Citation
Interview with Dewey Locklear, April 18, 1973

Material Information

Title:
Interview with Dewey Locklear, April 18, 1973
Creator:
Locklear, Dewey ( Interviewee )
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Florida History ( local )
Lumbee Oral History Collection ( local )
Spatial Coverage:
Lumbee County (Fla.)

Notes

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

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:
Made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

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LUM 92A

Barton interview w/
Dewey Barton
April 18, 1973 SLW--tvpist

B: This is April 18. 1973. I am Lew Barton recording for the Doris Duke

American Indian Oral History Program. Today I am in the office of Mr-

Dewey Locklear, is that right? Of LRDA. Mr- Locklear, what do those initials

mean?

L: Well. LRDA is the call letters for Tumbee Regional Development Association-

And 0 .my name is Dewev Locklear, my iob title here is Operations

Officer, and or really Deputy Director of the agency.

B: Right.

L: I've been with the agency two years approximately. I worked for a year as

director of the talent search component of LRDA, which is a program funded

by the Office of Education.

B: Right.

L: And we werk with the high school students in eelthtig aid for them to at-

tend college and to further their education. After my first year in the

agency in that capacity I was moved to this job which is .-. I mentioned

Operations Officer. I've been working here approximately a vear.

B: Well, Mr. Locklear, we know that LRDA is recognized among our people, the

Indians- of this area, especially as one of the most vital organizations

going and we got acquainted with your program; uh, with vour organization

through its work in sponsoring Lumbee Homecoming Day.

L: Right.

B: And these were whopping successes, and uh, I understand that LRDA works

through all the other organizations and sort of coordinates all Indian

organizations or all organizations in this area. Is that right?







2

LUM. 92A.

L: Well, LRDA has alot of well, four or five different programs that we are

operating. And being involved in these we are .-. we touch alot of people.

We have affiliation with alot of people in the different various communities

and their activities.

B: And you're funded through the Office of Economic Opportunity?

L: We have been ..-our ... we have an economic development grant, and this is

... where our administrative monies have been coming from.

B: Right.

L: Uh, from the Office of Economic Opportunity. We do have, however, other

program sources of monies. This would be the Department of Labor forour

NYC program, and uh, the Department of Health, Education and WElfare for

our educational programs. This being the talent search component which I

mentioned and the Adult Basic Education program.

B: Right.

L: Now Lumbee Regional Development Association of which we are speaking is a

private, non-profit organization and the agency was chartered by the state

of North Carolina in 1968 and we have as our goal to develop the ability to

analyze and to develop solutions for the health and educational economic

and general welfare problems in the area among the Lumbee Indians- We feel

that the Indians have long since practiced the policy of self-determination.

However, in the midst of plenty, and in a time of progress. many of our

people have not been touched by this.

B: Right.

L: We feel that LRDA can serve as a vehicle that these people might learn what

programs are available and what services are available that they can participate

and maybe find a solution to their problem. We- we like to think that this

is our goal; as the overall eoal of the agency.

B: Yes, sir.







3

LUM 92A

B: About how old is T.RDA?

L: Well, the apencv itself was chartered in 1968, but we, we really didn't get

into the -.. any funds until 1970- And that was a small grant from the

Ford Foundation. And uh, well, maybe that was in Z '68 we pot the grant

from the Fond Foundation, but 1970 and '71 is when we really began to pet

some monies from the Deaprtment of HEW, and Department of Labor and Of-

fice of Economic Opportunity. So that we've really grown from 1971 to our

present size and status.

B: I see. Well, let's talk a bit farther about you. This is all interesting and

I hate to cut in at this point but I would like to know a little bit more

about you, your family, uh, are you married?

L: Uh, Mr. Barton, yes, I am. I've been married five years. I grew up in the

county here about twenty miles from the site that we're located at now,

working here. I went to 1i high school at Fairgrove High School and grammar

school also. Fairgrove High School near Fairmont, North Carolina; it's about

three miles from Fairmont. Upon graduation I attended Pembroke State

University here in Pembroke and I graduated from Pembroke State University

in 1970 with a B.S. in mathematics.

B: Uh. huh- Who were your parents?

L: My parents are Vinny Locklear and Dolly Locklear of Fairmont, near Fairmont.

B: Are thev still living?

L: Mv father is deceased but my mother is still living.

B* I see. Who did you marry?

L: My wife is Mary Elizabeth Strickland before she changed her name and she is

from Roland. North Carolina which is about eight miles from my home.

B: That's interesting. Did you think when you were coming along in high school,

college, I mean, I know you appreciate the opportunity of working with your

own people. I happen to know this personally and in your own area, but







4

LUM 92A

did you think you would have this opportunity when you were coming along?

L: I didn't have nay idea of this particular role at that time in I'd

say in high school and through college and going into college I had the

idea of becoming a teacher, but in my junior year I changed my mind and

decided that I would go into industry and work. And I tried that for a

few months in the industry, and the opportunity came with LRDA to work

with one of the programs here, and I thought that too challenging and, to

turn down. So here I am.

B: Great, I'm glad ... I'm glad for LRDA and for all of us that you're here.

I didn't ask you about how many children you have.

L: I've got one little boy, age three.

BI He's great, he's right here now. Uh, what's his name?

L: His name is Brian, and he's three years old. Quite a character.

B: Great little fella. he's been talking with me.

L: We have a Senior Citizens program going and his baby-sitter is a member of

the Senior Citizens Club and today I'm keeping him with me since they are

in a meeting. I have him here at the office with me.

B: That's good. He'll be learning the ropes at an early age, won't he?

Do you see any difficulties in being funded under the present administration?

This may sound like a loaded question. but it isn't meant to be. I'm

just wondering if any funds have been endangered by this, the President's ...

L: Well, Mr. Barton. as you probably know, the Office of Economic Opportunity

is in the phase or in the process of being dismantled. So as I mentioned

we do have a __ grant.

B: Right.

L: However, we do have grants from other funding sources as I mentioned, the

Department of Labor and Department of Health. Education and WElfare. and we

feel that we will be able to continue in thise areas.








5

B; You will be able to survive?

L: Right. We're very hopeful that we will be able to continue.

B: Well, I certainly hope so, too because this organization's been a great

blessing to this community and to its people. About how many programs do

you have going?

L: Well, we operate ... five different programs, from different funding sources.

We have the, as I mentioned the Economic Development Program, and maybe I could

go into these a little bit. Each one of them as I name them.

B: That would be fine.

L: And tell you just a little bit about them. The Economic Development Program

which I mentioned earlier is funded by the Office of Economic Opportunity.

In this program we've been addressing ourselves to the problems facing rural

communities, which ... in, you know, the situation in our county, is very

rural. And we've been trying to seek solutions to the problems facing

these rural communities and in developing the economy of the poor Indian

poeple. Many of them have been farmers and the farm situation is such that

farms are being consolidated and larger farms are evolving and many of the

people are being left out. We work in the areas of business development;_

we try to advise and conduct seminars to, for better management practices

for people who are in the small businesses; we try to assist them .in securigg

loans to expand their businesses; another component of the Economic De-

velopment is that we provide referrals to existing job situations and iob

sites for people who are interested-in seeking employment maybe in the

factory level or the business or whatever. We try to find positions avail-

able and refer them to these. We also try to refer people to ... the

needy to existing agencies in the county so that they can have their needs

met. Those are briefly some of the things we're doing in the Economic

Development program. We have another program which I mentioned earlier
J








6

LUM 92A

the Adult Basic Education Program, which we're quite proud of the accom-

plishments of this program. We feel that it touches many of our people,

and this program is again funded from the Office of Education, and we

conduct six classes, in dif--, six different centers where we have classes

twice per week,and the Adult Basic Education project has as its participants

people from the ages of I think seventeen throu seventy-six. These people

who decide that they need to further their education, and they decide that

this is a good method of doing it. By attending night classes.

B: This is a broad range, isn't it?

L: It's very broad range. We don't have ... we don't specifically go to

the three R's: we have civics included, uh, consumer education included in

our classes, along with the mechanics of reading, writing and simple

arithmetic. We ...

B: Have you any idea about how prevelant, well, I don't like to say illiteracy,

but I guess that's about the only word available, people who are not able to

read and write, who were never ...

L: Well, Mr. Barton, the recent ... a recent survey that I read and right now

I don't remember the source, but it had given the figure as 25% of our

people are functionally illiterate.

B: Um, huh, that's tragic, isn't it?

L: That's very tragic situation and we feel that if, there should be programs

to deal with this situation. We hope that our ABE program is attempting

to delve into this somewhat. If I might just get off on just one tangent

1 for a minute ...

B: Right.

L: We have a I have a note here in front of me, or a series of notes that

are from talking to another staff member who has just visited a couple

of the ABE centers this week. And he states here that it is quite a thrill








7

LUM 92A

for him to see people concerned about whether they can make a pretty

"s" or pretty "t". People it's quite astonishing that many of our people

have never had the opportunity to even go to the first grade and pick

up the mechanics of the first grade and he really goes into the thing

here of ... of how emotional he becomes by watching these people as

they strive to write their name or to, for the first time, you see.

B: Uh, huh.
here
L: And .... he has some good comments/and I wanted to mention that that we

have a note here that there was one person in the class who went from zero

to sixth grade level in six months. That's as far as reading is concerned.

