Title: Interview with Ronald Locklear
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007078/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Ronald Locklear
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
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: UF00007078
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 91A

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

Copyright, 2005, University of Florida.
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DATE: MAY 14, 1973

I: This is May 14th, 1973. I am Lew Barton, interviewing for the Doris
Duke American Indian Oral History Program under the auspices of the
University of Florida's History Department. I'm in my home in Pembroke,
North Carolina, and with me is a student from PSU...right? Uh, would you
please tell us your name?

S: Ronald Craig Locklear.

I: Ronald Craig Locklear...that's L-o-c-k-l-e-a-r, and this is C-r-a-i-g?

S: Yes.

I: For your middle name. Uh, would you tell us who your paren ts are?

S: ___Locklear, my father, and uh, my stepmother is Renise


I: Uh huh...uh...do you live out at Prospect, I'm wondering if uh...?

S: Yes, close to prospect.

I: Uh huh. I know your father very well, which is why I asked you this.

Do you have any brothers and sisters?

S: I have a sister, and she's married now.

I: What's her name?

S: Nancy Locklear.

I: Uh huh...how old is she?

S: She's about twenty.

I: Uh huh...I should ask you your age...I sort of hesitate to ask girls, but

fellows usually don't mind.

S: Well, I'm nineteen.



I: Now are you a senior or what?

S: Well, I'm just getting started, I'm a freshman. I'll be a sophomore

when it starts back again.

I: Uh huh. That's great. Where did you get your high school education?

S: In Prospect.

I: Uh huh. Well great, 'cause you and I got a high school education from the

same place. You ought to be a great student. I'm prejudiced. Uh, so there

are in your family...there are uh...?

S: Well, there's...I have a...a half-brother. He's about seven or eight years

old now. He's in second grade. His name is Mark.

I: Uh huh.

S: And then there's Keith and my sisters baby, and he's about two...two or

three years old...Jason.

I: Um huh. Uh, tell me something about Prospect community...it's very inter-

esting isn't it? Uh, do you think it's different from some of the other

Indian communities?

S: Well...

I: How would you describe it?

S: It might be a little bit different, but I think it's typically...typically

about the same.

I: Uh huh...but it is about the center of the Indian territory. Isn't it

roughly about the center?

S: Well as...as far as my understanding is it seems to be about the center.

I: From Prospect you can travel miles in almost any direction without finding

any families other than Indian families...is that true?




S: That;s right.

I: And uh, there's a sort of love that...you know...for the community,

even when we move away from Prospect. I don't know if this is true of

all the...it's probably true of the other communities too, but I

certainly know about it, being from Prospect myself. And uh, I think

we're a little bit proud to be Prospectors...isn't it?

S: Yes, I...I'm proud of it.

I: Uh, what do you plan to do when you graduate from college?

S: Well, I haven't made any definite plans. I just recently decided what I'd

major in. I figured biology would be the best area for me.

I: It seems that biology is a wide opened field now...doesn't it?

S: Yes, it has more opportunities for a job whenever you graduate.

I: Have you always lived uh, in this community all of your life?

S: Ever since I was about seven years old.

I: Uh huh. And...how...you don't notice any difference...much difference

though between prospect and Pembroke do you?

S: Well...other than the fact we were always kind of rivals at things back

years ago...that's about the only difference.

I: Do you think this is a healthy rivalry, or do we take it to extremes


S: Well now, it seems to be more of a healthy rivalry, but in the past

I...I can't understand too much about what happened before my days.

I: Uh, I remember how hard we wanted to win in baseball, basketball, any-

thing. And I seem to recall a young man we had in the community who

didn't actually go to school because he was retarded. But he was big




I: ...and husky, and if he ever got the football, nobody could stop him.

So, we'd sneak him in, and uh, if he got the ball, he really made a

touchdown. Sometimes he would go in the wrong direction though...we

had to guide him sometimes. But eventually I think they got uh, you

know, teams we played found out about this, and they ruled him out.

Uh, Prospect is great fun. Uh, so uh, you're just getting...uh, you,

you...you've just got your feet on the ground good this year?

S: Yes, that's about right.

I: I shouldn't say that really, because the freshman year is usually the

most difficult year, and if you've survived the freshman year...you've

got it made.

S: I hope so.

I: I think this is the general attitude of all the students. Uh, but of

course when you first enter this is not always apparent. You don't know

this always, but I think this is generally true. Uh, you have pretty

heavy courses. Although they're mostly the basic courses in your fresh-

man year. I think you're on safe you know. How were your grades this


S: Well I come out a little bit above average...not much more than above.

I: Well, that's good...that's good. Because as I said, to me at least, the

freshman year is pretty rough. Uh have you observed anything that needs

changing around the university. This is pretty explosive...it's a pretty

explosive question. Uh, don't answer anything you don't want to


S: Well...




I: Just say you don't have any comment or something like that

S: I have a small comment about it, but not much. It's just...among our

Indian students that's out there, we need more participation in events.

There's too many of us that just feel that it's not necessary. We just,

we just figure we need to just go to school, learn what's in our lessons,

and go back home, and that's it. But I...I think there should be more to

it than that.

I: Uh, is there a feeling that we...our students wouldn't actually have a

fair chance with...same as the other students do you think, or is it

sort of a lack of self-confidence or what?

S: Well we...we almost stand a fair chance, and I think in years to come we

might be even a little bit ahead. But we're just going to have to try,

and keep trying.

I: Well Lumbee Indians like other Indians are known for their skill at

athletics...for their ability at athletics, and I think uh, some of the

best athletes in the county come from the Prospect area. Do you yourself

play ball?

S: Well, I never was much good at any kind of ball you know, I like something

like football now I could...I could play football pretty good because,

well...I have a temper, and in basketball it's a non-contact sport. And

if you bump into someone, or hit them or something like that, you're in


I: Right.

S: In football...I loved football to begin with, and I could play it

because...if I got mad at someone, that...that's what the coach wanted,




S: ...he wanted me to get mad.

I: Uh huh.

