his party affiliation, if he's

capable and can get the job done, then he's my horse, I'll ride


B: Right. Well, that's certainly a good philosophy. And, um, I

think it's, um, it's great that we're we are getting away
from just blindAafiliation. I mean, youknow, just voting for

people because they identify with one certain group, one certain

party or one certain rellgous sect or, it never occurred to me to

be this sound basis, but um, I think, dp you think our

people are being -_ informed on the matter of politics

now they had been in the past?

L: They certainly are Lew, in fact um, I'll say even five years ago,

I could not have won the election that I won, in fact I don't

that I would have stood a chance, but there is more of an

awareness among the Indian people, especially relative to politics

than there ever has been. Um, we had, um, I don't know how many

meetings we had, organizational meeting s, we must have had

twenty five of um, but not only in my district but there

was meetings in all the districts and all the precincts where there

are predominately Indians throughout the county. And um, the

Page 17

theme of the talk was politics. You know, um, let's send

somebody to this office, let's send somebody to that office.

In fact Lew, I think that one day we're going to have a member

of the House of Representatives from the Indian people here in

Robetson County. Not just from Gilford County but also here in

Robelson County. Because, let's face it, if we ever get the

people registered to vote and we can get 'em back to the poles,

then there's no reason why we can't be um, successful in our

endeavors to get some. to get representation in various offices,

and this is the only way ASSe- we are going to be heard.

In other words, as long as you're on the outside looking in

you don't stand too nuch of a chance. You've got to get some-

body on the inside where they can help with the policy making.


B: Um huh. I've aften said that um, being. .. living in a county

like this one with three racesiwhere those three races were so

nearly equal that no race is really too much the majority.

Um, it seems to me that t is is an ideal county for the practice;

of um, um, m, fb(rCS. and fair representation and all

that. And um, do you see it that way. do you see this county

as a challenge for the true practice of democracy? You know,

the true representation, and and do you think we'll ever

achieve that goal?

L: Lew I think if we um, working toward that end, I can't give you

the exact registration figures now, you know, there's been

a number of people that's been registered during this period

of registration for this year, but um, January of 1972, I'm

Page 18

talking about now, the county as a whole, there were more

whites registered than there were Indi; is and Blacks combined.
So, you see, assuming that let's say that all the whites will

go to the poles and vote, and vote for a white candidate, then the

Blacks and the Indians wouldn't have a chance of gaining a seat in,

on the County Commision board or the Board of Education or any

other office in Robetson County. So, um, the fact that we do

have two members on the Board of commissioners, we also will have

two or the Board of Education. This is evidence that this is

being achieved what we were talking about. 'racticing true

democracy, I think that we um, we'll reach that soon, if not


B: UH huh. Well, that's great. I. this is one of the thing

that makes it great to live in Robefson, instead of going else-

where and running away from our problems. We're trying to solve them

and I think this. Do you think this is true of all three


L: I believe so. I think so Lew. I have no reason to believe


B: We certainly have made progress and um, there have been

several areas um, you know, in which all three groups have worked

together and this ': been very encouraging to me. Um, during

the past year or two years or three years or however much time

it was But it I long to see and I imagine you feel the

same way, long to see the time come when um, (44 'i4,l4

Page 19

county can endorse a project, and go to work and get it done and

it may become one county some day. Do you think it might?

L: believe 3O Well this is um, certainly would be a long

range goal, but I think that hhis is certainly possible, its

feasible to think of it and I don't see why it couldn't become

a reality.

B: That's that's certainly very optimistic and I feel that way

too. I think we have, I just said, so much to be thankful

for and the changes, this is a changing county and yet you don't

find as much resentment abo,.t these changes, it seems to me, as

you do in some other parts of the country. Um you know, where

civil rights um, um, changes took place and um, it seems that the

change is taking place, in'other-jords in this county, have been

very orderly up to date, I mean to this date. Um, it in other

words you haven't had -&e rioting and that sort of thing. Um, (

'E, +r ) everybody certainly can't be happy about a

change. It seem that the people in this county are more or less

resigned to the inevitability of the change. Do you see it that way?