B: That's great.

L: And uh, this person had never been able to read her Bible before. Being

very religious she considers this a beautiful thing now that she can read

her Bible.

B: It certainly is.

L: But the, the situation with the Adult Basic Education is such that we have

the teaching on an individual basis. We just don't lecture; we teach

the people on an individual basis and let each one progress at his own

speed and he studies the things that he's interested in. We're quite

proud of the program; we feel like it's being very effective; we're
the
working with approximately two hundred students in/six centers.

B: How many people do you have in your entire staff here?

L: There's ... full and part-time, there's fifty people in all the pro-

grams. Going on from the Adult Basic Education program we have the

Neighborhood Youth Corps program where we have the director and two

counselors plus some NYC workers who help out in the office. But we have

an in-school program and an out-of-school program. And again I mention

that tiis-iscfunded from the Department of Labor and we give, we try to








8

LUM 92A

give meaningful work experience to many of the people, young people who

have either dropped out of school or who need some kind of assistance

to continue school. And uh, the Lumbee Outreach Talent Search Project

as I mentioned earlier has a ... its objective is to identify young
a
people at the secondary level who aspire to go to/post-secondary insti-

tution either a trade school or at the college level. We seek to locate

financial resources and to provide guidance to them in their endeavors.

The other program would be we have a VISTA component which we're quite

proud of also. We have, I think, I'm not sure now, but I believe it's

the only all-Indian locally recruited VISTA volunteer project in the

country. And I'm, I'm not definitely positive on that but I believe so.

Anyhow here in the east. So that ... these people have volunteered to

work in their own communities to try to help alleviate some of the

situations that exist there. At present-we're, working with the senior

citizens. WE have among the Indian people approximately twelve to

fourteen hundred people who are senior citizens. And we haven't invol-

ved them in any kinds of programs as of yet so that we feel that the

VISTA component is a good way for us to do this. And we have developed

at this time eight local senior citizens clubs in the different tar-

get communities, and these people are very enthusiastic and very active

and interested in becoming a part of helping in their community. So
And
those would be the programs right now that we have in existence./ I hope

that's given you just a little bit of more insight to, into the ...

B: Well, it certainly has, and it sounds like a great lineup to me. I talked

to some of those people who are taking adult education classes by the

way and made a report ot the paper for the paper and they were very enthu-

siastic, and they said that they could help; they were ...

L: I guess it's a new world, you know







9

LUM 92A

B: Right. A new world had opened up for some of them.

L: I really ... I talked to several of them and there was one man in

particular that comes to mind this time and he mentioned to me that

he had driven to Lumberton from Fayetteville which is a distance of forty

miles and he was looking for a particular building. And so he thought,

"weli, I'll stop at a service station and ask somebody where this building's

at." Then he thought to himself, "Well, I can read now, I won't have to

do that; I'll just look at the sign on the building."

B: Right.

L: So that I, I imagine that must be a tremendous feeling for a person who

has not been able to read or who has not been able to write his name

to acquire that knowledge. I think that must be a wonderful feeling.

B: And the building you now occupy, that you are occupying is the

building which was once the Carolina Inn?
old here
L: Right. This was once the/Carolina Inn Hotel/in Pembroke, and we have

offices downstairs and upstairs.

B: Uh, huh. You have plenty of space?

L: Well, we're .... we occupy just about all of the rooms, but, you know,

we always could use more conference space or meeting space or whatever, but

we do very well.

B: That's good. I know building space is very scarce now.

L: Very scarce and very expensive, too.

B: Right. You're certainly fortunate there. Do you have ... do you envision

any new programs or any expansion?

L: Well, uh, we hope to expand the VISTA project right now, Mr. Barton, and

we are not right now ... in the coming months I think August is the month

we're talking about. We hope to increase taht maybe by seven to ten more

VISTA volunteers. We've found this is an, a very effective way of reaching








10

LUM 92A

our people because these people being locally recruited they know about

their communities and they have, they know about some of the prob-

lems existing, and we have several proposals in mind and I think that

we have developed one at the present time to work with the local educational

agency, the Robeson County Board of Education, in co-sponsoring a

project to tutor the children at home who need to improve their proficiency.

And we would like to get involved in that aspect of it.

B: I would like to ask you a question which if you don't won't to answer it

I would feel certain to understand. But we have had some unrest among the

Indians recently and the American Indian movement people coming in; the

movement growing in the county itself. Uh, you haven't had any discontent

with them, LRDA hasn't I mean, overt ... as yet, has it?

L: Uh, Mr. Barton, nowe haven't. We've ... in all of our programs we seek

to work with all the groups ; all the Indian groups; the East Carolina

Indian organization; the Tuscaroora Indians; the Lumbee Indians; we seek to

work with all of them; we hope to involve all of them in our programs; we try

to 'touch, all of the&community, uh, communities where people live and we've
help
been very fortunate in being able to f/ many of these people.

B: That's great.

L: And we feel very good about that. We're very enthusiastic about the future.

B: I noticed when I was over here doing an interview for the newspaper I

was taken over to the, what do you call it, where you view the stars in

Lumberton ?

h: The planetarium.

B: Planetarium. My memory's on vacation. Uh, some of the people were over

there and just to be$n that program and to see some of those, some of

the programs that they have to offer over there, uh, must have been a thrilling

experience for some of the poeple who were there.








11

LUM 92A

L: I!m sure it was. We ...

B: It was for me even with my limited vision; a plantiarium certainly makes

alot of things clearer?-

L: Um, huh. Well, I think that in the Adult Basic Education program that

the director has sponsored tours over to the planetarium and to other local

points of interest for the students in the class.. We're ... we attempt to

keep them as busy as possible; as interested as possible itdoing the things

that they want to do. Right now I'm very happy about that.

B: That's good. You haven't met any opposition from established, so-called

established education?

L: Well, I guess that any new and innovative program would probably conflict

with some of their ideas, but I think that A6 in working with Robeson

Technical Institute we've been very fortunate. Mr. Craig Allen has been

most cooperative in working with us, and Mr. Gene Mercer, who is director

of the educational, adult educational part of it, excuse me, has been very

... we've worked very well with them, and uh, and uh, it's really I think

indicative of the spirit in adult education throughout the county that we've

been able to involve them in quite a number of ideas that we've had.

B: Right.

L: And we don't know how long it's gonna take for them to change, but they look

with favor on our program, I think.

B: That's great because with their cooperation you should have noA difficulties.

L: We've worked very well with them I'm glad to say.

B: That's good.

L: And Robeson Tech, you know, is the institution in the county that sponsors

adult education through out ... in the local high schools and whatever ...

I'm not sure how many centers they have operating, but we've had some of

the people there on our educational advisory board giving us adce on
the people there on our educational advisory board giving us adyvce on






12

LUM 92A

maybe techniques they use and better methods, whatever, and I, I feel

very good about that.

B: That's great. Have you found that our drop-out, the drop-out rate among

our students are high?

L: Mr. Barton, again, ...

B: Or is high. I'm mixing up my plurals and singulars there.

L: Again, I don't have the most recent figures, but the last survey that I looked

at had the Indian drop-out rate from first through twelfth grade at 65%

which is a tragic thing.

B: It certainly is.

L: And this has been one of our major problems. It affects our county, I

think, economically as well as educationally. We, you know, our people drop

out and they take immediate employment from high school or whatever, and

we feel it's a very ..tragic situation. And we're hoping that this is

improving. I haven't ... as I say, saw the most recent figures, I think

these figures are about three years old.

B: Uhm, huh.

L: But at that time it was about 65%.

B: There was a time when our people preached what they called "the gospel

of education" and this was widely done. Do you think we might be getting

away from that or ...?

L: Well, I think the trend in education nationally now as well as in the state

and country here is for more specialized training;to learn a particular

skill, a trade. We have alot of people across the nation who have college

degrees or whatever who are unemployed; but very seldom do you find a

person with a particular skill who is unemployed. There's always a need

for that. And on a national level I think that this might be the trend.

Things are ... from the information that I have and I think that getting







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LUM 92A

away from the point of sending all of our children that do go to post-

secondary school to a four- year college is a good iea. I would like

to think that we would continue to send those who wanted to go there, but

we ouwln't force those who wanted to take up a trade to go to a four-

year college; that we would provide an opportunity for him to attend a

technical school ard to learn a specific skill.

B: In other words this sort of helps to keep square pegs out of round

holes.

L: Right, I think so. I think so.

B: If there're no ... if they have no alternative but to go to one ... to

study in one particular field ...

L: It's easy to drop out then, you see.

B: Right.

L: I think this has been a problem here for even ... at the high school level.

That just in the past few years we've started opening up more of the

trade side of education in our high schools which I think is a thing that's

very much needed, which is a personal opinion of course, but I think that

we've had carpentry introduced, some of the ag. skills .. have been

you know, expanded, we're introducing more I think the business de-

partments in our high schools are beginning to be more inclined to producing

students who will be interested in the business field. Of goin' on to

two-year college in business. I think this is very good.

B: I certainly hope that it continues to, to serve its purpose.

Could you tell us some of the names of the people who are, you kw, on

the staff?

L: OK. We have, of course, the executive director who is ... is Mr. Tom Blanks,

and again my name is Dewey Locklear and the planning co-ordinator, who

helps us in writing our proposals and planning various things that we






14

LUM 92A

should be involved in, is Miss Ruth Bettis; the director of the Economic

Development program here is Pearl Baxley Locklear ...

