Title: Interview with Donny Sampson (June 1, 1973)
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007080/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Donny Sampson (June 1, 1973)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: June 1, 1973
Spatial Coverage: Lumbee County (Fla.)
Funding: This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00007080
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location: This interview is part of the 'Lumbee County' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: LUM 93A

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Full Text


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

Copyright, 2005, University of Florida.
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Danny Sampson
Interviewer: Marilyn Taylor
Typist: Sally A. White

M: My name is Marilyn Taylor. I am at, uh, Pembroke Police Department. And

with me, is a young man who is a student, and he also fills in, and helps out

with police work. Um, I'm gonna attempt to interview him, now. He'll

have, probably, many interruptions, but we'll go around those and, and

try to deal with them. Um, would you tell us your full name and how old

you are, please?

S: Danny Sampson. I'm fifteen.

T: Uh, would you spell your last name?

S: S-A-M-P-S-O-N.

T: And, what school do you gol.to, Danny?

S: Uh, Pembroke Junior High.

T: And, uh, who is your principal, there?

S: Mr. Newman Oxendine.

T: Mr. Newman Oxendine? Do you have any other brothers or sisters?

S: Uh, I have 2 half-brothers.

T: You do? Who's your mother and father?

S: Odie Sampson and Sampson.

T: And......do they live here in Pembroke?

S: No, out of town, 'bout 3 miles.

T; 'Bout three miles? Then you ride or commute into school, every day?

S: Yes, ma'am.

T: What is one of your c\vnritbsubjects, perhaps in school, that you like,

that's the most........

S: I like math, pretty good.



T: You like math? Well, what other subjects do you take?

S: Uh, english and art and agriculture, and now I'm taking driver's ed.

T: What do you think about driver's ed?

S: I like it all right.

T: You think you're going to be able to, uh, like to drive? When you, when

will you be sixteen?

S: Uh, April first.

T: You haven't got long to go, have you? Or do you mean May first?

Si April first.

T: April first?

S: Yeah, that's come back

T: Oh, next year. You just turned fifteen, is that right? Okay. Uh, Danny,

what is, let's see, you've got, do you, your parents let you date, any, or

do you like girls at this stage?

S: Uh, yeah.

T: Do you have a girlfriend?

S: Yeah.

T: Uh, what do you think about schools integrating? Do you get along, okay, with

the Indians? You have Blacks, then, too, go to your school? What do you

think about this? I want your honestpinion because there's nobody unique

and can tell it just like you can, and see it like you can. If there's

problems, there, or whatever. I want to tell it in your own way.

S: Well, I like 'em just like if they were Indians, and I expect 'em to like

me the same way.

T: You talking' about Blacks and Whites?

S: Yes.



T: Then you don't see any, there's no difficulty in your school, no racial

problems, or anything?

S: Uh, no.

T: What about your teachers? Do you find that your teachers give you fair


S: Well, sometimes I think that they're the ones wrong, but it might be for

the best.

T: How do you figure this?

S; Well,.......

T: Do you figure it's for the best because, perhaps, your parents have said

so, or are-you thinking' for yourself?

S: Thinkin' for myself.

T: Uh, what way, sometimes do you think they might be a little harsh?

S: Well, like maybe they give us too much homework.

T: And do you hold this job, what, what is your job, here?

S: Uh, just answering the phones, and on Saturdays, I have to watch the police


T: How do you go about watching police cars, I mean, are they parked all in

one place, or .....what do you do?

S: I just have to watch 2.

T: You watch 'em for what? Theives, or what? For theft, or, uh,......

S: Oh, I say I wash 'em.

T: Oh, you wash 'em. I thought you said you watched 'em...... uh, mix

up in words, there. Uh, do you get paid for doing this?

S: Yes.

T: And this you use for spending money?



S: Uh, I have debts to pay, and when I get through payin' my debts.......

T: You mean you're fifteen years old, and you already have debts? (laughs)

S: Yeah.