S: And the only thing I had to do, was every time the ball was snapped, or

whatever you would call hiked I reckon is the more proper term for it.

Then I could go ahead and hit whoever I wanted to hit, and that's what

I'd do.

I: Work off your frustrations....

S: There you go.

I: Well, that's great. Uh, football is a great game. What other things did

you enjoy...do you enjoy, a few little sports...how about swimming?

S: Well I...I love to swim, but really I can't participate in sports too

much now because I had an injury awhile back, and that...it restricts

me...I mean I can't participate anyhting there where I might accidently

get my head hurt in any way.

I: Uh huh...what kind of injury was this?

S: Well, it was an eye injury.

I: An eye injury. Was it in a car accident or something or a plane or what?

S: Well, it was at a party one night.

I: Boy!

S: It's kind of hard to explain.

I: Well, I think I understand...those things do happen once in awhile. It

happens to the best of us. Uh, do you think we have a...a tendency to...to

have uh, good old fashion rows once in awhile in our community...in the

entire Indian community?

S: Well, I'm not for sure, I...I better not say anything.




I: I was thinking particularly about a professor who was interviewed

recently, and we made remarks about that, and you know, we said...the

only thing that worries me is there's a lot of violence. I...I guess

there's violence everywhere.

S: I don't think we have anymore violence around here really than anywhere


I: I think Fayetteville is probably the most violent town in the state, and

I think they've got us a little bit. We came across something like that

at Quint. Uh, do you think uh, the Indians in the Prospect area are more

of what we call hard corp Indians, than some of the Indians on the

fringes, or would you rather not comment on that?

S: Well, I think they are all about really equal as far as I'm concerned.

You know, there's some everywhere, that just would rather, you know,

forget they're Indian, but that's...that's them, and I won't say anything

about them.

I: Uh huh...but that's not the general thing around Prospect is it?

S: Well, I don't know any particular group that would, or any person like


I: Uh huh. Do you think we're getting away from this? Uh, there was a time

when uh, for example, when it wasn't very popular to be known as an

Indian. And do you think this is uh...this feeling is disappearing, and

that there's more pride in Indianness among ourselves now?

S: Well among the majority, I think it is, but still there's a few that, well

say, if anything happens, I can always say that I'm white and they won't

question me.




I: Uh huh.

S: And that hurts me to know that people feel like that, but some people,

I've heard some say that.

I: Uh, they kind of use it as a possible escape hatch.

S: Yes.

I: Uh, how about prejudice, uh, have you encountered any anti-Indian prejudice

in this county?

S: Well, only a little bit. And uh, I couldn't really tell for sure whether

it was just prejudice, or just...their gen...a person's general outlook

on life. He might not just like people at all.

I: Uh huh. It's kind of hard to detect at times isn't it?

S: Yes.

I: It's hard to specifically say this is prejudice. Uh, do you think we've

made progress in that direction?

S: I think we've made some, but I...I think there's plenty a more room to


I: Uh huh. Uh, some of the people around Prospect uh, looked kind of bitter

about the desegregation plans...so-called desegregation plan in 1970. Uh,

do you think that uh, this resistance to the integration...so-called

integration plan was felt more keenly in the Prospect area perhaps, and

maybe in the Oxendine area, than in other areas of the county?

S: I think it was, because for one reason...it wasn't that we didn't want

other races coming to our school, I didn't mind that any...but the thing

is, there were a bunch of other Indian students that...that always come

to Prospect. They enjoyed coming to Prospect...they had friends there.




S: And then they were told they couldn't come to prospect any more.

I: Uh huh.

S: And that's what caused so much trouble.

I: In other words uh...we were enjoying the freedom of choice plan. Do you

think this was truly a freedom of choice plan...no pressure placed on

Indians, or blacks, or whites?

S: I didn't... I don't believe there was nay pressure placed. I mean like,

school was always fun then, but now...you know......it was a lot of

difference after, you know, a lot of other students that had been your

friends...they couldn't come back to Prospect anymore. They had to go

to Maxton, or they had to go to Red Planes..

I: Weren't there some sit-ins that lasted at Prospect during the whole year?

Students who were assigned elsewhere sat in on their classes for the

whole school year?

S: Yes we had a few.

I: I imagine that the number got smaller as the year wore on?

S: There were a few that just stayed on anyhow.

I: Um huh. Do you think there were parents who didn't send their children

back to school at all?

S: There might of been, I don't really know personally any families that did,

but there might have been.

I: Um huh. Umm...but in::recent weeks there was an incident near Prospect

church...uh, between Indians and...and policemen. This is very unusual for,

for our Prospect community as you know, but I didn't understand too much

about it, or what happened...do you know what happened out there that




S: Well I don't really understand it completely. I know they gathered together,

and I don't know really what the purpose of them gathering, but...my

feelings might be a little bit different than a lot of peo...other people.

Because I think, if they wanted to gather there...

I: When you say they, are you speaking about the Tuscarora group?

S: The ones that...yeah, the Tuscarora group, and well, all the people that

participated there.

I: Uh huh.

S: If they wanted to gather there, as long as they stayed where they were

at. Uh, they weren't causing any trouble that I heard, but I don't know,

I wasn't right there, so I can't verify anything. I think they had a right

as long as they didn't cause trouble, to stay there.

I: Uh huh...well uh, this is something that we've always taken for granted

in the Prospect community isn't it? I mean....

S: Yes, if we ever wanted to gather anywhere, I mean like...we'd go...

I: And the buildings were always opened to us, weren't they? As long as

it was uh, a constructive meeting. I imagine if we wanted to...if we

wanted to pitch a wild party, they might not have let them...let them

have a building for that, but that's about the only thing I can think

of...how about you?

S: Yes...that's all I could understand, but it just didn't make sense, how

come...I mean like plenty of times our churches had get to...you know,

have uh...special Sunday for eating or something like that. You know,

they'd have...fix great big meals and go overgto'the campus on school,




S: ...go in the gym and fix the food and eat in there.