B: Uh, huh.

L: And the director of the NYC program, Neighborhood Youth Corps, is Mr, Ken

Maynor; the director of the Educational Talent Search program would be

James Monroe Chavis; the director of the ... well, our business manager

is Miss Annie Chavis, Mrs. Annie Chavis, and a quite capable person, we're

lucky to have her, I think, and let me see, I left out a program I think.

The Adult Basic Education director is Mr. Herl Deeds. So ... and the VISTA

supervisor is myself. I supervise the VISTA volunteers. So that if you

feel that I've been quite prejudiced toward the VISTA volunteers, that's the

reason.
t
B: Well, I was privileged to interview two of the workers several months ago

and it was very encouraging.

L: They're one of the most enthusiastic groups of people that I've seen lately,

Mr. Barton; there's seven of them and they'revery enthusiastic bunch of

girls and they're doing I think a good job---a very good job.

B: Do you have a .. do you have somebody to direct the program,. : this

program from,-say from the outside. I don't like to say from the outside 'cause

that sounds a little prejudiced.

L: No, we have what we ...

B: It's entirely composed of local people.

L: Right, so that we have as I mentioned the sevel locally recruited volunteers,

and of course I'm their supervisor as I mentioned. The next person of

course outside the agency who would have any contact would be the field

representative from ACTION, the VISTA office, and his office the area

office is in Charldttle. So he is the program director for the state of

South Carolina ,: and North Carolina. But the people are supervised from









15

LUM 92A

the agency ; there's no outside supervision.

B: Well, it sounds like you have a very able staff. 'Cause I know many of

these people personally.

L: Um, huh.

B: I certainly have respect for for you and Mr.. ,Blanks. I

certainly congratulate you on the progress that you've made 'cause I can

remember just a few years ago and LRDA had just a little corner in the ...

L: Right.

B: ... City HAll.

L: It's grown tremendously since that time. Mr. Barton, I think that we hope,

my hope is that our effect has been has grown in proportion to the size of

our programs and, and I'd like to think even more so.We have so many more

people working now from;the, from the one person Mrs. Vera Lowrery to now

almost fifty employees. So that if we are doing fifty times as much work

as she was I think we'll be getting on down the road.

B: By the way is she still around or is she working ...?

L: She's, she's ... Miss Vera comes in occasionally in an advisory capacity

to help us.

B: Uh, huh.

L: She's not actively employed anymore and, but she's still involved with us and

quite a great resource person.

B: Yes. Well, she's certainly a great organizer ...

L: Yes, she is.

B: Great, great worker among her people I think. And I think that people are

going to become more and more aware of LRDA and what it what LRDA is doing.

L: Well, I think that the one thing that we, we're beginning to embark on now is

we really want to get out; I think we've been doing some great things, but






16

LUM 92A

just all of the people haven't heard about 'em, or don't know about 'em.

And we want to make sure that every person knows exactly what we're doing and

we're trying to do this through publications, newsletters, community meetings,

which we're ddi/ conducting. Uh, just any news media, the Carolina Indian

Voice, which is a great asset to our community. Uh, we've had articles in

The Robesonian, on the radio, TV; we had a spec-ial on on the second Sunday

in April--I don't remember the, the exact date, but we had a thirty minute

special on channel 13--at WBTW in Florence, South Carolina. Uh, we have a

five minute daily radio program which we're ... we try to disseminate in-

formation --- the things we're doing, programs available, services available,

and we just hope that we can get the word out to more people about what we're

doing.

B: Right. Your, your organization is unique, or almost so. There are ... I

don't know another organization exactly like LRDA.

L: Well, I think that we are similar to one more in the country; I believe it's

located in Minnesota, I believe, I'm not sure. I think Minneapolis, there's

a ... we're an LPA, which is Limited Purpose Agency; we're different from

a CAA or Community Action Agency and to some degree we work with a limited

purpose. That is, we work primarily with the Indian people and our limited

target area is in the county of Robeson County. So that we are called an

LPA.

B: Do people who tend to misunderstand, 'scuse me, I'm phrasing that quite badly,

excuse me ; ... are there people who tend to misinterpret the program or mis-

understand it?

L: Well, I, I think that many times the problem that I find, Mr. Barton, is "

that uh, people normally who are referred to us don't know exactly the scope

of the services we have to offer. And many of the things that I've mentioned

to '; you that they really don't -understand what they're all about. Could








17

LUM 92A

you hold it just a minute?

L: Mr. Locklear, we know that with any organization of this size or even smaller,

there are inevitable problems, growing pains and what have ; you--- could you

tell us something about some of the problems that you've have encountered

here at LRDA?

L: Well, Mr. Barton, the ... our problems have been to say the least, numerous.

And I think that we've had problems as you mentioned in our growing pains,

in getting ourselves established, getting our contacts made in the county, get-

ting an amount of credibility--these kind of general problems. But more

specifically I think that well, if we were to pick out, say, one program, in

which I was ... worked with for a while, as I mentioned, the, the Lumbee

Outreach Talent Search Program--we found that, we found that there was a

tremendous amount of interest among the people in the community as far as

post-secondary education and we realized the need for specific training, but

that the, the parents had no knowledge of a guidance system or the recommenda-

tions to their children.

B: Um, huh.

L: And the counselors in the program often times would call into the homes to

really discuss with the parents the possibilities available to the children

and many times the people would ask the counselors what to do or what sug-

gestions they had. Which is kind of ... it's not really a great position to

be in because you don't want to influence anybody the wrong way. So we've,

we've had some problems in that respect. I think that the counselors in our

high schools now are becoming more aware of, of the situation that has existed;

they are becoming more in line with the counselling techniques used by other

high schools. At one time we didn't have J counselors in our high, in our

high schools. This was a very few years ago.









18

LUM 92A

B: Yes.

L: As a matter of fact in the middle 60's and late 60's we still had schools

that didn't have counsellors. And the young people didn't know exactly.who

to turn to for adivce or counselling; most often it was one of their favorite

teachers or wahtever. This was a problem I felt that ... in the beginning of

the Talent Search Program, that we, we began to involve the parents more in

our operation. We, we try to discuss their possibilities for the aprents, we

try to visit the homes, let them know what we're doing. We, we're involved

in the, in-the -homes quite a bit in that program.

B: Do you have someone who contacts the different prospects in the community?

Say people who might be interested in, in taking adult education, but they

might not even know about the existence of the program. 'Cause it's a large

county and coverage ... the tragedy of being illiterate is that many things

go on that you don't know about.

L: Right, that's very true, and I think that most of the people who- are in our

adult basic education centers were referred to us by word of mouth or either

recruited by the people we call our "recruiter-coaches," who work full-

time in the program. The referrals we feel that, we feel that i mouth-to-

mouth, uh, word-of-mouth referrals are one good way of doing it, and we, we,

as I mentioned earlier, we talk about our program on, on our radio program, and

in our community meetings, and we hope that the people can understand what we're

trying to do through this media.

B: This is certainly one way of reaching illiterate :'people is through radio and

television because if they can't read you wouldn't be able to reach them

through the newspapers.

L: RIght.
radio
B: Do you find that the / stations, I know we don't have a television station







19

LUM 92A

in this county, I believe we have about, six radio stations, five or six, I

think it's six. Do you find the stations to be very cooperative?

L: Well, the WAGR, especially has been cooperative, and all of the other stations

that we've had announcements on, have put our announcements on quite well. But

WAGR in Lumberton has been most cooperative in that they've given us a five-

minute public service times each day in which we can make comments about

our programs or whatever.

B: That's great.

....................END SIDE 1.

B: ... about the problem of reaching people whctere illiterate when they were

not able to get news of LRDA through newspapers and media of this sort. And

you were saying something about WAGR and the way they cooperated with you, I

believe.

L: Right, Mr. Barton. We've had very good cooperation from radio station WAGR in

Lumberton. We have as I mentioned the five-minute program I at 11:30

each morning and this way we feel that we can pass along news items, and in-

formation to the Indian people of programs that we have operating here,

special events coming up, that we can be a part of and help sponsor and we've

just been, we're very ,, grateful to them for this time each day.

B: Right. Is LRDA sponsoring the Lumbee homecoming at this time or was this

program given over to the Jaycees?
past
L: Right. Well, the '/' year the local Jaycees chapters in the county, the

Indian chapters, have sponsored tLumbee-'homecoming festivities and conducted

them. This year I think that LRDA is again going to have some part in the

homecoming activies. At this point I'm not exactly sure which part we'll

be working with and which part the Jaycees will work with. But I think that

we will be working and more or less the co-sponsors for the July 4th home-

coming.







20

LUM.92A

B: This has become& an annual event?

L: Right. July 4th weekend is I think the set date for each year.

B: Right. LRDA seems to me has been very successful in coordinating many of the

organizations. We don't have one overall organization among the Indian

people of this area. I refer it as the Lumbee River Valley. Since it is

actually a valley. But LRDA seems to me has been very successful in coordinating

other organizations and getting them together. Do you have a special tech-

nique? Because I know this is not too easy. Because for example just to

pull one out of the air the Burnt Swamp Baptist Association has a member of

some forty-odd churches. When you bring people like this together this is

quite an accomplishment.