T: I'm tempted to ask you why, but I won't unless you don't, unless you

want to tell me. What's your greatest debt, what, what do you like to spend

your money-on, the most, let's say?

S: Uh, clothes.

T: Clothes? Well, this's about typical, it's about right for your age.

Pretty soon it'll be girls, probably. Do you go on dates now, any?

S: Uh, yes.

T: double dates, or something?

S: Yeah. Sometimes I do.

T: What do you, what do you think about dating someone that's not, that's not

an Indian, perhaps a Black or a White or someone outside of your race?

How would you feel about this? Would you do it?

S: Well.....

T: The only thing you can say is at this period of your life, you don't know,

I mean

S: I'm gonna, if I feel for 'em, and care for 'em I would.

T: Well, that's a good answer. Very good. Um, you're aware of, uh, people

Old Main? How did you feel when you learned that

this building was burning, and, uh, it was gutted out, and everything?

S: Well, I felt bad. And I thought that the person who did it, or the ones

who did it should be punished.

T: Who do you think, Danny, it's a big question mark with everybody. Do

you have any ideas about who you think might have done it?



S: No, I don't have any idea? Uh, I don't care who it was......

T: It's unconceivable to think, I mean, it's almost unbelievable to think

about that an Indian would do it, after we fought so hard to keep it. And,

and why would a white person.......But what would think the punishment ought

to be? If they, they burned it deliberately, just on an act of

violence. What would you think their punishment should be? If it was up

to, let's say you was a judge, because you're in police work, and you may

go on to, you know, this, and one day it conceivable that you could

be a judge, or on the jury to decide someone's fate, or

S: Well, I think he ought to have a life sentence.

T: Well, if that's the way you feel, that's the way and that's right.

Because you feel strong about this building, don't you? All of us do.

S: Yeah.

T: Uh, how did you feel that the governor came down Governor Hols-Houser,

have you seen him, have you, in any of the since he's been down

here, any of the rallies?

S: Uh, no.

T: Did you know that he came down and promised the, tried to get money, he

tried to get money from the state to have it restored. How did you feel

about this? Did you think it was good, or what? How did you feel toward


S: Uh, yeah. Ummmm......

T: Do you have to do something? (TAPE CUTS OFF). I think I was asking you,

Danny, when we were interrupted how you felt about, did you feel that

Old Main should be restored? And how Mr. Hols-Houser, our Governor, did

you think it was a good act on his part to come down +o- +il k +r U



after the building, I think it was ;on a Monday, after the first.....

S: Uh, yeah.

T: What do you think of him as a governor, for having done this, what you

know, and I know in the long run...

S:. Well, it was good him coming down here, but he promised us some-

thing and I believe he turned it down.

T: Uh, what was this, now? Tell me about it, 'cause it might be something

I don't know about.

S: I believe he promised to try to restore it, and then he said it couldn't

be restored.

T: Well, how do you feel about it, then, do you feel it can be? He's been

talking with, you know, with building experts, that's been talking

to your, perhaps, parents and people around town, here. Now, would you

like to see it restored?

S: Yes. I think it might eould be restored.

T: How did you feel something to you, Danny? I know why.

I want you to tell our listeners.

S: Well, for one reason, my father, he helped build it.

T: Interrupt for the phone. (TAPE CUTS OFF). Now, you said your father did

what, now?

S: He helped build it.

T: Build it, What, what.......

S: He carried, he helped haul the sand, there.

T: To, uh, Old Main?

S: Yeah.

T: And how does he feel about the building, Danny? What, what have you heard



him say?

S: I, I haven't heard him say nothing about it, but I know he kind of feels

sorry about it.

T: Well, there's alot of people cryin' about it. If he didn't cry, maybe, he,

like you said, feel upset about it. How does your mother feel about it?

Has she given any comments about it?

S: Uh, no. She didn't have much to say aboutlit.

T: Did you watch it, any, while it was burning?

S: Yeah. I went up there the night after it burned.

T: That would have been on what night? Let's see.....it started burning on

Sunday, right?

S: Anyway, the night that the old store down there burnt up?

T: Uh-huh.