L: Well this is true Lew, You know, um, it's only been in recent

years that we've been able to get any Indians into positions

of leadership and to elected offices. Um, I'm inclined to

believe that um, prior to us being able to get these people into

positions of leadership, that the whites in the county kind of,

um, you know, they feared the ability of an Indian to be able to

function properly in these positions of leadership. But um, I

think since we've been able to get these people into these positions,

that we've proven to them, you know, tteA we do havpeople that

Page 20

have ability to perform as well as the white. And this has told

the whites that, well, the: aren't such bad people afterall. They

can, all they need is a chance. You know, we now have um, a tax

supervisor in the county that is an Indian. This is the first time

that the minorities have ever had a person that's been the head

o:3 a department in the county. And um, certainly I think that

this young man who is our Tax Supervisor is very capable. In

fact, um, I have talked with all three races about him and it seems

that um, everybody has nothing but praise I vave not heard a

negative compliment against him, He's able to do the job just as

well as any body else that's ever handled it. And um, this. .

things like this Lew, is what is bringing about these changes.

It's made the white man aware that, um, we've got to work together

as a team in order to accomplish the goal.

B: And um, you-say then that the integrity of the people who .

the Indians who are in these places of responsibility is all

important in helping the people to realize we, um, we can operate

fairly and without prejudice and um, to the advantage of every-

body, I'm not saying this very well, know, ( 41


L: Well this is trueLew, you know itd.-P( var ) important

that um, if we, let's say run a candidate for office it's very

important that we run somebocd',jho is qualified, who is capable

to handle the job. Because, You know, there's always that possibility

that he can be elected and certainly if he is -'lected, and is not

able to produce when he gets in there, this um, lessens the chances

of anybody else who wants to run for the sameoffice,,you see.

Page 21

B: Yeah. Well, that's a very practical thing then isn't it? WE've got

to do some convincing and proving ourselves and let People kno'-

that just because we're an Indian this doesn't mean that we're

going to treat you -:fairly if you belong to another group. Um,

you probably would learn over backwards to be fair and honest and

( oV V2e OtC ) in all our dealings. Ur, for ft'

peoples of these groups re concerned, don't you think?

L: This is true and ur, you know, I've heard some of the Indian

people make the statement that um, it didn't make any difference

who the Indian was. If he was running for office, what his

qualifications were they would support him. I can't follow that

philosophy Lew, if the man's not qualified then um, I couldn't

support. If there were two candidates running and one was White,

and the other was Indian, I'd vote for the White man if I thought

that he was the better man. If I didn't think that the Indian

was qualified I couldn't support him. Because um, that person

is not only going to be representing me when he goes into office,

he's goong to be representing all three races. Certainly we want

people in office that are able to represent the people, that are

able to get the job done.

B: All the people.

L: That's right, regardless of what his race is.

B: Well I I agree with that philosophy and um, I hope all our

people will come o see this and not do every-thing on a purely

racial basis. Although we've been um, frustrated for so long, that there

may be a tendency to do this. Um you know, support a manbecause

Page 22

he belongs to our group or something. But um, it's certainly

encourqing and um, this is t e best time to be alive, I t ink,

right here in Roberson county, don't you?

L: Yes, this is certainly the time to try to accomplish some of those

things that we have been trying to accomplish for so many years.

Because, as I stated before, the togetherness among the people

is better than it's ever been.

B: Right. And um, you've been active in so many areas and um, as I

said a while ago, you um, you're a doer and every body seems to

recognize you I. you're a great asset not only to our people but

to oir County and to our state. And um, I certainly wish you all

the success in the world ( / i ^ c V tally

because I, I know tA^o /A Af(times when you ur, have to

make some very trying decisions and you find your-self alone,

maybe nobody but you and the good Lord and I know you'll do the

right thing.