L: Right. I think that that can be attributed really, Mr. Barton, to the people

that we have working here---Outreach workers and many of them are from the

various communities. Many of them are affiliated with these churches that you

mentioned and many more. It's seems that whatever they need to do in their

community they can always find a resource person to help thenaccomplish their

end. We've been very successful, I think, with the churches that we have

approached. I, I won't say always successful, but in most cases we have

been successful and ,' with the ministers, the rclhu- people, and in use of the

church facilities. At present the Senior Citizens Club meetings most all of

them take place at church fellowship halls and uh, we feel that this is

indicative of the spirit of the people.In this day and time I think it's evi-

dent of a new day of self-determination for Indian people,of people determined

to decide their own destiny and the church I feel is beginning to be involved

in this and I'm very happy to see that. The, another resource that we have

tied into quite heavily is the local Pembroke State University. And we've

had numerous seminars that we've conducted at the university. They've al-

ways extended us a cordial invitation to use their facilities. The university









21

LUM 92A

I understand now has a Human Resource Center, which is involving the com-
around
munity on the ... on campus.. I think each Saturday they have/three or four

hundred kids there using the gym facilities. The Human Resource Center is

also interested in programs for the aged, senior citizens programs, these

kinds of things. We feel very good about this and we hope that we have been

in some way been instrumental in motivating our resources in the county to

become active in change.
in a short time
B: That's great. Uh, it seems the university has come a long way/in that direc-

tion. Is this a fair statement, do you think? I mean they are taking more

interest i than they did in the past. their growing stage.

L: Right. The university has, as you mentioned, has grown very rapidly. And in

the past year I, we've been quite fortunate to be involved with the university

and I've seen quite a tremendous amount of change involving the community. I,

I think of this as a great indication of the, the spirit of the administration

of the university now. I think Dr. Jones is very interested in working

with us. He has indicated as much in the past and I've met with Dr. Jones

on occasion and he seems to be very interested in our programs and their con-

tinuation.

B: That's I'm glad to hear that 'cause there

have been complaints in the past. 'Course you always have some complaints.

L: Right, right.

B: ... how valid they are, I'm not the one to say.

L: I Right. I think that the university we value is one of our most important

resources. We've also worked with the Robeson County Church and Community

Center in meeting j family needs, whether a family needs food or clothing

after some tragedy or uh, some incident has occurred that they don't have a

place to live or appliances or whatever, we work in referring people to them









22

LUM 92A

We've been quite ... I think that Reverend Mangram who is director of the

program there has been a ... he's been a great resource to us. We ... we've

had as I mentioned earlier alot of growing pains in this agency and alot of

contacts to make and alot of resources to motivate and he has given us

quite a bit of input and he's been on our advisory, educational advisory

committee in the past. We feel very good about that. Uh, the ... we... we've

experienced some problems with the busiiness people in the aea and I wanted

to tie this in to the university while we're on that point. The people

in business, small business have had a lack of knowledge of bookkeeping

procedures and things of this nature. And we've been very fortunate to be

able to sponsor seminars on better bookkeeping, advertising, marketing, through

the university. And uh, the, the university staff in the Business Depart-

ment t has been quite helpful in helping our Business Management specialists

develop seminars for these people. We've been lucky in that respect and also

that we've had East Carolina University the : Regional Development Commission

there involved with us, helping us to develop plans for this area. So

we've ... in view of alot of problems we've been able to locate alot of resources

and it's always a ... we feel it's not an immediate process in identifying

all the resources. It takes time and we feel that we' ve been able to do

quite abit in the amount of time that we've been in existence.

B: Um, huh. Well, I'm glad that somebody's doing something about the lack of

rapport that existed at one time between the university and the community. Be-

cause I've heard complaints that ... complaints that this was indeed a fact.

I'm, I'm very happy that something is being done about this. I think it's

very constructive.

L:? We feel again Mr. Barton that the university can be one of the most ... can be

one of the most -viable-resources that, in the community.








23

LUM 92A

B;. Right. No doubt of that.

L: And we feel that we'd like to involve them in as many of our activities as

possible. That we can rely on them for resource materials and technical

assistance. And uh, the university I think is at the present time very in-

volved and very interested in our program. And we're quite grateful for that

fact. We need alot of help and ...

B: You know the transition from a college to a university is a big jump. Also

becoming slowly integrated is another big jump. And these are all changing

things; there are problems involved.

L: The university has grown at a tremendous rate as far as facilities, buildings

and students. It's grown a tremendous rate, and uh, I think probably, well,

since it's in the regional university- system of North Carolina I think that

it's very good that they are becoming involved in the community here.

B: That's great. Maybe we're getting our feet on the ground. I know there are

many, many problems of adjustment involved and whatever extent lack of

rapport or whatever exists I think all of us who are thinking people would

like to eliminate it as much as possible and bring about the happiest

working spirit for the community and the university as possible. And per-

haps your organization has served and is serving sort of as a link in this.

I noticed that ... I didn't make any thorough examination, but just coming

into contact with your staff members in general it seams that you have people
So
from just about every spot in the county you know./ the county is well

represented. Every community is very well represented it seems.

L: One of our objectives, Mr. Barton, is to ... we hope to involve as many
work
communities as possible and ... in recruiting people to /. here we try to

touch all the communities, or Indian communities represented in the county.

And I think that we have done quite well. We have somebody I think representa-

tive of every community all the way from Hughville over to Smyrna.








24

LUM.92A

B: That's great.

L: And so we ...

B: I've really encouraged that.

L: So that we think that this is a good approach in involving ourselves in the

community and being more effective in the community and we, we're quite

proud of that fact. We feel like we have very- capable people from these areas

and uh, we've been able to relate in those areas much better than we would

have I think if all of the people had been say, from Pembroke or from Magnolia,

say.

B: You would have heard more complaints. Do you, does it seem to you that some of

our Indian communities have a tendency to compete with each other or maybe

be a little bit jealous of each other at times? I guess this is human if they

are.

Well, I, I think that this '' has been a, a thing that's existed in the past,

Mr. Barton. From the time that I was in high school all the functions were to

compete with the local schools at the school. I guess this is only natural

anywhere but the, the thing carried through out into the community. The

community residents, the parents and whatnot. But I feel that in our areas

we try to involve as many of the community in joint functions as we .pos-

sible can. Now just for today for instance we had a county-wide senior

citizens' meeting where we had eight senior citizens' clubs represented there

from all over the county and these people were together laughing, talking, making

plans and working together. I feel that if we can get the senior citizens to

do this that this is a good indication that the other parts of the community,

segments of the community are ready. And this is one of our goals at'LRDA--

we can't accomplish anything as long as the communities are separated. There

has to be a joint and unified effort and uh, I feel like by virtue of us

having different staff members from the various communities that we're trying






25

LUM 92A

to tie the whole in together. To do a job. And our goal is to increase our

level of input into county affairs, educationally, economically and the

genreal welfare of the people. PI feel this is one way we can do that.

B: 4 Right. Do you think the Robeson County church Com-- ...uh, Church Center

has done some work in this direction also?

L: Well, they've been very cooperative with us. Now I imagine that the, the

Robeson County Church and Community Center has different goals and different

objectives from ours, but we're really using just about the same Indian

trails to get there.

B: Right.

L: So ...

B: It all adds up to unity in the end, doesn't it?

L: Right. It certainly does.

B: This is the most gratifying thing that I've come across in a long time.

L: In the beginning when LRDA was young and a struggling organization to get started

and become a viable part of the community I guess at times we were really

frustrated because of lack of contact. But I think now we're beginning to

establish contact and it seems that our efforts are being substantially aided

by other existing agencies in the county. And we've got a long way to go

yet, no doubt about that. But I think we've come ong way.

B: Yes. You can see the results in terms of, of a better community spirit and

many other things. People are more, seem to be growing increasingly more

community-minded and I'm sure these efforts play a valuable part in this

role. Are there other subjects you'd like to touch upon? I've, I've

kept you ... you've been very kind to stay after work i hours and all.

L: t I was very happy to do it, Mr. Barton. I think that any time that I have an

opportunity to tell the story of what we're trying to do in relation to

the total community development I'm very proud to do so and I jump at the







26

LUM 92A.

chance.

B: That's great.

L: Often times I guess that I get a little ... over--, you know, carried away

or a little overzealous, but that's the way I feel about these kinds of pro-

jects. I feel that our program is very worthwhile, a very challenging ex-

perience for me and I feel that I personally have been influenced quite a

bit by my work here and that Ihave a different outlook on the plight of

people throughout the rest of my life.

B: Well, I certainly share your enthusiasm. I'm sure that LRDA is in good hands

and uh, making itself felt throughout the county and I'm very happy about

this and I'm sure everybody who knows about the efforts ...

L: Well, I would say that also that we've appreciated your efforts in helping us

in the past. Being a great resource person to us and giving us advice and

technical assistance on occasion. Speaking engagements and whatever. I'd like

to at this time to : express my appreciation for that and we hope to ...

you'll be available to us in the future also.

B: Well, certainly that's the case always. I, my heart is always open to LRDA

and to you, and Mr. Blanks, others on the staff. I think you've done a

magnificent job And I'm really thrilled about it---what you've accomplished.

And I'll certainly wish you Godspeed to your organization because it would

be tragic to see it come to an end just as it's going as it is.