S: I was there that night.

T: What do you think about that old store being burned? Who do you think burned

that? If you have an opinion, now, none of us know officially anything, but

we have, you know, our opinions.

S: Well, I think the ones that burned that, stay right around here, from


T: You think they're natives of here, or why did you think they would burn it?

Do you have any ideas why you think they would burn it?

S: No.

T: Do you think they might have something against the man who owned it? I

don't want to ask you any questions that you don't want to answer, now,

and if I do, you just say, "well, I'd rather not answer that."



S: Well, that one, I really don't know.

T: Yeah. Well...... Um, was there.much talk about it at your school? Where

you go to school? About the burnings? Of Old Main, of that building,

and we had several more fires around.

S: Yeah, There's quite alot of talk about it. Among the Indians.

T: What do you think of the Tuscarora group? Are you a Tuscarora, or are you

a Lumbee Indian?

S: Uh, I really don't go for, Well, I didn't go for Lumbee, but I went to a

few of the Tuscarora meetings and I think alot of it.

T: You think they're, uh, in what way do you think, uh, I mean what way do

you like to .

S: Well, when they believe in doing something, they, they try to do it.

T: In other words, they don't mess around and talk. Is that what your saying?

S: Yeah, they try to do what they what they plan to do.

T: And how do they sometimes go about this? Did you march with them when they

went from Pembroke to Lumberton?

S: No.

T: Would you like to have?

S: Yeah.

T: I believe they picked up....why would you like to have? To have been part

of history a cause that you felt that you wanted to support,

or why?

S: Yeah.

T: Can you tell me ad agabout the leaders of the Tuscarora? Of course I

read the paper and everything, but what I'm trying to do, Danny, is to

get you to talk because, rather than me........



S: Well, he's a nice man.

T: Now, which one are you speaking of?

S: Uh, Howard Brooks.

T: Howard Brooks? And, the one before him, what was his name? Was it Carnell ?

S: Yeah.

T: Carnell.

S: I believe he's the leader of the Lumbees.

T: Yeah. Uh, have you ever had a chance to talk with Howard Brooks?

S: Not personally.

T: Have you heard him speak at meetings and things like this?

S: Yes.

T: Well, did you like what you heard him say?

S: Yeah.

T: He called, did he call for action, or what did he say?

S: Yeah. And his people believe in.him.

T: Is this important?

S: Yeah.

T: Why do you think it's important?

S: He has to have somebody- to support him.

T: And why4s it important that these people believe in him?

S: Well, the more, the more of them there is, alot better to go on.

T: What is it, Danny, in your mind, or in your opinion, is the Tuscarora do they

want? What is it that they want? I want you to tell our, our listeners,

what it is they want. What they're marching for, what they're going to

Raleigh for, things like that. Does it have anything to do with schools

or education? They want better schools?



S: Uh.....yeah.

T: That's one of the things?

S: And....well, they'd like to have their schools back.

T: That's one of the things (TAPE CUTS OFF).

Tell some of the things you do for recreation, when you're not working,

when you're not in school.

S: Well, in the summer, I work. And I like to swim alot.

T: Uh, do you have any special ,where do you go


S: Uh, most of the time I go to the river. But.....

T: The Lumbee River?

S: Uh-uh, it's the Lumbee River.

T: The Lumbee River. They tell me the water's cold, is this true?

S: It's pretty cold.

T: Do you find, uh, when's the first time you go swimming year?

Won't be too long off what time do you .usually go?

S: Be at about, sometime I swim about June.

T: About June?

S: Yes.

T: I'll look forward to going there. I love to swim, too. (TAPE CUTS OFF).

in summer, what kind of sports do you like in the wintertime?

'S: I like basketball.

T: Do you play basketball on the team, or have you gone out for basketball?

S: No, I ain't never tried out for it

T: Do you hope to, or want to, plan to?

S: Yes.



T: Uh, what's the thing that, uh, you like about basketball, over the other

sports? ,you know, reasons, baseball, or something else?