I: Uh huh. It seems that we had a...or we like to think of it...maybe you

and I are a little bit prejudiced in our own direction.

S: Maybe we are.

I: It seems like we had a genuine community school, and a community school

spirit. And do you think this is one of the things that uh, people hated

to give up so badly?

S: That might have been it, but I can't really tell how some people feel,

you know.

I: Right...well we only know really when you come down to it about our own

feelings...how we feel personally. But uh, uh, how about the others, how

do you think Prospect compares with the other communities? We mentioned

some of the things I think...a strong sense of love for the community.

And uh, you know, sometimes people are a little bit surprised to learn

that there is a certain amount of rivalry, inter-community rivilry. And

perhaps this is a faulty thing. I can remember myself, when some of the

communities, uh...maybe one or two, went to extremes. If the guy came

from another community to date a girl in this community...they might get

a little huffy about it.

S: I've heard about a few cases like that.

I: I don't think we have too much of that now do we?

S: Well recently I haven't heard of any.

I: Do you think Prospect is a closer knit community than most of the Indian

communities in the county?

S: Well, I think so, because I'll tell you, it's...if you want to say any-




S: ...thing about a small community you can say it about Prospect. I mean

like, if something happens here, you'll hear it over there before, well

it won't take any length of time, I mean everyone knows everyone there

about, or with all their friends, it covers the whole community.

I: And everybody has a telephone down there.

S: Almost, and who doesn't...someone will go tell them about it.

I: Uh huh. Do you think Prospect will actually become a town some day?

S: I don't know. Well, the way people, or the way everything's going, I mean

there's so many more people than what there used to be. I think maybe

some day it might be a town.

I: If the population keeps increasing, there might be a time when everything

will just be a town.

S: That's the way I feel about it.

I: Along the highway...it seems. But uh...what would you like to change

about the county, or within the county, or at...at the university. I'm

not asking you too much about the university because uh...uh...I'm...I

recall in my freshman year, that I may have had the same kind of fear

that other students might have had. I would like to ask you about Old

Main. Uh, did you feel strongly attached to Old Main?

S: Well, I...I hated to see when it burned down. If there's any way possible,

I would like to see it restored.

I: Uh, there are many many buildings at PSU now, and this is fine...very fine

buildings, and they're getting named by different people. But I've noticed

one thing that seemed like a glaring omission to me, and that is that

there is no building on campus named for the father of Lumbee Indian




I: ...education, and who was also the father of PSU, aMI|go (Vki, lla ,

the man. Uh, I wonder if the students ever think about this?

S: Well, I'll tell you that. That was kind of like back before most of the

students that are out there now...

I: Well, that's true.

S: It was before their time, and it's not discussed on cmapus, and therefore,

no one hardly realizes it.

I: Uh, do you thinkthis could be a worthy project for oral...for your

organization...you Indian organization?

S: Well, now that you've named it, and I'm going to be honest, this is the

first time that I've heard about it. But I don't know if we could have...if

we have enough power to really, you know, have a name...a name put-on a

building you know, but we could try.

I: Uh huh. Well, you never know until you try it. Sometimes one person can

do it. Uh, you know, he can start...start the ball rolling, and you've

got friends, and it,it gains power. Uh, I'm partial myself, because I,

you know, I studied our history pretty well over a long period of time,

and it seems to me that at a time when we had no-friends among white people.

This one white man stepped out, although it was very unpopular to be a

friend to the Indian people. Uh, it was Hamilton McMillan, who was a

lawyer, and he went to the General Assembly of North Carolina..:.stepped

out at this very time in 1864, and pleaded for educational facilities for

our people. And actually uh persuaded the General Assembly that we needed

education like other people. And uh, although he started in 1864, it

wasn't until 1885 that we actually got the schools. And the law which




I: establishes Pembroke State University was not passed until 1887. About

time? And it...it just seems this way to me, and he has always been a

favorite human being to me, and a great humanitarian. Uh, among other

things, he...he studied our history. He believed in the connection...our

connection with the lost colony...the so called lost colony...the English

coloniststiof 1587, who were, uh the first colonists from England to

remain permanently in America. Because these colonists never returned.

And this was thirty years before Plymouth Rock, twenty years before

James Town, so we've got a pretty glorious history. It's been pretty

well established, and by people...by all people who study our history

intimately, and studied the, uh, all the historical documents available,

and all the historical scholarship along those lines. But I'm...I'm

getting off on the wrong foot here. I want to encourage you to give us

your impression, but I wanted to inject that one footnote, uh, you know,

to explain Hamilton McMillan. Uh, do you think there would be any

opposition in the light of this. In other words, do;youhthink!they don't

know...to their...is...there isn't too much about him in...in the

university catalog, although I imagine there is a brief outline, historical


S: Well, I haven't...I haven't really noticed yet you know, so you need

enlightening. Unless someone did bring up to light, it would be a

it would never be known.

I: Uh huh. Well, perhaps you'll invite me to...to one of your meetings, and

uh, I can tell you some more about-it.

S: Well, the next time we have one...not for sure, but you know, during




S: ...summer school.

I: Uh huh.

S: Have to...things have to slack off during the summer.

I: It would have to be...it would pro...yes. It would be better perhaps,

uh, during the fall session...at that time. Uh, how about your dating

habits? Uh, have you decided you can afford a girl friend yet, and have

to study as much as you do or what?

S: Well studying, really, to me...college, you know, is easier than high

school was.

I: Is that right?

S: But uh, affording in the sense of money...I can't do it.

I: Uh huh...the money is a factor. Well, I guess it is with all of us, it was

with me too. Uh, but does it cost more do you think to date now, than it

did a few years ago. I don't mean jsut because of inflation, but...?

S: Well, I think it does. It might be because inflation. I mean like, if you

go pick up a girl now, and if you've got a car...which is one thing I

unfortunately have.

I: Unfortunately?

S: It drinks gas.

I: Uh huh...don't they all?