L: We feel that it ... we feel at this point that we've had ... begun to do some

very worthwhile things. We want to continue. I feel very confident that we

will be able to continue because hopefully there will be on the national

level Federal funds, implementing Indian programs and I hope th&se are con-

tinued. I feel that they're very much needed and we're .. we can especially

put them to use here in:.our county.

B: Right. Well, uh, if you don't want to add anything I want to think you for









27

LUM 92A

the Doris Duke Foundation and the History department of the University of

Florida. We'll send you the tape along with your prayer in mind
other
that it will accomplish something in bringing / people to realize the

value of our community and its various efforts

L: Well, thank you sir, and I certainly appreciate this opportunity that I

had here to explain our program to you and if I canbbe of any more as-

sistance, Mr. Barton, you know you can always call on me, don't you?

B: Thank you so very much





Full Text

PAGE 1

LUM 92A Barton interview wl Dewey Barton April 18, 1973 SLW--tvpist 1973. I am Lew Barton recordin2 for the Doris Duke B: This is April 18. American Indian Oral Historv Pro~ram. Today I am in the office of MrDewey Locklear, is that right? Of LRDA. MrLocklear, whAt do thosP initialR mean? L: Well. LRDA is the call letters for T.umbee Regional Development Association. And~ ,.my name is Dewev Locklear, my iob title here is Operations Officer, and or really Deputv Director of the agency. B: Right. L: I've been with the agency two years approximatelv. I wnrked for a year as director of the talent search component of LRDA, which jg a program funded hy the Office of Edu~ation. B: L: Right. And we werk with the high school students in selecting aid for them to attend college And to further their education. After my first year in the agency in that caoacity I was moved to this job which is I mentioned Operations Officer. I've been working here aporoximatPly a vear. B: Well, Mr. Locklear, we know thAt LRDA is reco2nized among our people, the Indians2 of this area, especially as one of the most vital organizations going and we ~ot acquainted with your pro2ram; uh, with vour organization through its L: Right. : work in sponsoring Lumbee Homecoming Dav. B: And these were whopping successes, and uh, I understand that LRDA works through all the other or2anizations and sort of coordinates all Indian organizations or all or2anizations in this area. Is that right?

PAGE 2

2 LUM 92A. L: Well, LRDA has alot of well, four or five differant programs that we are operating. And being involved in these we are.-. we touch alot of peoplP. We have affiliation with alot of people in the different various connnunities and their activities. B: And vou're funded through the Office of Economic Opportunitv? L: We have been .•. our we have an economic development grant, and this is where our administrative monies have been coming from. B: Right. L: Uh, from the Office of Economic Opportunity. We do have, however, other program sources of monies. This would be the DePartment of Labor forour NYC program, and uh, the Department of Health, Educ~tion and WElfare for our educational programs. This being the talent search component which I mentioned and the Adult Basic Education program. B: Right. L: Now Lumbee Regional Development Association of which we are speaking is a private, non-profit organization and the agency was chartered by the state of North Carolina in 1968 and we have , as our goal to develop the ability to analyze and to develop solutions for the health and educational economic and general welfare problems in the area among the Lumbee IndiansWe feel that the Indians have long since practiced the policy of self-determination. However. in the midst of plenty, and in a time of progressmany of our people have not been touched by this. B: Right. L: We feel that LRDA can serve as a vehicle that these people might learn what programs are available and what services are available that they can participate and maybe find a solution to their problem. Wewe like to think that this is our goal; as the overall qoal of the agency. B: Yes, sir.

PAGE 3

3 LUM 92A B: About how old is T.RDA? L: Well, the a~encv itself was chartered in 1968, but we, we really didn't get into theany funds until 1970And that was a small grant from the Ford Foundation. And uh, well, maybe that was int '68 we ~ot the grant from the Fond Foundation, but 1970 and '71 is when we really began to ~et some monies from the Deaprtment of HEW, and Department of Labor and Of fice of Economic Opportunity. So that we've really grown from 1971 to our present size and status. B: I see. Well, let's talk a bit farther about you. This is all interesting and I hate to cut in at this point but I would like to know a little bit more about you, your family, uh, are you married? L: Uh. Mr. Barton, yes, I am. I've been married five years. I grew up in the county here about twenty miles from the site that we're located at now, working here. I went to l'l: high school at Fairgrove High School and grammar school also. Fairgrove High School near Fairmont. North Carolina; it's about three miles from Fairmont. Upon graduation I attended Pembroke State University here in Pembroke and I graduated from Pembroke State University in 1970 with a B.S. in mathematics. B: UhhuhWho were your oarents? L: ~Y parents are Vinny Locklear and Dolly Locklear of Fairmont, near Fairmont. B: Are thev still living? L: Mv father is deceased but my mother is still living. B I see. Who did vou marry? L: My wife is Mary Elizabeth Strickland before she changed her name and she is from Roland. North Carolina which is about eight miles from my home. B: That's intersting. Did you think when you were coming along in high school, college, I mean. I know you appreciate the opportunity of working with your own people. I happen to know this personally and in your own area, but

PAGE 4

4 LUM 92A L: did you think you would have this opportunity when you were coming along? I didn't have nay idea of this particular role at that time in I'd say in high school and through college and going into college I had the idea of becoming a teacher, but in my junior year I changed my mind and decided that I would go into industry and work. And~ tried that for a few months in the industry, and the opportunity came with LRDA to work with one of the programs here, and I thought that too challenging and, to turn down. So here I am. B: Great, I'm glad I'm glad for LRDA and for all of us that you're here. I didn't ask you about how many children you have. L: I've got one little boy, age three. Bl He's great, he's right here now. Uh, what's his name? L: His name is Brian, and he's three years old. Quite a character. B: Great little fella. he's been talking with me. L: We have a Senior Citizens program going and his baby-sitter is a member of the Senior Citizens Club and todav I'm keeping him with me since thev are in a meeting. I have him here at the office with me. B: That's good. He'll be learning the ropes at an early age, won't he? Do you see any difficulties in being funded under the present administration? This may sound like a loaded question. but it isn't meant to be. I'm just wondering if any funds have been endangered by this, the President's L: Well, Mr. Barton. as you probably know, the Office of Economic Opportunity is in the phase, or in the process of being dismantled. So as I mentioned we do have a _ __ grant. B: Right. L: However. we do have grants from other funding sources as I mentioned, the Department of Labor and Department of Health. Education and WElfare. and we feel that we will be able to continue in thise areas.

PAGE 5

5 B; You will be able to survive? L: Right. We're very hopeful that we will be able to continue. B: Well, I certainly hope so, too because this organization's been a great blessing to this community and to its people. About how many programs do you have going? L: Well, we operate five different programs, from different funding sources. We have the, as I mentioned the Economic Development Program, and maybe I could go into these a little bit. Each one of them as I name them. B: That would be fine. L: And tell you just a little bit about them. The Economic Development Program which I mentioned earlier is funded by the Office of Economic Opportunity. In this program we've been addressing ourselves to the problems facing rural communities, which in, you know, the situation in our county, is very rural. And we've been trying to seek solutions to the problems facing these rural communities and in devloping the economy of the poor Indian poeple. Many of them have been farmers and the farm situation is such that farms are being consolidated and larger farms are evolving and many of the people are being left out. We work in the areas of business development;_ we try to advise and conduct seminars to, for better management practices for people who are in the small businesses; we try to assist them ~in~securigg loans to expand their businesses; another component of the Economic De velopment is that we provide referrals to existing job situations and iob sites for people who are interested in seeking emplCyment maybe in the factory level or the business or whatever. We try to find positions avail able and refer them to these. We also try to refer people to .~. the needy to existing agencies in the county so that they can have their needs met. Those are briefly some of the things we're doing in the Economic Development program. We have another program which I mentioned earlier J

PAGE 6

6 LUM92A the Adult Basic Education Program, which we're quite proud of the accom plishments of this program. We feel that it touches many of our people, and this program is again funded from the Office of Education, and we conduct six classes, in dif--, six different centers where we have classes twice per week,and the Adult Basic Education project has as its participants people from the ages of I think seventeen throu seventy-six. These people who decide that they need to further their education, and they decide that this is a good method of doing it. By attending night classes. B: This is a broad range, isn't it? L: It's very broad range. We don't have we don't specifically go to the three R's: we have civics included, uh, consumer education included in our classes, along with the mechanics of reading, writing and simple arithmetic. We B: Have you any idea about how prevelant, well, I don't like to say illiteracy, but I guess that's about the only word available, people who are not able to read and write, who were never L: Well, Mr. Barton, the recent a recent survey that I read and right now I don't remember the source, but it had given the figure as 25% of our people are functionally illiterate. B: Um, huh, that's tragic, isn't it? L: That's very tragic situation and we feel that if, there should be programs to deal with this situation. We hope that our ABE program is attempt~ng to delve into this somewhat. If I might just get off on , just one tangent i~ for a minute B: Right. L: We have a, I have a note here in front of me, or a series of notes that are from talking to another staff member who has just visited a couple of the ABE centers this week. And he states here that it is quite a thrill