L: This is true. c,; / ) i

B: And um, do you see. did you attend the Cii lights here

(,hs 144f s^- /C)?

L: I was able to attend on Friday night Lew, You know they had it

Friday night and also all day saturday, but um, I was only able

to attend friday night, because on saturday I had to go to a

VFW Convey'ion up in Greensboro, so I was not able to attend


B: Uh huh. Were you impressed with this, um, with the way the people,

the orderlyness of this hearing and um, everybody, um, nobody

got angry that I know of um, every body was very calm and discussed

Page 23,

problems, um, very calmly. This impressed me, and I was wondering

if that partimpressed you.

L: It certainly did Lew, and I think that his is um, this is goo{,

this Civil Rights Commission has really brought tolife some of

the problems that exist, I'm talking about the problems of the Indian

people that the whites were really not aware of. I mean, we've

got problems that the Whites are not aware that we've got. I think

this is just one of the things that the Commission has done, is to

bring to light some of those problems, and um, then there's no

way that you're goong to solve this problem. So, um, and we have

got problems that we can't solve alone. It's going to take

cooperative effort. . . . .

B: This is side two of the interview with Mr. Bobby Dean Locklear.

I believe you got caught at the end of the tape in the middle of

the sentence. Do you remember what that was?

L: Yes, as I was saying that, um, these problems that we've got is

the only way that we can solve them is cooperative effort abong

all three races. Um, just like, you know, we mentioned, that i%

we've got a ax Supervisor who is an Indian this is Mr. James Jacobs,

better known to ue nffocti6natily as Pete Jacobs and as I said

he is doing an outstanding job and of course the only way that he's

able to do this is cooperation from all three races. BEcause you

know the. either race can make it hard on him,." cooperation

is. .. A ( ni1 $ is the name of the game.

Side 2
Page 24

B: Right .well in all fairness, um, he. .. I don't suppose he could

have been appointed if we didn't have some goodwill among all races.

Do you think?

L: Well this is true. You know, he got this position aeer as a result

of an appointment by the county Commissioners, and you know we've

got a in other words I haven't taken office yet, won't take

office until December December fourth I'll be sworn in, but"

at the time he was appointed there was a board of seven and um,

six of these were white and one Indian. So, certainly if there

hadn't been tg cooperation on this board,he could've never have

gotten this appointment. Because, he um, a vote from three

whites, and a vote from one Indian. So, this is, this cooperation

at its bedt.

B: Well I I certainly agree and I'm glad you mentioned that

because ur, we do want to corner both sides .. um it (Iri 7t

me sometimes if I .ou know, 'I think of prejudice as being

a three-way street in this county. You can find it among any group
you know, or you can find fair people among any group. So, um, this

certainly proves that um, if if the white people hadn't had

some goodwill toward the Indians, he would not have been there, probably.

Cause there are many plus things as well as negative things um, and I

think it's only fair to refer to these things and um, certainly this

is a commendable thing because no Indian or Black has ever held that

position before:

L: This is true.

Side 2
Page 25

B: Um, How 'bout um, I know you're um, you're active in Church life

aren't you?

L: Um, not as much, Lew, as I would like to be. I am not Not

a christian person and, of course jou know, not being a Christian

I couldn't be as active in the church as I could be if I were a

christian. I do go to Sunday School and I like to go tL these

gospel sing in fact I plan to go to a gospel singiP tonight.

And I enjoy this. But other than est attending Sunday School,
and going to these gospel singe', I'm not active in the church

like in Sunday School teaching, :.u know, things like this.

B: Uh huh. for the sake of those outside the area, you know, um,

maybe we should explain um, what you mean when you say you're not

a christian. You mean that you're not a professing active

professing christian? .d believe in christian( )

L: Right, right. I do believe yes,Definitely!

B: and you're certainly christian in this respect.

L: yes.