S: I just like to see the different shots, and there's alot of action in it.

T: Danny, since you told me about' school, you know, most of the schools are

integrated. We have, we have three races in Robeson county, and you said

you didn't find _with any one. Is there any time that

you've ever felt that because you were an Indian, that people might look

down on you? I mean, not necessarily- that it was true, but have you

ever felt this? From your teachers, your friends, or anything.

S: Yeah, a few cases.

T: Then what is, this is called, What is this called? It's not a good word.

It's prejudice, isn't it? Discrimination. Can you give me a case of

when you felt like the, people had, or someone had been on you because

you were Indian?

S: Well, once I had a teacher that was white, and she that she

didn't like us too good.

T: She didn't like you and your other friends, other Indian friends?

S: Yeah.

T: What did she do to show this?

S: She was all the time, she was all the time talking harsh to us.

T: What are some of the things she'd say? I'm not asking you

S: (PHONE RINGS). Let me get....... (TAPE CUTS OFF).

T: But at any rate, you remember that she said things that made you feel bad, right?

Well, you know that there's alot of teachers like this, and there's also

some good teachers. You've found that out, I guess, haven't you?

S: Yeah.



T: Um, you should feel proud,-' to be an Indian. You know they're the

backbone of the nation, and as far as the Whites and the Blacks, they're

the ones that when this country was being founded. Did you

study that in history?

S: Yeah.

T: So, you have a great deal to be proud of. Don't let anybody ever look

down on you, or feel, make you feel small. Uh, we have all sorts of

people around _. And I guess they'll keep on good,

people, you know, don't change a whole lot. But, uh, you always be proud

of what you are. What you __ You never have to apologize

for it, wherever you go, and what ever .Do you have any

Indian studies in your-school program? Studies about history?

Studies the American Indian, and how

he's contributed to this society and to America? You haven't studied

any of this, and you haven't ....these are someiof the things the Tuscaroras

are after. They want this talk in their schools. They want their young

people to know, uh, how they helped build this country and, you know, they

think it was taken away from them. But, just like you, you couldn't help

the way things Do you believe

that there's a place, uh, in our world, there's a place in the sun, for

the Indians, that we

all should try to work for better human understanding, and human relations

between the three groups?

S: Yeah.

T: do you say ____ what do you think is important?

S: Well, we have to work together; and we have to stay right around each



other, might as well get along with eachother, try to.

T: It looks like we're put, we're stuck with eachother, anyway, doesn't it?

I can just see you out on the basketball court. what I'm talking

about? All groups.

S: Well.......

T: You make goo grades in school?

S: Pretty fair.

T: Do you have, you don't have much time to study, with working like you do,

do you?

S: Uh, yeah, we have a study hall at school.

T: How long does it last?

S: About an hour.

T: 'Bout an hour? Do you ;have time to get all your work done?

S: Yes.

T: What's the thing you have the most homework in?

S: Right now, it'd be driver's ed.

T: Driver's ed?

S: 'Cause you have to do a unit each night.

T: Uh, how many teachers do you have, after you take __, how

many do you have right now? __ subjects you're carrying? Change


S: Yeah, we have six teachers.

T: You have six teachers. Six teachers you have to get along with, and get

grades from _C_^-cm.

S: Right.



T: I reckon you have to keep up with it. You reckon they keep up with you

that well? Are they men or women teachers?

S: They're men.

T: Are they, uh, Indian or white or Black?

S: They're all of them Indians.

T: All of them Indians. All men. Do you think this is good to have men

teachers at your, grade level?

S: Yeah. I'd rather have a man. It seems like you can get along with them


T: Uh, why do you feel this way? You're probably right, but you have a reason

for feeling this way.

S: Uh, speak to 'em better than you could to a woman.

T: Do you mean more talk man to man ?

S: Yeah.

T: Does being around girls make you feel shy?

S: No.

T: No. When was the last time, did you have any female teachers, last year?

or lady teachers?

S: Yeah. I had one.

T: Was it the one you were telling me about? Well, you didn't have a very good

experience with her, then, did you?