PAGE 7

7 LUM 92A for him to see people concerned about whether they can make a pretty "s" or pretty "t". People, it's quite astonishing that many of our peole have never had the opportunity to even go to the first grade and pick up the mechanics of the first grade and he really goes into the thing here of of how emotional he becomes by watching these people as they strive to write their name or to, for the first time, you see. here B: Uh, huh. L: And he has some good comments/and I wanted to mention that that we have a note here that there was one person in the class who went from zero to sixth grade level in six months. That's as far as reading is concerned. B: That's great. L: And uh, this person had never been able to read her Bible before. Being very religious she considers this a beautiful thing now that she can read her Bible. B: It certainly is. L: But the, the situation with the Adult Basic Education is such that we have the teaching on.' an individual basis. We just don't lecture; we teach the people on an individual basis and let each one progress at his own speed and he studies the things that he's interested in. We're quite proud of the program; we feel like it's being very effective; we're the working with approximately two hundred students in/six centers. B: How many people do you have in your entire staff here? L: There's full and part-time, there's fifty people in all the programs. Going on from the Adult Basic Education program we have the Neighborhood Youth Corps program where we have the director and two counselors plus some NYC workers who help out in the office. But we have an in-school program and an out-of-school program. And again I mention that'tmis~is~funded from the Department of Labor and we give, we try to

PAGE 8

8 LUM 92A give meaningful work experience to many of the people, you~g~people who have either dropped out of school or who need some kind of assistance to continue school. And uh, the Lumbee Outreach Talent Search Project as I mentioned earlier has a its objective is to identify young a people at the secondary level who aspire to go to/post-secondary institution either a trade school or at the college level. We seek to locate financial resources and to provide guidance to them in their endeavors. The other program would be we have a VISTA component which we're quite proud of also. We have, I think, I'm not sure now, but I believe it's the only all-Indian locally recruited VISTA volunteer project in the country. And I'm, I'm not defintely positive on that but I believe so. Anyhow here in the east. So that these people have volunteered to work in their own commmunities to try to help alleviate some of the situations that exist there. At p:tesent~we're._, working with the senior citizens. WE have among the Indian people approximately twelve to fourteen hundred people who are senior citizens. And we haven't invol _ved them in any kinds of programs as of yet so that we feel that the VISTA component is a good way for us to do this. And we have developed at this time eight local senior citizens clubs in the different target communties, and these people are very enthusiastic and very active and interested in becoming a part of helping in their community. So And those would be the programs right now that we have in existence./ I hope that's given you just a little bit of more insight to, into the B: Well, it certainly has, and it sounds like a great lineup to me. I talked to some of those people who are taking adult education classes by the way and made a report ot the paper for the paper and they were very enthu siastic, and they said that they could help; they were L: I guess it's a new world, you know.

PAGE 9

9 LUM 92A B: Right. A new world had opened up for some of them. L: I really I talked to several of them and there was one man in particular that comes to mind this time and he mentioned to me that he had driven to Lumberton from Fayetteville which is a distance of forty miles and he was looking for a particular building. And so he thought, "we,l, I'll stop at a service station and ask somebody where this building's at." Then he thought to himself, "Well, I can read now, I won't have to do that; I'll just look at the sign on the building." B: Right. L: So that I, I imagine that must be a tremendous feeling for a person who has not been able to read or who has not been able to write; his name to acquire that knowledge. I think that must be a wonderful feeling. B: And the building . you now occupy, that you are occupying is the building which was once the Carolina Inn7 old here L: Right. This was once the/Carolina Inn Hotel/in Pembroke, and we have ovfices downstairs and upstairs. B: Uh, huh. You have plenty of space? L: Well, we're we occupy just about all of the rooms, but, you know, we always could use more conference space or meeting space or whatever, but we do very well. B: That's good. I know building space is very scarce now. L: Very scarce and very expensive, too. B: Right. .You' re certainly fortunate there. Do you have do you envision any new programs or any expansion? L: Well, uh, we hope to expand the VISTA project right now, Mr. Barton, and we are not right now in the coming months I think August is the month we're t~lking about. We hope to increase taht maybe by seven to ten more VISTA volunteers. We've found this is an, a very effective way of reaching

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10 LUM 92A our people because these people being locally recruited they know about their communities and they have, they know about some of the problems ". existing, and we have several proposals in mind and I think that we have developed one at the present time to work with the local educational agency, the Robeson County Board of Education, in co-sponsoring a project to tutor the children at home who need to improve their proficiency. And we would like to get involved in that aspect of it. B: I would like to ask you a question which if you don't won't to answer it I would feel certain to understand. But we have had some unrest among the Indians recently and the American Indian movement people coming in; the movement growing in the county itself. Uh, you haven't had any discontent with them, LRDA hasn't , I mean, overt as yet, has it? L: Uh, Mr. Barton, no 1 we haven't. We've in all of our programs we seek to work with all the groups ; all the Indian groups; the East Carolina Indian organization; the Tuscaroora Indians; the Lumbee Indians; we seek to work with all of them; we hope to involve all of them in our programs; we try to 'touch. alL of the ... ~ommunity, uh, communities where people live and we've help been very fortunate in being able to f/ many of these people. B: That's great. L: And we feel very good about that. We're very enthusiastic about the future. B: I noticed when I was over here doing an interview for the newspaper I was taken over to the, what do Lumberton? you call it, where you view the stars in ~= The planetarium. B: Planetarium. My memory's on vacation. Uh, some of the people were over there and just to be~n 'that program and to see some of those, some of the programs that they have to offer over there, uh, must have been a thrilling experience for some of the poeple who were there.

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11 LUM 92A L: l!m sure it was. We B: It was for me even with my limited vision; a plantiarium certainly makes alot of things clearer~L: Um, huh. Well, I think that in the Adult Basic Education program that the director has sponsored tours over to the planetarium and to other local points of interest for the students in the class~. We're we attempt,to keep them as busy as possible; as interested as possible i~oing the things that they want to do. Right now I'm very happy about that. B: That's good. You haven't met any opposition from established, so-called established education? L: Well, I guess that any new and innovative program would probably conflict with some of their ideas, but I think that w6 in working with Robeson Technical Institute we've been very fcrtunate. Mr. Craig Allen has been most cooperative in working with us, and Mr. Gene Mercer, who is director of the educational, adult educational part of it, excuse me, has been very we've worked very w~ll with them, and uh, and uh, it's really I think indicative of the spirit in adult education throughout the county that we've been able to involve them in quite a number of ideas that we've had. B: Right. L: And we don't know how long it's gonna take for tnem to change, but they look with favor on our program, I think. B: That's great because with their cooperativn you should have no/4 difficulties. L: We've worked very well with them I'm glad to say. B: That's good. L: And Robeson Tech, you know, is the institution in th~ county that sponsors adult education through out in the local high schools and whatever I'm not sure how many centers they have operating, but we've had some of . !If the people there on our educational advisory board giving us ad~ce on ..-..

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12 LUM 92A maybe techniques they use and better methods, whatever, and I, I feel very good about that. B: That's great. Have you found that our drop-out, the drop-out rate among our students are high? L: Mr. Barton, again, B: Or is high. I'm mixing up my plurals and singulars there. L: Again, I don't have the most recent figures, but the last survey that I looked at had the Indian drop-out rate from first through twelfth grade at 65% which is a tragic thing. B: It certainly is. L: And this has been one of our major problems. It affects our county, I think, economically as well as educationally. We, you know, our people drop out and they take immediate employment from high school or whatever, and we feel it's a very .. tragic situation. And we' re hoping that this is improving. I haven '.t as I say, saw the most recent figures, I think these figures are about three years old. B: Uhm, huh. L: But at that time it was about 65%. B: There was a time when our people preached what they called "the gospel of education" and this was widely done. Do you think we might be getting away from that or ? L: Well, I think the trend in education nationally now as well as in the state and country here is for m~re specialized training;to learn a particular skill, a trade. We have alot of people across the nation who have college degrees or whatever who are unemployed; but very seldom do you find a person with a partmcular skill who is unemployed. There's always a need for that. And on a national level I think that this might be the trend. Things are from the information that I have and I think that getting

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13 LUM 92A away from the point of sending all of our children that do go to post secondary school to a fouryear college is a good iea. I would like to think that we would continue to send those who wanted to go there, but we ouwln't force those who wanted to take up a trade to go to a four year coleege; that we would provade an opportunity for him to attend a technical school arid to learn a specific skill. B: In other words this sort of helps to keep square ___ pegs out of round holes. L: Right, I think so. I think so. B: If there're no if they have, no alternative but to go to one to study in one particular field L: It's easy to drop out then, you see. B: Right. L: I think this has been a problem here for even at the high school level. That just in the past few years we've started opening up more of the trade side of education in our high schools which I think is a thing that's very much needed, which is a personal opinion of course, but I think that we've had carpentry introduced, some of the ag. skills have been .you know, expanded, we're introducing more I think the business de partments in our high schools are beginning to be more inclined to producing students who will be interested in the business field. Of gain' on to two-year college in business. I think this is very good. B: I certainly hope that it continues to, to serve its _____ purpose. Could you tell us some of the names of the people who are, you ~w, on the staff? L: OK. We have, of course, the executive director who is is Mr. Tom Blanks, and again my name is Dewey Locklear and the planning co-ordinator, who helps us in writing our proposals and planning various things that we