B: o but um, this is a distinction that the young lady brought

to my attention you know the other day, she said"Lew in this

county you're either saved or you're not saved, you're either

Christian or you're not hristian." And um, in the part of the

country where I come from, it. it isn't this way. ( - f

ieAje- A/l- ). .But, because I know you

I you follow a good sound christian principles and you

believe in -2. "- things. And um, do you think our churches

are very effectivee in um, bringing about these changes, do you

Side 2
Page 26

think we're getting some help from the churches?

L: Oh, definitely Ldw. During my campaign, um, of course you know, it

was I don't know whether you say, it's a strange thing, but

anyway, the Indians have a tendency. not just a tendency, they do,

separate politics and religions, in that if it's um, if it's

something that's um, politically oriented, then you don't take it

to the church. Whereas the Blacks i'. the county, I'm not that

familiar with% how the Whites handle this thing, but the Blacks in

the county, they do not try to separate their religion and politics.

In fact, while I was campaigning I made several visits to Black

churches where, you know, I spoke and was um, was introduced and

then spoke to the people. And um, I think that I got quite a bit

of support this way, the fact that I attended these churches and um,

worshipped with 'em.. .

B: Well, in the past it seems that our political activities took part

through the church, I mean school communities, whether than church.

But now, that, uj, we're getting integrated schools and so forth,

do you think the trend might possibly change and that we might um,

that the church might become the center eventually instead of the


L: Um, well I would certainly hope so Lew, but um, once again I would

have no. I don't have any reason to believe that it will be

because we've got a. a unique group of people that we the

Indian people are a unique group and um, just well, as I see it

right now, it's um, it's certainly going to take a miricale to change

our church peoples thinking on this thing. They j u s t d o n t

see that um, politics and religion should mix. Although um, the

Side 2
Page 27

younger generation looks at it differently from the older generation

Who now W, let's say control the position of leadership in the church.

But um, maybe in the years to come, this picture will change. I

certainly hope so.

B: Yes,I do too. I maybe it'll come about through necessity. You

know they say necessity is the father of invention. Um, I'm sure they'll

continue the function, one way or the other. I've been interested

to see that club houses have gone up in some areas, you know and

maybe the political life ic. taken care of in the club houses, like

a community center and things like this. But this is an interesting

point that our people do separate politics and religion and you're

the first person I've interviewed who has um, noted that, but it's

certainly true. I'm glad you did. but um, I know you're optimistic

about the future.

L: Well, this is true. I certainly hope that the churches All get um,

more involved in the political process, because you know, the best

way for evil to triumph is for the good to do nothing. So if our

good church people don't get involved, then it's going to make

it that much harder on t3:ose who are involved.

B: Uh huh. I think we havy a notable exception to this a-d m

t (e /4t i dPL .... 1 the work that they've been

doing. Um, are you aware of the Methodist church program?

L: .es, um I suppose Lew, one of the t':ings that you're talking about

is um, the fact that the Indians were funded through the United

Methodist Church Conference for a voter registration among the

Indian people. In fact, we were funded with a grant of twenty

thousand dollars and this money was to be used primarily for

Side 2
Page 28

voter registration, voter education among the Indian people, although

the Blacks got the same thing. And um, this was certainly an asset

to me in my endeavor to become, um, a County Commissioner because,

um, what we were able to do was to take some of this money and pay

some of the people in the area where I ran or the expenses that

they incur ed as a result of, you know, trying to get the people

to the jaa -to register and also trying to get the people back to

the pAs to::e election day to vote.

B: UM huh, well maybe, um maybe things will keep developing and um,

eventually um other registration is a problem in this county

among minorities. I know, particularly the Indians, because in the

past it has been very difficulty um,Our people were so discouraged

that .is(. didn't actually feel that it did any good when they

voted. And all that's changed within the lastwo or three years

don't you think?