S: No, for one reason, see, I was in the eighth and she teached in the ninth.

And she teached us, and that made it a little harder on us.

T: She took, maybe she taught rougher material.

S: Yes.

T: If she taught on the ninth grade level, expecting you on the eighth grade



level, to get it?

S: Yeah.

T: That made it a little harder. Well, did you finally have much difficulty

with it?

S: Yes, a little.

T: What was the most difficult thing that you had to, what subject, I mean?

S: Uh, english.

T: English is a problem for everybody, I think.

S: Yeah, you have to _

T: Yeah, and what, what's the thing you don't ,like the most about it,

there's all kinds of parts of it. Do you like to write?

S: Yeah.

T: What's the parts that you don't like? The verbs and knowing the parts

of speech, what is it?

S: We have different kinds, different kinds of groups of words you have to put

it in.

T: Sort of like diagramming sentences or something?

S: Yeah.

T: I agree with you, I could do without that, too. (laughs ) Danny, what

do you want to do when you get out of school? Out of, when you graduate

from high school, what do you want to do?

S: Well, get me a job.

T: Have you thought about going to college?

S: Yeah, a-little.



T: Do you think your mother and daddy would support you, or help you to go to


S: If they could.

T: What do you think you'd like to study? If you went to college, I -mean.

Would you like to study, uh, would you like to teach, or would you like to

go into biology, or be a math major, maybe?

S: I'd like to be a PE teacher.

T: A PE teacher? You'd be good, you must be good in most sports.

S: _....I seem..... You know, they work us, and I.....

T: You what now?

S: They work us in PE, so I'd like to work them.

T: Yeah. You want to get your turn at working them, huh? Do they work you

pretty hard in PE?

S: Yes.

T: What are some of the things you have to do? Calisthenics, or......

S: We have to do all kinds of excercises and then we have to do gymnastics.

T: Do you do push-ups?

S: Yes.

T: How many can you do?

S: Well, I don't know. In school we just do 20 of each. That's about all

the time we have to do.

T: Are you tired -from PE after PE's over?

S: Not too tired.

T: Do you feel it's a little bit too rough?

S: Yeah, a little. But I they make us do it all period. This time we

take it and about the last 15 minutes he lets us play basketball.



M: Yeah I think you like that better. If you got a job when

you got out of school, what would you like to do, when you get out of high

school, and.........

S: Well, in a way I'd like to drive a truck.

M: A state truck or a transport truck, or what.....

S: A transport truck.

M: Those big trailer trucks, that drive all across the country? Well, this

is not a bad thing, I understand you get good pay, but you have to.work

for it. But you might change your mind and decide to go to college.

S: Yeah.

M: What are some of your favorite people, you know, like in the movies, or

anywhere that you.....that we all know, you know, uh, movie stars that you.....

S; There's quite alot of them that I like.

M: Just tell me some, you know, that you've seen.......

S: I like John Wayne and Richard Widmark and ......

M: Keep goin'. I'm with you. What do you think of Marlon Brando? Do you know


S: Yeah.

M: He's the one, you know that went out and tuened down an Academy Award because

he didn't like the way the government was teeating the American Indians. He

got an Academy Award for a movie that he played in, but he would not go and

pick it up, that night, because, uh, have you seen him play in any movies.

I think he played in a motorcycle film Do you know what

i'm talking about, don't you? What do you think of him? Some people

criticize him for the way he talks, but, uh, you know, sometimes he can't

get his mouth open real well.


M: Did you see the movie Bhlly Jack? I think it was about an Indian.

S: I don't believe I did.

M: If you get a chance to see it, see it.

What's the best movies you've seen, lately?

S: Like at the theatre?

M: Or maybe on TV. Do you watch TV much?

S: Yeah.

M: What's your favorite program on TV?

S: I like to watch, uh, a program, Search, that I like.

M: Search? Is that a religious program?

S: Uh-uh.

M: No? Lemme, tell me about it. I'm not familiar with it. In some parts of

the country.....

S: It's about a .......