S: And gas is up too high. Like if I could pick up a girl, it used to be

maybe you could ride around a little bit. But if I don't go straight

somewhere, and straight back, I can't afford to, and if she wants...well,

I can almost afford to go to a movie...to go in the movie, but the thing

is, I've got to go the movie, and that's what costs me money.




I: Do you think maybe this is why some of the guys go to the Five Lakes

here in Pembroke?

S: Yes.

I: Have you ever heard of the Five...the Five Lakes?

S: I've heard of them, but I've never been there before, because I'm not

from around this....

I: I've heard explicitive about it...uh, this is the local lover's lane

isn't it...is that the way you heard it?

S: That's what I've heard. But I mean like, well, the last few nights I

met a girl...about two days ago, and uh, I picked her up after she got

off of work. And like I couldn't afford to go anywhere you know, because

it costs so much to drive around. But I mean like out where I stayed,

out in my part of the country around Prospect, and around in there...I

know plenty of places where I...well, not open places...I mean like there's

no dance halls, or places where you can go get something to eat after she

gets off of work you can't, so....

I: Uh huh...what time does she get off?

S: Well, she got early last night...she was off about eleven o'clock. But

that still wasn't...

I: Uh huh...and that's still too-late in this area?

S: Still was too late, and therefore, I just went out...out in the country

where I knew my way around.

I: Uh huh.

S: I stayed for about a half hour to an hour, and I figured I'd carry her on

home because today was Monday, and she had to be at school today.




I: Right, and uh, it does present a problem, uh, I guess economics is

connected with almost everything. Of course uh, young people are pretty

resourcefull when it comes to figuring out dating patterns and things

like this don't you think?

S: Yes, we find a way.

I: Oh ..... you know I've heard uh, sometimes you hear uh, criticism of

our young people uh, in a general sort of way.

S: Yes.

I: And I'm always partial to young people, and I sort of resent this because

I think we older people have good forgeters. You know, we forget what we

were like. And this is something I've tried not to do. I've purposely

tried not to forget the way I was when I young too. And uh, I suppose

this is why I get along so well with young people. Uh, they feel that I

understand them, and uh, while I don't understand everything, I...I hope

I understand a great deal. I...I know that we have many things in common,

and I...I haven't forgotten the way I was. I think young people haven't

gotten any worse, or any better, or do you think that...well, that they

could be better or worse, or...?

S: There's a difference of opinion between me and my father about that.

I: Is that right...it's interesting, tell us about it.

S: He'll read in the newspaper about, you know, every day almost, you hear

about someone getting shot, murdered, everything, you know.

I: Uh huh.

S: And uh, I haven't never in my life shot anyone, and I don't have any of

my friends that shot anyone.




I: Uh huh.

S: Really, anything around me that I know...nothing like that's happened.

But yet he can sit back, and he can tell me when he was young...a lot

more than anything I've ever done, and yet he says how wild we are

now-a-days. But I think...between all my friends, and what their fathers

tell them, I mean like those boys will get together, and we'll talk,

and that...that comes up sometimes. And among all my friends, all of us

can say what our fathers have done, but none of us can say much about

what we've done.

I: Well that's...I guess that's too bad isn't it. Well maybe we're get...

maybe we're getting somewhat away from that. Uh, do you think the

Indian families are inclined to be a little authoritarian?

S: Well, I believe...

I: Sort of like the...

S: We were a little bit more restrictive, but then in other ways we might

not be.

I: Uh huh.

S: On the children, is...I reckon that's the sense you mean of the way...?

I: Uh huh...yes.

S: Uh huh. I think we are, because...the way I was brought up...I mean like,

I was fifteen or sixteen years old, and I just then was able to date a

little bit. When I was a boy...I mean my father never has talked to me

about dating, but it wasn't often I got to leave the house. That's about

the way it went. And just until this year, about middle ways of the fall

semester, was I able to really get out very much. And this semester is




S: ...the first time he'd really just let me go.

I: Uh huh. Do you see a big difference between high school and college.

S: Well...in different ways I see a lot of difference...I mean in the

different ways.

I: Do you think uh, uh, you have a greater freedom of movement?

S: Yes, I do, in college.

I: Do you think you're put on your own in larger measure?

S: Because when I was in high school...you're in school all day, there's

-an instructor with you, and if you...or a teacher. If you don't...you

have to do what they tell you to do, and I mean from the time you get

there in the morning, until you get back home, you're really someone else.

You can't be yourself, you have to do what they want you to do.

I: And if you don't do it, they fuss at you until you do?

S: It can be more than fuss, they can send you home occasionally.

I: Uh huh.

S: But I never had much problem. I usually tried to do what they wanted me

to do.

I: Right. But it's not that way in college is it?

S: It's...you're kind of loose more often in college. I mean like, you go to

class, and you...you're out of class. You may have maybe an hour, and you

have almost a half of day, maybe five or six hours between your class. In

that period of time you don't have to sit, and let someone watch you, and

tell you when you can talk, and tell you when you can eat, and tell you

when you can get a drink of water...tell you when you can go to the




S: ...restroom. You're free, on your own.

I: Uh huh.

S: And uh...that makes a lot of difference. I mean when I got out of high

school, I said, "Gosh! no more school for me."

I: Um huh.

S: And then I had nothing else to do, so I'm going to...so I said well, when

I was able to I've got...got to go into college. And so far to me, I

think it's great.

I: Uh huh.And you're sur...a little surprised that uh, you like it as well

as you do?

S: Yeah. I mean when I got out of high school, I had no intentions of ever

coming to college. But just after I first got started, I said...ooh, I'd

go for ten years if I could. That's how much I like it.

I: Well that's good. How about recreational facilities at PSU now? I know

it's improved tremendously. Uh, don't you have a swimming pool, and

everything like this?

S: Oh yes.

I: How about uh...how about the students...uh, isn't there a students lounge

or something like this where you can play the juke box and dance?

S: Or get something to eat there.

I: Right.

S: Watch TV, shoot pool...different games. It's nice. I mean that's about the

best way that I can think to describe it.