L: There 's no doubt about that, Lew. I know that, um, let me use the

township where I live as an example. Um, of course, I guess this is

um, true all across the nation, but in previous years there has

been many elections that were won that, you know, the planning

was done in the smoke filled rooms. In other words, um you can

go to a township and contact four or five people and um, get them

to say, well, I'm on your side, and that's the extent of the campaigning

you had to do in that area, you know, you win the election if you

got those foru or five people on your side. But um, it's not this

way anymore, it takes organization and teamwork. You can't go to

three or four people. I know the election that I was involved iin

Side 2
Page 29

in the township that I lived in, the four or five people in the past

has been able to, you know, say how this election would come out.

I mean that they could influence enough people, you know to carry

an election. Well, um, Lew, I didn't have either of those four or

five people o' my side. I had the people involved that really,

active involved now, that had never even gone to the polls before,

they hadn't -even registered. But we got them registered got them

involved, in other words, I worked with, what we call the grass

roots people. I didn't work with the, let's say, the upper (2C-iela

B: Right. well that's a good that's a good way to operate, I

think. It certainly worked in your case didn't it?

L: Yes, I did a lot of, um, handshaking Lew, I in fact, I

worked day and night. Um, I guess I'M really thankful that um, my

wife didn't divorce me. Because I certainly divorced her during

that period of time. I was gone day and night, knocking on doors

and shaking hands.

B: Right that's certainly great. I um, I think that in the

United Methodist, um, this was a help, wasn't it, I mean, 1L

(sL Ji *f 0 Do you have any idea how many extra people

we've got registered, between this election, I mean this primary

and the last one?

L: Well Lew, it's kind of hard to keep figures in my mind, but um,

let me go back to the precincts from where I live. When I announced

my candidacy, we had five hundred and sixty-four people registered.

And um, on election day, we had seven hundred and sixty-two people

registered. Which means that we added approximately two hundred to

Side 2
Page 30

the books there. Now .

B: at's a dramatic increase isn't it?

L: Yes, and I, you know we talked about the PembroJe JC's and what an

assel that these young men can be to a community. The first official

day of registration in my precinct, I took seven members from the

Pembroke JC'S um, with me to that area, and um, they took their cars

and we set up a in other words we were organized Lew. We set

up a little organization with these JC's and$ 560 lf 10

alright now, let's use the name John, alright John, let you take

um, secondary road fifteen fifteen and fifteen twenty two and you're

goin to be responsible for every family on these two roads, see)

you're gonna stop at every home, aoe ___ ____

there that isn't registered and um, the first day that we did
this, we added one hundred and four people to the registration


B: Oh, that's great.

L: UM, the following saturday, which was official registration day,

we didn't only pull from that precinct, but we pulled from the

neighboring precinct, which is also in the Red Springs district

from which I ran, And uxp, we could do this because we had a

roving registrar which means that she was bble to go anyplace

in the county at any time and register a person. And thai day,

we added two hundred and fifty-two, if I recall correctly, to the

books. .nyv:', this was certainly um, on my side, I would say that

this attributed to my being elected. The fact that we registered

so many people and got these people and got these people back to

the polls. In fact, in this, to show you what kind of organization

Side 2
Page 31

we had, there are, I believe um, maybe you can correct me on this,

is there 39 predincts that we have in Robefson Couty?

B: Something like that.

L: Something like this. Anyway, u4 registration figures as of today,

showed that um, my precinct has the highest number, percentage wise,

we have the greatest per-centage of registered voters, of the eligible

people to register and vote than any other precinct in the county.
And also, um, If I remember correctly, we voted a greater percentage

of the registered voters in the um, May primary than any other

precinct because we registered, not registere:, but voted 79. well

rounded figures 80% of the registered vote. And this is um, I don't

care where it is in the US, this is good in any election if you can

vote fifty. um, eighty percent of your registered votes.

B: Oh, yes. If you can get that many of 'em, that's certainly .

well it does take a lot of hard work and um, and a lot of team work

and it seems to me tiBt our people are awakening generally.

Do you think so?

L: Oh, definitely. They're wide awake Lew, wide awake, waiting for

that next opportunity.