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14 LUM 92A should be involved in, is Miss Ruth Bettis; the director of the Economic Development program here is Pearl Baxley Locklear B: Uh, huh. L: And the director of the NYC program, Neighborhood Youth Corps, is Mr, Ken Maynor; the director of the Educational Talent Search program would be James Monroe Chavis; the director of the well, our business manager is Miss Annie Chavis, Mrs. Annie Chavis, and a quite capable person, we're lucky to have her, I think, and let me see, I left out a program I think. 'l, The Adult Basic Education director is Mr. Herl Deeds. So and the VISTA supervisor is myself. I supervise the VISTA volunteers. So that if you feel that I've been quite prejudiced toward the VISTA volunteers, that's the reason. t B: Well, I was priv~le@ed to interview two of the workers several months ago and it was very encouraging. L: They're one of the most enthusiastic groups of people that I've seen lately, {jJ Mr. Barton; there's seven of them and they'ret.very enthusiastic bunch of girls and they're doing I think a good job---a very good job. B: Do you have a •. do you have somebody to direct the program,. this program from,_say fromthe outside. I don't like to say fvom the outside 'cause that sounds a little prejudiced. L: No, we have wb.at we B: It's entirely composed of local people. L: Right, so that we have as I mentioned the sevel locally recruited volunteers, and of course I'm their supervisor as I mentioned. The next person of course outside the agency who would have any contact would be the fiels representative from ACTION, the VISTA office, and his office, the area office is in Charlmttle. So he is the program director for the state of South Carolina '.. "'. and North Carolina. But the peopilte are supervised from

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15 LUM 92A the agency; there's no outside supervision. B: Well, it sounds like you have a very able staff. 'Cause I know many of these people personally. L: Um, huh. B: I certainly have ---respect for , for you and ijr.:.a:Blanks. I ----certainly congratulate you on the progeess that you've made 'cause I can remember just a few years ago and LRDA had just a little corner in the L: Right. B: .•. City HAll. L: It's grown tremendously since that time. Mr. Barton, I think that we hope, my hope is that our effect has been, has grown in proportion to the size of our programs and, and I'd like to think even more so.We have so many more people working now from:,the, from the one person Mrs. Vera Lowrery to now almost fifty employees. So that if we are doing fifty times as much work as she was I think we'll be getting on down the road. B: By the way is she still around or is she working ? L: She's, she's ... Miss Vera comes in occasionally in an advisory capacity to helpus. B: Uh, huh. L: She's not actively employed &nymore and, but she's still involved with us and quite a great resource person. B: Yes. Well, she's certainly a great organizer L: Yes, she is. B: Great, great worker among her people I think. And I think that people are going to become more and more aware of LRDA and what it what LRDA is doing. ~: Well, I think that the one thing that we, we're beginning to embark on now is we really want to get out; I think we've been doing some great things, but

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16 LUM92A just all of the people haven't heard about 'em, or don't know about 'em. And we want to make sure that every prson knows exactly what we're doing and we're trying to do this through publications, newsletters, community meetings, which we're d~Ln/ conducting. Uh, just any news media, the Carolina Indian Voice, which is a great asset to our community. Uh, we've had articles in The Robesonian, on the radio, TV; we had a special on on the second Sunday in April--I don't remember the, the exact date, but we had a thirty minute special on channel 13--at WBTW in Florence, South Carolina. Uh, we have a five minute daily radio program which we're we try to disseminate in formation --the things we're doing, programs available, services available, and we just hope that we can get the word out to more people about what we're doing. B: Right. Your, your organization is unique, or almost so. There are I don't know another organization exactly like LRDA. L: Well, I think that we are similar to one more in the country; I believe it's located in Minnesota, I believe, I'm not sure. I think Minneapolis, there's a ..• we're an LPA, which is Limited Purpose Agency; we're different from a CAA or Community Action Agency and to some degree we work with a limited purpose. That is, we work primarily with the Indian people and our limited target area is in the county of Robeson County. So that we are called an LPA. B: Do people who tend to misunderstand, 'scuse me, I'm phrasing that quite badly, excuse me , ... are there people who tend to misinterpret the program or misunderstand it? L: Well, I, I think that many times the p-r:oblem that I find, Mr. Barton, is that uh, people normally who are referred to us don't know exactly the scope of the services we have to offer. And many of the things that I've mentioned to ,. 1. you that they really , , don't understand what they 're all about. Could

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17 LUM 92A you hold it just a minute? L: Mr. Locklear, we know that with any organization of this size or even smaller, there are inevitable problems, growing pains and what have you--could you tell us something about some of the problems that you've have encountered here at LRDA? L: Well, Mr. Barton, the our problems have been to say the least, numerous. And I think that we've had problems as you menoioned in our growing pains, in getting ourselves established, getting our contacts made in the county, get ting an amount of credibility--these kind of general problems.. But more specifically I think that well, if we were to pick out, say, one program, in which I was worked with for a while, as I mentioned, the, the Lumbee Outreach Talent Search Program--we found that, we found that there was a tremendous amount of interest among the people in the community as far as post-secondary education and we realized the need for specific training, but that the, the parents had no knowledge of a guidance system or the recommenda tions to their children. B: Um, huh. L: And the counselors in the program often times would call into the homes to really discuss with the parents the possiblities available to the children and many times the people would ask the counselors what to do or what sug gestions they had. Which is kind of it's not really a great position to be in because you don't want to influence anybody the wrong way. So we've, we've had some probleLls in that respect. I think that the counselors in our high schools now are becoming more aware of, of the situation that has existed; they are becoming more in line with the counselling techniques used by other high s2hools. At one time we didn't have i counselors in our high, in our high schools. This was a very few years ago.

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18 LUM 92A B: Yes. L: As a matter of fact in the middle 60's and late 60's we still had schools that didn't have counsellors. And the young people didn't know exactly.who to turn to for adivce or counselling; most often it was one of their favorite teachers or wahtever. This was a problem I felt that in the beginning of the Talent Search Program, that we, we began to involve the parents more in our operation. We, we try to discuss their possiblities for the aprents, we try to visit the homes, let them know what we're doing. We, we're involved in the, .in~the _homes quite a bit in that program. B: Do you have someone who contacts the different prospects in the community? Say people who might be interested in, in taking adult education, but they might not even know about the existence of the program. 'Cause it's a large county and coverage ... the tragedy of being illiterate is that many things go on that you don't know about. L: Right, that's very true, and I think that most of the people who are in our adult basic education centers were referred to us by word of mouth or either recruited by the people we call our "recruiter-coaches," who work full time in the program. The referrals we feel that, we feel that~ mouth-to mouth, uh, word-of-mouth referrals are one good way of doing it, and we, we, as I mentioned earlier, we talk about our program on, on our radio program, and in our community meetings, and we hope that the people can understand what we're trying to do through this media. B: This is certainly one way of reaching illiterate :people is through radio and television because if they can't read you wouldn't be able to reach them through the newspapers. L: Rlght. radio B: Do you find that the /_ stations, I know we don't have a television station

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19 LUM 92A in this county, I believe we have about, six radio stations, five or six, I think it's six. Do you find the stations to be very cooperative? L: Well, the WAGR, especially has been cooperative, and all of the other stations that we've had announcements on, have put our announcements on quite well. But WAGR in Lumberton has been most cooperative in-that they've given us a five minute public service times each day in which we can make connnents about our programs or whatever. B: That's great . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . END SIDE 1. B: about the problem of reaching people whtere illiterate when they were not able to get news of LRDA through newspapers and media of this sort. And you were saying something about WAGR and the way they cooperated with you, I believe. L: Right, Mr. Barton. We've had very good cooperation from radio station WAGR in Lumberton. We have as I mentioned the five-minute program, at 11:30 each morning and this way we feel that we can pass along news items, and in formation to the Indian people of programs that we have operating here, special events coming up, that we can be a part of and help sponsor and we've just been, we' re very 1 grateful to them for this time each day. B: Right. Is LRDA sponsoring the Lumbee homecoming at this time or was this program given over to the Jaycees? past L: Right. Well, the 1 ,/' year the local Jaycees chapters in the county, the Indian chapters, have sponsored t.Lu1!1bee.1 homecoming festivites and conducted them. This year I think that LRDA is again going to have some part in the homecoming activies. At this point Ilm not exactly sure which part we'll be working with and which part the Jaycees will work with. But I think that we will be working and more or less the co-sponsors for the July 4th homecoming.

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20 LUM92A B: This has become an annual event? L: Right. July 4th weekend is I think the set date for each year. B: Right. LRDA seems to me has been very sucessful in coordinating many of the organizations. We don't have one overall organization among the Indian people of this area. I refer it as the Lumbee River Valley. Since it is actually a valley. But LRDA seems to me has been very successful in coordinating other organizations and getting them together. Do you have a special tech nique? Because I know this is not too easy. Because for example just to pull one out of the air the Burnt Swamp Baptist Association has a memyber of some forty-odd churches. When you bring people like this together this is quite an accomplishment. L: Right. I think that that can be attributed really, Mr. Barton, to the people that we have working here---Outreach workers and many of them are from the various communities. Many of them are affiliated with these churches that you mentioned and many more. It's seems that whatever they need to do in their cotnlllunity they can always find a resource person to help the~ccomplish their end. We've been very successful, i think, with the churches that we have approached. I, I won't say always successful, but in most cases we have been sucessfu1 and ; with the ministers, the d,u.nk people, and in use of the church facilities. At present the Senior Citizens Club meetings most all of them take place at church fellowship halls and uh, we feel that this is indicative of the spirit of the people.In this day and time I think it's evi~ dent of a new day of self-determination for Indian people,of people determened to decide their own destiny and the church I feel is beginning to be involved i \J\U.• in this and I'm very happy to see that. ~-rhe, another resource that we have tied into quite heavily is the local Pembroke State University. And we've had numerous seminars that we've conducted at the universtJ-Y• They've always extended us a cordial invitation to use their facilities. The university

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21 LUM 92A I understand now has a Human Resource Center, which is involving the comaround munity on the .•.. on campus .. I think each Saturday they have/three or four hundred kids there using the gym facilities. The Human Resource Center is also interested in programs for the aged, senior citizens programs, these kinds of things. We feel very good about this and we hope that we have been in some way been instrumental in motivating our resources in the county to become active in change. in a short time B: That's great. Uh, it seems the university has come a long way/in that direction. Is this a fair statement, do you think? I mean they are taking more interest l than they did in the past. --their growing stage. L: Right. The university has, as you mentioned, has grown very rapidly. And in the past year I, we've been quite fortunate to be involved with the university and I've seen quite a tremendous amount of change involving the connnunityo I, I think of this as a great indication of the, the spirit of the administration of the university now. I think Dr. Jones is very interested in working B: with us. He has indicated as much in the past and I've met with Dr. Jones on occasion and he seems to be very interested in our programs and their con tinuation. That's I'm glad to hear that 'cause there have been complaints in the past. 'Course you always have some complaints. L: Right, right. B: how valid they are, I'm not the one to say. L: t Right. I think that the university we value is one of our most important resources. We've also worked with the Robeson County Church and Connnunity Center in meeting g family needs, whether a family needs food or clothing after some tragedy or uh, some incident has occurred that they don't have a place to live or appliances or whatever, we work in referring people to them

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22 LUM 92A We've been quite I think that Reverend Mangram who is director of the program there has been a he's been a great resource to us. We we've had as I mentioned earlier alot of growing pains in this agency and alot of contacts to make and alot of resources to motivate and he has given us quite a bit of input and he's been on our advisory, educational advisory connnittee in the past. We feel very good about that. Uh, the we we've experienced some problems with the busiiness people in the a-ea and I wanted to tie this in to the university while we're on that point. The people in business, small business have had a lack of knowledge of bookkeeping procedures and things of this nature. And we've been very fortunate to be able to sponsor seminars on better bookkeeping, advertising, marketing, through the university. And uh, the, the university staff in the Business Department r' has been quite helpful in helping our Business Management specialists develop seminars for these people. We've been lucky in that respect and also that we've had East Carolina University , the :' :Regional Development Commission there involved with us, helping us to develop plans for this area. So we've in view of alot of problems we've been able to locate alot of resources and it's always a we feel it's not an innnediate process in identifying all the resources. It takes time and we feel that we've been able to do quite abit in the amount of time that we've been in existence. B: Um, huh. Well, I'm glad that somebody's doing something about the lack of rapport that existed at one time between the university and the community. Be cause I've heard complaints that complaints that this was indeed a fact. I'm, I'm very happy that something is being done about this. I think it's very constructive. L:? We feel again Mr. Barton that the university can be one of the most can be one of the most viablesresources that, in the connnmnity.

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23 LUM 92A B;. Right. No doubt of that. L: And we feel that we'd like to involve them in as many of our activites as possible. That we can rely on them for resource materials and technical assistance. And uh, the university I think is at the present time very in volved and very interested in our program. And we're quite grateful for that fact. We need alot of help and B: You know the transition from a college to a university is a big jump. Also beeoming slowly integrated is another big jump. And these are all changing things; there are problems involved. L: The university has grown at a tremendous rate as far as facilites, buildings B: and students. It's grown a tremendous rate, and uh, I think probably, well, since it's in the r.egional universitysystem of North Carolina I think that it's very good that they are becoming involved in the community here. That's great. Maybe we're getting our feet on the ground. I know there are many, many problems of adjustment involved and whatever extent lack of rapport or whatever exists I think all of us who are thinking people would like to eliminate it as much as possible and bring about, 1 the happiest working spirit for the community and the university as possible. And perhaps your organization has served and is serving sort of as a link in this. I noticed that I didn't make any thorough examination, but just coming into contact with your staff members in general it se.ams that you have people So from just about every spot in the county, you know./ the county is well represented. Every community is very well represented it seems. L: One of our objectives, Mr. Barton, is to , we hope to involve as many work communities as possible and in recruiting people to >/. here we try to touch all the communities, or Indian communities represented in the county. And I think that we have done quite well. We have somebody I think representa tive of every community all the way from Hughville over to Smyrna.

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LUM 92A B: That's great. L: And so we B: I've really encouraged that. 24 L: So that we think that this is a good approach in involving ourselves in the community and being more effective in the community and we, we're quite proud of that fact. We feel 1:i!ke we have verycapable people from these areas and uh, we've been able to relate in those areas much better than we would have I think if all of the people had been say, from Pembroke or from Magnolia, say. B: You would have heard more complaints. Do you, does it seem to you that some of our Indian communities have a tendency to compete with each other or maybe be a little bit jealous of each other at times? I guess this is human if they are. Well, I, I think that this '~ has been a, a thing that's existed in the past, Mr. Barton. From the time that I was in high school all the functions were to compete with the local schools at the school. I guess this is only natural anywhere but the, the thing carried through out into the community. The community residents, the parents and whatnot. But I feel that in our areas we try to involve as many of the communit~ in joint fuctions as we possible can. Now just for today for instance we had a county-wide senior citizens' meeting where we had eight senior citizens' clubs represented there \\\~ from all over the county and these people were together laughing, talking,~making plans and working together. I feel that if we can get the senior citizens to do this that this is a good indication that the other parts of the community, segments of the community are ready. And this is one of our goals at'LRDA-we can't accomplish anything as long as the communities are separated. There has to be a joint and unified effort and uh, I feel like by virtue of us having different staff members from the various communities that we're trying

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25 LUM 92A to tie the whole in together. To do a job. And our goal is to increase our level of input into county affatrs, educationa1ly, economically genreal welfare of the people. rr feel this is}one way we can do and the that. B: t Right. Do you think the Robeson County church Com-uh, Church Center ' has done some work in this direction also? L: Well, they've been very cooperative with us. Now I imagine that the; the Robeson County Church and Community Center has different goals and different objectives from ours, but we're really using just about the same Indian trails to get there. B: Right. L: So B: It all adds up to unity in the end, doesn't it? L: Right. It certainly does. B: This is the most gratifying thing that I've come ac~oss in a long time. L: In the beginning when LRDA was young and a struggling organization to get started and become a viable part of the co:nmunity I guess at times we were really frustrated because of lack of contact. But I think now we're beginning to .. establishicontact and it seems that our efforts are being substantially aided by other existing agencies in the county. And we've got a long way to go l\i, yet, no doubt about that. But I think we've come~~ong way. B: Yes. You can see the results in terms of, of a better community s~irit and many other things. People are more, seem to be growing increasingly more community-miftded and I'm sure these efforts play a valuable part .J in this role. Are there other subjects you'd like to touch upon? I've, I've kept you you've been very kind to stay after work~ hours and all. L: WI was very happy to do it, Mr. Barton. I think that any time that I have an opportunity to tell the story of what we're trying to do in relation to the total community development I'm very proud to do so and I jump at the

PAGE 26

26 LUM 92A chance. B: That's great. L: Often times I guess that I get a little over--, you know, carried away or a little overzealous, but that's the way I feel about these kinds of pro jects. I feel that our program is very worthwhile, a very challenging ex perience for me and I feel that I personally have been influenced quite a bit by my work here and that rthave a differnt outlook on the plight of people throughout the rest of my life. B: Well, I certainly share your enthusiasm. I'm sure that LRDA is in good hamds and uh, making itself felt throughout the county and I'm very happy about this and I'm ' sure everybody who knows about the efforts L: Well, I would say that also that we've appreciated your efforts in helping us in the past. Being a great resource person to us and giving us advice and technical assistance on occasion. Speaking engagements and whatever. I'd like to at this time to express my appreciation for that and we hope to you'll be available to us in the future also. B: Well, certainly that's the case always. I, my heart is always open to LRDA and to you, and Mr. Blanks, others on the staff. I think you've done a magnificent job. And I'm really thrilled about it---what you've accomplished. And I'll cerl'i.nly wish you Godspeed to your organization because it would L: 'i be tragic to see it come to an .end just as it's lgoing 'as it is~ We feel that it we feel at this point that we've had begun to do some very worthwhile things. We want to continue. I feel very confident that we will be able to continue because hopefully there will be on the national level Federal funds~mplementing Indian programs and I hope these are con tinued. I feel that theyare very much needed and we're we can especially put them to use here in,~ . our county. B: Right. Well, uh, if you don't want to add anything I want to thank you for

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27 LUM 92A the Doris Duke Foundation and the History department of the University of Florida. We'll send you the tape ____ along with your prayer in mind other that it will accomplish something in bringing / people to realize the value of our community and its various efforts L: Well, thank you ' sir, and I certainly appreciate this opportunity that I had here to explain our program to you and if I canrf;e of any more assistance, Mr. Barton, you know you can always call on me, don't you? B: Thank you so very much .