I: You know that's great. So they're...these...these improvements are very,

these are tangible improvements. They are very important ones aren't they?

S: Yes, I think so.

I: Uh...how about discipline on campus? Uh, do you think it's unreasonable,

or do you think it's liberal, or do you think that it's conservative, or


S: That's one I don't know too much about. As far as discipline, I haven't

never even known it was there, because I do anything

wrong, I try not to do anything wrong. I've never had any problems, no

one has never said anything to me about anything I've done. In the

library a few times...oh, a few times in there, and it's never come on

me personally, maybe once or twice, and then I either get out or shut

up one. That's the way it was.

I: There was talking, and uh...

S: Uh huh.

I: Both talking back and forth? Well that happens I guess, uh, you know, not

only here, but all over. Uh, how about the attitude of the students

toward other students, I mean, I'm speaking of racial groups? Uh, are the

Indian...I've heard somebody say that the Indians, uh now this is what

somebody else from some other ethnic group has told me, and I'd like you

to tell me the truth. Do the Indians sort of isolate themselves from other


S: That's true.

I: How do you mean?

S: I mean we...we discuss that at our meetings sometimes.




I: Uh huh.

S: I mean like there's a student lounge that we just were talking about.

And it seems like the Indian students will congregate, or get together

mostly in the library. And that's a place to study.

I: Uh huh.

S: And the white students and the black students go to the student center,

and there's separation right there. I mean like it's coming out of our

intuition just the same as it's coming out of theirs...the student


I: Do you think that Indian students don't feel welcome at the student center;

that there uh, may be an unconscious feeling that they are not...not as

welcome as the others?

S: I think so, because...well, I've talked to some students about it since

I, you know, when it first come to me. Some one named me out, started from

there, I said well I'm going to get out and talk to some of those students

and say well let's go on over there, you knowyrand get involved. And, it's

ours, so why not use it. But they say, well, there's nothing but white

students over there, I don't want to go there. I'd rather stay here. You

just can't change their mind.

I: Do you think this comes from a fear of being snubbed, or something like


S: I think so. I think so.

I: Or maybe uh, from acknowledge that you're outnumbered?

S: Yes.

I: How about the black students, uh, they're in an even worse position than




I: ...the Indian students in that respect are they not?

S: They are, but it seems like...well, I just wish we had more Indians that

would get out and do just as much as they would, because you can go in

the student center and they're in there. I mean they're not...

I: They don't seem to feel uncomfortable the way an Indian would?

S: That's right. They do. If I go in there, I'm going to have a purpose to

go in there, and I caught myself at it several times. Like I'm just; -t

starting to say, I go in there, and I get what I'm wanting while I'm in

there, and I'll be back out.

I: Do you think some of this comes from force of habit.

S: I think so.

I: Or conditioning over the years?

S: Yes I think so.

I: Do you think that we have been told that we were inferior so much, or

shown by so many different ways of...of doing things, like uh, the white

only signs we used to have, uh, that excluded us in things like that, that

we've actually begun to believe that we're inferior?

S: Well, not really mostly because...well maybe so in some cases, but the

main thing is, an Indian student wants to be around other Indians. I mean,

white people. I mean I look at all people almost alike. But I mean like

uh...I like to be around people I know. And if they're...if I go in a

place and there's nothing but strangers there, I just get what I'm

wanting and get back out. And that's the way it is at the student center.

I don't know anyone in there.

I: Uh huh. You don't know...well, I can understand that. If I...that's very




I: ...reasonable, because uh, I mean this is the...this is the grounds for

the separation rather than racial. It's mostly because they're strangers

to you...is that right?

S: That's right.

I: Uh huh. That's a very interesting observation. Uh, do you dis...do you

discuss this in...in your club, and try to...?

S: We...we discussed it before a few times, but it seems like no matter how

hard we try to get out and get students to, you know, to have free time

to go on over to the student center, they still won't go.

I: Uh huh. Well I don't...do you have any idea as to how this might be


S: Well I reckon it...we'd just set it up. Well like each member of our

organization would have to participate in this. And it would have to be

some time whenever there wasn't going to be exams coming up or something

like that you know, we'd have some free time. And when we weren't in class,

it's just whoever wasn't in class the student

center. That would be a little bit tough and difficult to arrange. And then

get the word out for everyone to just come on in. I mean the place was

designed for that. And go ahead and use the place. And I think after we

got it started, we could ease up, you know our organization could ease up,

and you.;know start doing what...whatever else they had in plans...had in

their minds to do. But just to get it started they should do that I think.

Maybe we can get it started some time.

I: Uh, do you think there might be any unconscious fear that uh, to go over

there might cause a racial incident...another racial incident or something,




I: ...or somebody would say something unpleasant?

S: I don't...there might be an unconscious fear there, but I mean like,

maybe deep down in our minds we say well if we go over there they might

do something, you know, but I don't think really anything would ever

happen. And I don't...I think you...if you stop and think about it, all

the other students realize that that wouldn't happen. If they'd just go

on over, but they just won't stop and think about it long enough. They

just say I don't want to'do it, and....

I: Uh huh...they just follow their feelings.

S: That's right.

I: And it's been conditioned to avoid trouble, and this sort of thing do

you think...Indian students?

S: Because they're...

I: And our children?

S: My parents always preached to us, go to school, get your education, don't

do nothing wrong, and they figure that they try their best-to do what

they're told to do.

I: Right.

S: And they go by what they think would cause trouble, and what wouldn't

cause trouble and they won't go to the

student center.

I: Uh huh, afraid they might...?

S: Cause trouble, or something might start.

I: Uh huh.




I: Do you think the fact that you...you would be outnumbered...so vastly

outnumbered, and this might be a contributing factor too. You might think

well uh, if they wanted to they could double team me and beat me up.

S: That's right. Well, like you say, that...that would effect us maybe

subconciously, but like you said, we would have stopped and thought about

it. We've gone over it, but I mean...not all the students are like this.

I mean like there's plenty of them that'll go right on over there, and

it doesn't bother them.

I: Um huh.

S: But I would say there's still quite a few that's afraid to go over.

I: Uh, Indians have been described as being retiscent, uh, also as being

shy you know...do you think that hinges on the same sort of uh,

rationalization...you know, a desire to avoid confrontation, and

aggravating conditions, or agitating conditions, and things like this?

S: That's right. I think that's basically it.

I: Uh, how about pride, do you think...do you think Indian pride has

something to do with that?

S: I don't know about that part. I mean uh, pride...I better not comment on

that. Different ones have different feelings about it.

I: Uh huh. Well how about about you, do you...are you proud to be an Indian?

S: Oh yes.

I: Uh, that's self-evident, I really didn't have to answer that...I mean ask

that question. Uh, I'm sure you are. Uh, can you.think of any other problems

you've...you encountered...say as a freshman going on the university

campus for the first time, during your first year?




S: Well....

I: Can you think of any other problems that might...that you might encounter

as an Indian student?

S: Well just by being Indian, I think that would be about the main thing.

I: Is there a lot of curiosity about you?

S: Well not really. I think before all the other students had come...they

already know there's Indians here.

I: Um huh.



DATE: MAY 14, 1973

I: Before we ran out of tape we were talking about the attitude of other

students towards Indian students on campus. And I was wondering if uh,

you're sort of...Indian students are sort of a curiosity to the other

students because there are so many other students, and so few Indian

students. Uh, do you think this is the case?

S: Well uh, I see it like this. I think they're really not so curious because

before they come to our university, they must have understood that there

were Indians there. And when they first come, at first they might have

looked at us and talked to us and try to see what we were like, or talked

to other students and asked them about us. And then...but...right now, or,

I don't think there's really that much curiosity, maybe who we are, and

what we are, and they probably understood it before they ever come.

I: Uh huh. Do you think they're a little disappointed because they don't

find feathers, and these sort of things?

S: I don't know...some of them might be.

I: You know a few years ago in 1970, I went over to uh, New Jersey...uh, I'm

sorry, to Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, to King's College over there, where

I was uh, author in residence. And uh, they were disappointed because I

didn't come wearing feathers. And I said, you people are disappointed

because I didn't come wearing feathers...I'm disappointed because you

don't even know who Steven Ccidns ros+er': is, you think he's a southerner.




I: And he was uh, from your state. Ha...ha...this is true. And a lot of

people assume that Steven Collins Foster was a southerner, because he

wrote about the south, and sang southern songs, and this sort of thing.

And so sometimes the people from his own state assume that he is...he

was a southerner. And so uh, I think I had something on them too. But I

knew about that because of my interest in music and so on. Uh, if you had

it to do over again, would you uh, would you want to go to PSU?

S: Yes I would.

I: Why?

S: Well before I entered the university I was afraid to enter you know, I

thought it would be harder than what it is.

I: Uh huh.

S: I didn't think I'd even make it the first semester. I thought I'd flunk

out or something like that. But then after the first semester, I said,

gosh this is easy. And then each time after...well, I haven't been but

two semesters, but it was kind of rough the first semester because I was

nervous and everything, and the second semester I was still nervous, but

uh, I done better the second than I did the first. So, I'll sure go back

in again.

I: I'm sure you'll make it, because you're a Prospector. And we usually make

out one way or another. Uh, Prospect is a...is primarily a farming

community is it not?

S: Yes, uh huh.

I: Do you think the land is very fertile around Prospect...in the Prospect





S: Uh uh...I'm not so sure about that. I don't know about the...what.the


I: You're not a very good farmer?

S: No.

I: Uh, how about uh...have you lived in other communities besides...other

Indian communities?

S: When I was very young, I mean when I was about five, and before then,

from the time I was born until I was about five or six...I stayed in

Ohio. And we'd come down here maybe once a year to visit.

I: Uh huh.

S: But I never did detect any difference.

I: Uh huh.

S: I was down here, and I was about in the...I'd been down here about three

years before I ever found out you know...that there was a difference.

I: Uh huh. Is it a subtle kind of difference, or something that's very hard

to detect?

S: Well at first, to me, it was kind of hard to detect, but now, I mean like...

I: The gradually seep thing?

S: There you go. I mean now it's very easy.

I: Uh huh. Sometimes uh, do you seem to feel a difference in the way a

person looks at you from another group, or do you hear a difference in

their voices when they speak to you, as though they're speaking down to

you? Have you ever noticed something like this, or am I imagining things?

S: Yes, I have. I mean it's from different areas. If its from...well...I'm

going to basically talk about it if it's a white person talking to me.




I: Uh huh...this is what I mean.

S: If they're...if they're from around here, if they know you and are friends

with you, they talk about the same as if uh, maybe a stranger would, but

most of the white people around here...they won't even speak to you.

I: Uh huh.

S: That's out there at the college, it's about like that. Some of them will,

and some of them won't, but if they're farther away, and they haven't never

seen you before...they're going to talk to you. Some of them will at least.

I: Uh huh...it depends.on whether you're a-customer, or whether there's a

possibility of you voting, or something like this you think?

S: Not all the time. I've had, in my classes, I've had, you know, we'll...you

know Indians are a minority out there.

I: Uh huh.

S: And then, like I've got a biology class...there's two other Indians in

that class besides me.

I: Uh huh.

S: But yet I...I can...I talk with all the other students in there. All of

them will talk to me. But the only ones that show any difference...they

were from right around here. The rest of them, they just talking to me,

and just try to find out what...what-I was, and what's-going on.

I: Uh huh. uh, do you have any suggestions that uh, might work towards

bringing ethnic groups closer together? Do you...or do you think they

should come closer together? I should have asked you that first.

S: I think...I think they should come closer together, but really I don't,

I couldn't point to anything that would bring them closer together.




S: I mean just understanding would be the main thing, and that's...that'll

take time.

I: Uh huh. Now do you think uh, for example, that the PSU campus is just

about completely isolated from the Indian community?

S: Uh, that's...that's one I'm not for sure about. I don't think it's

completely isolated, but yet it's not really effective that much by

what happens.

I: Uh huh. Sort of like two different worlds?

S: It is to me.

I: That's interesting. Uh, I don't always like to accept conditions as they

are. Uh, I like to do something if I can about changing them. And I'm,

I'm sure this is something most people have in common. To uh, you know,

uh, college people, and people who have been to college. Uh, do you think

this is true?

S: Hmmm.I wouldn't know how to answer that one for sure.

I: Uh, do you have a desire to change somethings?

S: Well, you mean around...around the campus?

I: Well anything in the county.

S: Oh yes.

I: If you were Aladin for a little while, and were given the wonderful

magic lamp, and somebody said...go ahead, rub it, make a wish, change

anything you want to change in the county...what would you change?

S: The power structure.

I: The power structure? Well, that's good. This is something practical

isn't it?




S: Yes.

I: It could be changed. It could be changed in any county...in any man's

county. if enough people went together and

wanted to change it. But do you think we have enough people together?

S: Well, we have enough Indians, but we don't have enough Indians united.

I: Uh huh...but do you think we are making progress in that direction?

S: Uhh...in some ways we are making a little progress, but in other ways,

I think we're just about holding the same. There's still so many

separate...so many ways we're separated. Our name is the main thing that

separates us as far as I can think of.

I: Would you like to talk about that a little while?

S: Well, I might as well. But, it seems to me that uh, for some of the people

like...we've got the name Lumbee around here...

I: Uh huh.

S: Some of them say, well I'm a Lumbee...I'm going to remain a Lumbee, anything

other than Lumbee isn't any good. Some say I'm a Tuscarora, anything other

than Tuscarora isn't any good.

I: Uh huh.

S: But I mean...we're all Indians.

I: Right.

S: And we should overlook the fact whether we're Lumbee, whether we're


I: Um huh.

S: We should just say, well if he's an Indian, I don't care what he claims

to be.




I: Right.

S: He's an Indian, and therefore he's one of us.

I: Right.

S: But some people you just can't make sense...you can't explain that to

them, and they're going to.just say, well he's a Tuscarora, or he's a

Lumbee, and they're going down on account of that.

I: Uh huh. Uh, do you think some of this is brought in from the outside

maybe. By...say for example, you had a politician who wanted to divide

the camp, and win. And to divide the vote, so it would come out in his

favor, do you think he might uh, help along those lines the division?

S: Well if he wanted to split up the Indian vote, that would be one way he

could do it, but I say other than that...if he wanted to have Indians

supporting him, and if he was for the Indians and he wanted their support,

I believe he'd try to get them to unite, rather than to try to separate

under different names.

I: Um huh. But suppose uh, he had a pretty good idea who uh, would make a

good possibility, a good prospect for a vote, and he wanted to split them

up for that reason. And he knew that there...here are some I won't be able

to get. Then he set them at odd...against each other...is that reasonable?

S: Well it's possible. I don't...I don't know if it has been done, or whether

it will be done, but it's possible it could be done that way.

I: Do you think the political game is played fair in this town?

S: In some ways it's about fair, but in other ways, I think it's a little bit





I: I recall several years ago when a certain gentleman was running for

governor of this state, and the other gentleman, his opponent seemed to

be winning, and so this gentleman was giving a fish fry, and somebody

from the enemy's camp came over and sneaked something into the fish, and

that night uh, a lot of our Indian people who went to that fish fry got

dissentary. They got sick from it. And uh, they...you know, people

started saying well they want to poison you or something, and some people

believed that. And did you know he lost in our county. And he was

supposed to be a friend of ours, and traditionally had been considered

a friend of ours. Uh, that's pretty low politics isn't it?

S: It is getting dirty.

I: It's...it's very amusing uh, how far these things go sometimes. Well uh,

I think we've talked about a good many things. How about economics, do

you think we're better off politic...I mean economically than have been

in a long time, or than we've ever been?

S: I think we're better off than we've ever been.

I: You see a lot of fine houses being built uh, where ever you go?

S: Yes.

I: Albeit on credit probably.

S: It has to be on credit, but, we're improving.

I: I would never be able to build a house for cash, unless I would build a

dog house, or something like that...I suppose. But then I'm strictly in

the minority. How about farming changes and farming patterns, do you think

this has changed drastically within the past few years?

S: Uh, I don't really know all that much about farming. I know now that uh,




S: ...really though, the poorer group of people don't have so much land,

they have just maybe an acre or so, and may not even have none at all.

And they just live on other peoples farms, and help the richer people

tend to their farms. Whereas let's say maybe just a small group of

people really own the land, and they're the ones that's got the money.

But all the other people live on their land and farm it for them, and

help them work, and they just barely get enough money to live off of.

I: uh huh. Uh, we have a lot of farm labor. Uh we were going to talk about

this...I want to get away from that though for a moment...uh, we were

going to talk about this matter of names, and this being something that

has divided us. Uh, as you know, the Lumbee name is the law of the land

because it was passed on an act of Congress. It was also passed by an

act of the General Assembly. It was passed by an act of Congress on

June 7, 1956, and by the General Assembly of North Carolina on April 20,

1953. And also before it was passed there was a referendum, and it was

voteduh, by the people what they wanted, and they chose this name. And

uh, so it...it does have a legal status you know, whether some people,

you know, some people are in disagreement with it. Uh, but how about the

name...the name Tuscarora is certainly an honorable name, and we certainly

have people, and I'm speaking as a local historian...we certainly have

people from the Tuscarora group. We...we have Tuscarora blood. Uh, but

we also have some Cherokee blood, and we have some Natamuskee blood, but

the nucleus was the Haterus Indians...this was the nucleus, and uh, if I

had time I could explain all these things, but...why are we so gung ho

about names, why do we get hung up on names...why do we Indians do this?




S: That's one thing that's hard to understand. I myself...the name doesn't

bother me.

I: Uh huh.

S: If everyone in the county was united...probably so...anything they wanted

to call it, Tuscarora, or Lumbee, I would be behind it, but it seems like

they want somebody one way, and somebody the other way, and it doesn't

make any=sense.

I: Listen...mean...it might sound argumentive, but it isn't meant to be,

uh, it's meant to be explanatory. Uh, it seems to me, and I really

shouldn't inject my opinion here...I'm...I'm interviewing you. Uh, but

it seems to me that this is a...an umbrella name, Lumbee, includes...would

include all groups no matter what groups they...they all live along the

banks of the Lumbee, where they were found when the first permanent white

settlers reached this area, about 1715 to 1730. Uh, so uh, do you think

our people understand this? Uh, do you think uh, that the dissention

arises from another element, or another consideration, or what?

S: Well, I think about basically the same thing you did. That uh, we were

named just because of the river...because we lived...settled here.

I: It doesn't claim a thing.

S: There you go, it doesn't...it doesn't say what kind of Indians we were.

I: Uh huh.

S: And there isn't any...well as far as I...it's been proved to me, there

hasn't been any conclusive proof given telling me what kind of an-

Indian I am.

I: Uh huh.




S: Alls I can do is look at my skin, and I can tell that I'm an Indian.

I: Uh huh, and you know you've always been treated like one?

S: Yes. And uh, that's about as much as can be proven. And other than that

I can't say that I'm one...this kind...I'm from this tribe, or I'm from

that tribe because no one has ever proven to me that my grandfather or

something like that was a member of such and such a tribe.

I: Uh huh. I have a lady's thesis, who came to me and, you know, worked with

me...she and her husband several years ago. And she sent me a copy of

her thesis. This We Would Call Our Roanoke Island Heritage, and you know,

she embraces the lost colony tradition of our people. Our older people

who said we, uh, you know, uh, were descendants of the Haterus Indians

and the lost colony. In other words, the English colony of 1587. You

might be interested in seeing that. It's...it's very scholarly, it's

done by a historian, and uh, if you want to see it later on, why I'll be

glad to show it to you. It really intrigued me. It's so welldone. It's a

well documented...but uh, do you think our people uh, would ev...in

this...in the mood that they're in now, do you think they're inclined to

shy away from an admission of white blood rather than be attracted by it?

What do you think?

S: Well I believe that would depend on the individual, but I believe that

there are some that would try to get away...they wouldn't want to claim

any white blood.

I: Uh huh.

S: Because they've been maybe mistreated before, and by that reason they

wouldn't want to claim any kin, or anything what-so-ever in relationship




S: ...with white people. They want to be completely separated from them.

I: Uh huh. And do you think we might have the other extreme too, maybe

in lesser numbers, is that what you're saying, that maybe if we got

the other end of the situation it would be in fewer numbers in the

Indians eye. In other words, it's popular to be an Indian today isn't


S: Yes. I mean,,,there's probably...well, there's probably an equal amount

of people that will claim that they've got white blood in them. But now

you ask them what they are...it's either they're an Indian blood, that

means they're Indian people, their blood islndian, and maybe they will

say well, maybe my mother or grandfather something like that was white,

but that was him...I'm Indian.

I: Oh well, that's a pretty good argument I guess.

S: Yes, it could be argued.

I: Uh, I guess uh, uh, these questions will continue, but uh, it is

interesting that scholars are working on these things, and discoveries are

being made, and some evidence...lots of evidence really...uh, but what

would you suggest to other young people who were inclined to go to

college? Uh, would you encourage them to do it?

S: Uh, I think...I'd try and encourage them to go, because...really...without

a college education, well sure, you can get a pretty good job, and uh...

well maybe not too good, it's hard to get any kind of job now, but it will

help that much more. There's plenty of people now that's been to college,

and still can't find a job, but it increases your chances.

I: Right.




S: And I'll tell you, anything that will help you nowadays, you better try


I: Better grab it hadn't you?

S: That's right, because...things are hard, and they're going to get worse.

I: Um huh. Do you think uh, do you think college standards are coming down,

or going up? Or are the people becoming uh, more knowledgeable, and

gaining a better background as time goes by or what?

S: Well I think that the last thing you said is about right. I think we're

gaining a better background, because I can look back...well while I was

in high school...the things I learned when I was in twelfth grade were

also taught in the eighth grade at that time.

I: Uh huh.

S: I mean like there were eighth grade students when I was in the twelfth

that were learning things I'd never learned until I was in about the

tenth or eleventh. So each year things are improving. They should

I: Did we talk about your generation...today's generation?

S: I'm not for sure...we probably discussed it a little bit.

I: Uh, what is your assessment of today's generation, of young people and

the generation gap and things like this?

S: Uh, I think there...there is a generation gap, but not that much. I mean,

I can understand why there is a generation gap. I mean like my father, and

I disagree on several things, but yet again we'll agree on the major part

of what happens.

I: Uh huh. Well it certainly has been interesting talking with you, and is

there anything you would like to add to what we've already said?




S: Well I think I've covered about as much as I can, and I've talked...

I: I gather that you're an optimistic type individual, and it's uh, it's

been a pleasure to talk with you. It always delights me to talk with

somebody that has optimism. And I know we can't be optimistic about every-

thing, but it's certainly great to come in contact with somebody who's

optimistic, and who has hope. You haven't given up on our people at all

have you?

S: No, we're going to get...we're going to get somewhere.

I: That's great. You want'to add anything after what we've already said?

S: Well the only thing that I might add is what we've already discussed

about trying to encourage the younger generation...the ones that are

still in high school...to get those...to try and improve theirselves.

I: Um huh.

S: As long as we keep on improving.

I: Through education.

S: Yes. Try to educate yourself, maybe not at college, but maybe the

technical student, or anything like that that can make you become

something better than what you already were.

I: Um huh.

S: If everyone would do that around here, I think there would-be a great deal of

improvement for the whole community, I think.

I: That's great. I want to thank you for the Doris Duke Foundation, and

for the University of florida's American Indian Oral History Program.

It's been a pleasure interviewing you, and I want to say thank you very

much, and good luck in your studies.


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