B: If we can just keep them awake.

L: That's right.

B: Our people, it seems to me are, are a little, they're easy-going,

good natured and they. .. they accept things as they are until they

really get aroused. And then when they get aroused, they really

go all the way out. How 'bout the Lumbfa? Bank? Um, c71''k--

S jS (t a great asset?

Side 2
Page 32

L: UM, I definitely think so Lew, well you know we um, to my knowledge,

we have a bank that is um, Indian owned and operated and to my

knowledge, this is the only one of it's kind in the US, I believe.

Um, although we do have um, a banker that is um, a white man, we

just about had to do this because te did not have an Indian that .

that had the training, you know, we did not have -ne that was capable.

But um, we have, as you know, we sold stock to Indians and we sold

a few stock to some white people and to some Black. But um, we've

got a board of directors that um, are all Indians and this is just

great Lew, I nean, why should'nt we have um, an Indian bank.

B: Right, .we've covered a lot of ground and um, um, you know,

it certainly has been enlightning to talk with you. It just occurred

to me, when um, we had to pause briefly and I got a drink of water,

um, that we're using this office, this newspaper office for the first

time, it seems for official business and um, we do consider this

to be official business because we are hoping to make this a newspaper

for the Indians LiI their friends. We don't want to exclude any

friends. Or people, um, we don't want to be that narrow, it's. .

but it is an Indian newspaper and um, C lA A A fA- *t

( o you have any impressions bout what we've done

so far? You were kind enough:to meet with us last night, and we dis-

cussed some things and came over here to this office for the first

time. Um, we've got um, historical um, things on the wall, it's um,

located over here on seve/eleven, and um, I'm just wondering if um,

you have any ideasOThis is a beginning sort of, and it was my dream

that we make this also Ithat we 1 DChC cS j

an information center fdr the Indians of the are, and of course

Page 33
Side 2

this would take some time, but you can look around in the office and

see um, any Indian atmosphere or anything like that?

L: Well, there's Indian written all over the walls Lew, and it gives

me a .a grand 6nd glorious feeling to think that um, we may be

able to make this thing become a reality, that we can have a

newspaper that is, let's say, Indian-oriented. This willgive the

Indians a voice of their own through the news media. You know, in

the past um, it's not been always true that the news relative t: the

Indians has been objective. And um, certainly this will give us an

opportunity to publish thhse things that um, are relative to the

Indians. without any biased opinion. And um, I certainly hope

that we'll be able to make this become a reality. I think, that we've

started off on the right track to the fact that you are um, a

poet and a writer, and you're going to be the editor of this news-

paper. This si another asset on our side, that we can have an

Indian editor and the fact that we're going to sell, hopefully,

to sell all these subscriptions that we anticipate being able to

sell and working through the ten Indian chapters to sell these

subscriptions. I can't see any reason why it ought not to become a

reality. And I'm just feeling enthusiastic about the whole


B: Well, certainly appreciate that, and um, I'm praying with all

my heart that it will be, because it seems to me tjat any community

without a voice, is a very ad community, you know? ffil f/ y

stand point of communications, we have am, been v)

haven't we?

Side 2
Page 34

L: We certainly hqDe Lew.

B: If we can just keep our people informed as to what is going on in

their interest or against their interest, um, I believe this is part

of the democratic process and if you don't know what's going on, you

don't really know how to vote, it seems. And um, we certainly

appreciate your interest and help and cooperation and um, we're

fraying that it will be a success.

L: Well, this is true and um, you know, the majority of the Indian

people are interested in the happenings among the Indians. We've

had so many things that have taken place in the past year or so.