M: ....they may not carry it.

S: It's about, uh, private eyes, see, they, on peoples cases.

M: It deals with police work, doesn't it?

S: Yeah.

M: Maybe, have you ever thought of being a, a police man, and how is the ?

S: Well, I've thought about it, ayou know, and it's changed my mind.

M: What changed your mind?

S: I just didn't like it.

M: Maybe you bein' around it and seeing some of the things, that has to do with


S: Well, it'd be hard to get along with some people.


M: You mean the public, you talking about the public acceptance

? Do you find that dealing with the public is a hard thing? People

come in here-and want things.....

S: It gets pretty hard.

M: Do you keep your cool or do you ever get mad?

S: Well, I keep my cool. I ain't gonna get mad. It's a kind of boring

M: Boring? Yould like some more action?

S: Yeah, like at night when nobody don't come in here for a long time. Uh, it's,

I sit and listen to that radio.

M: What are some of the favorite songs youAlike, now, going on that you hear on

the radio?

S: Well.....

M: Do you listen to the, do you like country and western or do you like hard rock,


S: Yeah, I like the hard rock.

M: You like the hard rock? Keeps you awake anyway, doesn't it? What time do

you leave here at night?

S: Uh, 9:30.

M: 9:30, does the office close, then?

S: Uh-uh.


S: It goes all night.

M: Do you work here every day?

S: Just on Monday nights and Saturday mornings.

M: Would you like to work more? Or, do you find this takes

up enough of your time.

LUM 93 A

S; Yeah. enough.

M: That's enough? Ifyou had more time what would you do, in the afternoons?

Or, what do you do in the afternoons when you re not working?

S: Uh, I go home and I work a little, around the house.

M: What kind of, tell me some of the things you do around the house.

S: Well, sometimes I rake the yard, or I feed the chickens, and I have a pony

I have to feed, and a dog, and the cats, we have a lot of cats.

M: I'm a cat lover. How many cats do you have?

S: Let's see, I think there's about 15, now.

M: What kind are they?

S: They're all different breeds.

M: What do you feed them?

S: Well, I feed them cat food.

M: And you have dogs, and a pony? Do you love your pony?

S: Yeah, I really

M: Do you ride him bareback?

S: Yeah.

M: That's quite because....

S: Well, _he's a pinto.

M: I had an appaloosa\ You do get attached to horses.

S: Yeah.

M; What's your favorite animal

S: Well, I like a dog.

M: You like a dog? If you had to give them all up, __ the dog.

S: I believe I would.


S: I believe I would.

M: While we're wishing, and talking, we been taking a long time, here, now, and

I been keeping you from your job, so I'm gonna just a little bit.

I want you to think for a minute, if you had a million dollars, you could do

anything you wanted with it, now, what would you do? Or where would you go,

how would you spend it?

S: I'd put most of it in the bank.

M: Put it in the bank? And save it for a while.

S: I got take care of my own self, use it.

M: Do you see a wife somewhere ?

S: Yeah, I reckon.

M: You guess you do? Hmmmm?

S: Yeah.

M: Well, that's normal, you know. quite wise to thinkabout saving for

that rainy.day. You never know when you're going to need it. It pays to have

a little bit of money in the bank, even a million dollars wouldn't hurt.

Danny, you've been very cooperative, and very nice, and consenting to let me

interview you. And I appreciate it very much, and I want to tellyou that

you've contributed to the American Indian Oral Studies, under the Doris Duke

Foundation. And this will go down in history, and there's no telling where

it'll wind up. It'll come back here, the library in Pembroke. But it'll

also go all across the nation. Ypur voice and what you've said, it may not

have said a whole lot, but you have. And the words that you've said, some

of them were short, but they were just nice and to the point. This is the

kind of interview we like to get. It's kinda young people that makes me


happy, more faith every day, that we have in young men like you coming up.

And I want to thank you very much.....

S: Yeah.

M: On...for myself and on behalf of the Doris Duke Foundation.

S: Well, I enjoyed it.

M: Thank you.

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