You know, we've got a um, an Indian who is a member of the Indian

Claims Commission in Washington. We had an Indian '.who attended

the Republican Convention National Convention, in um, Miami

Beach, Florida, this is um,Mr. John Robert Jones k also

had an Indian that attended the Democratic National Convention in the

same location, who was Mr. Adolph is was first

Indians, Lew. We had an Indian attend both of those. And you know,

it's um, it's good to say you got somebody on both sides of the

fence. and um, you know, we've got a as we said, we've got

an Indian Tax Supervisor, who just had an Indian election to the

County Board of Commissioners and another Indian elected to

the County Board of Education and um, the same Indian who attended

the Republican Convention, Mr. John Robert Jones, is also, he's not

just the Chairman of the Board of Elections, Robetson County Board

of Elections, but he is an Indian Republican Chairman of the

Robeeson County BOardQf Elections fLtT1 / ai&4 al

the difference.

Side 2
Page 35

B: Oh yeah. . Right, and um, this caused quite a stir when

this happened too, didn't it?

L: Yes, it was um, really Lew, I don't know exact;y what happened,

you know, I read the paper .

B: Well, I don't either, except what the newspaper carried, I wasn't

there. But um, I know that it created a lot of interest and so on,

but um, even so, it seems that the changes that have come haven't

caused hard, deep down, bitterness, it seems to me and I'm

wondering if you think this is true.

L: I think so. I don't think that there's any hostile feelings um,

um, from any one group toward another because of this, I

really don't think so.

B: Uh huh, you know it will be something of a miracle if nobody felt bad

about any change and I'm certainly hoping that what ever changes

take place in the county, will take place in an orderly fashion

Without violence and this sort of thing. Um, which um, .

I know we have been sitting on a powder keg for a long time, it

seems, and um, I'm hoping that we'll get safely over any strong

feelings and get on with the business of being citizens and living,

solving our problems, and considering other .groups as well and um,

there are times when I'm a little pessimistic and um, but every

thing looks good now, doesn't it?

L: Yes, I think now is the time and if not now, when and if not us,


B: Right. That's a good way of putting it. And I certainly have

enjoyed this interview. It's been most informative am, .

Side 2
Page 36

are there any other things that you would like to ask?

L: No Lew, I think that we've covered the subject pretty well .

the subjects pretty well. I don't know that there's anything that

I ought to Jk and..

B: Well it's certainly been a joy and it's been host informative and

um, I certainly wish you (fW e 0 b in

your office and gge &ljr cu'tN f )continue to progress

as a matter of fact, I hope this not only for our people, but for

all the people in the county. Um, as you know the promotion of

understanding, human understanding is something that's always

been close to ijf heart and even when I have to write a story for a

newspaper of a negative nature, when you know, there's something

bad happens and its my IO to report this. t

a position sort of, as they say, "damned if you do and damned if

you don't," you know.

L: Um huh.

B: The reporter has to report it. Um, I, I'm glad that there

hasn't been more bad things happened. We've had more good news

to report than bad news.

L: This is true, you know lately we have Lew. This is great .

B: You know, there was a newspaper, you know, within the past few

months, um, which was eStablished on the principle that it would

print only the good news, and un, the last account I've heard of this,

about a month ago, it had gone broke. so I guess it takes both

sides but it certainly is a joy to report good news and um, although

we know it's as you said about the problems, if we if

we're not able to bring the problems before the people and let them

Side 2
Page 37

khow about then then there will be no way of anybody solving .

and I'm afraid this has been true of the American Indian generally.

UM, the general public just hasn't known how rough things were for

the American Indian generally, and I believe now that they are

learning more about this in communications, um, including

all those things, um, that the future not only the Lumbfli

Indians, but of the American Indian in generallyliJ rFi' C1

^, e4 becE@!, in the history of his country. I

believe v"l. ? + .tfr 4

Again I say, thank you very much for being with us. .

L: And, thank you Lew. I certainly enjoyed the interview and um, I

hope that um, I've been able to say some things that may be

enlightning to anybody who may be interested in learning about the

LumbU Indians.

B: Well you certainly have# at you contributed to the program.aW

vas-tremendous and we appreciate it so much. And Thank You so

much. .

L: Thank You.

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs