Title: Interview with Elmer LeRoy "Roy" Hunt (April 19, 1973)
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007089/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Elmer LeRoy "Roy" Hunt (April 19, 1973)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: April 19, 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: UF00007089
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 102

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LUM 102A

April 19, 1973



I: My name is Marilyn Taylor. Today is April 19. I'm in Pembroke State

University campus--in the office of the most famous person here in campus.

He's been around a little while and, uh. well I'll him speak for himself.

Would you tell us your full name, sir?

S: Elmer W. Hunt.

I: Where do you live?

S: Pembroke.

I: How long have you been living in Pembroke?

S: Approximately 27 years.

I: Uh, and you're about that old I would imagine?

S: Yeah, I'm just about. 53.

I: 53. To what extent of a family do you have Mr. Hunt?

S: I have two children. One's--both married. And I have one grandchild--four

months old.

I: Four months old. So you're getting to play daddy all over again. How does

it seem to have grandchildren?

S: Well, it's okay. I haven't had much time to devote to it yet. My wife's

hung up on it though pretty well.

I: You think so? Uh, women seem to go for those things a little more than men

are--or is that a similar observation that you've noted or not?


S: I think that's about right. Uh, I don't know, seemingly the grandmother--

they start spoiling them first.

I: Do you think primarily the care of children should be within the realm of

woman's work?

S: I think so.

I: You don't. it would be beneath your dignity to change diapers, and wash

dishes-or scrub floors.

S: I never did get around to it for some reason. I never did--my wife still

talks about that--simply didn't have time to, uh I worked day and night for

the past 27 years you might say.

I: And we didn't establish what your official jobs, I guess you might say or

title of what you do here.

S: Here? I suppose you would say photographer.

I: You are the school photographer?

S: Yes.

I: Tell us some of the people that you've taken pictures of, besides most of

the annual and things like that you work with. .

S: Well, I shoot weddings and family groups, babies--anything that turns up.

I've worked with civic clubs, you know in publicity shots for the past 20

years around here, maybe more than that. Now even before!I started doing,

uh, photographic work for the college, I was doing it for the civic clubs--

shooting a few weddings around town. Now after, I, uh, I started doing year-

book work for them. I've done their yearbook work for, since 1952, on the

side. Of course, after I graduated, taught school for 16 years, Magnolia School.

I: What subject areas did you teach?

S: Well, I had the, uh, all subjects in elementary. Primarily, usually though

the eighth grade. Maybe, a combination, the seventh and eighth. And towards

the .

- A -


I: Now Magnolia lJt for the benefit of our readers and listeners and so

on. How far is Magnolia from our area here at Pembroke?

S: About 20 miles, between Robertson and St. Paul.

I: So you commuted--you still lived in Pembroke?

S: Yes.

I: And you taught there how long?

S: 16 years.

I: 16--that's a pretty good record service them--then you went into full-

time photography from that?

S: Yes, that's right, four years ago.

I: And came here?

I: I see occasionally your name in such papers as the Robertstonian, your

photography there. Has does this come about?

S: Uh, I don't know I seem to be short-handed over that time so I been pinch-

htting over here for a number of years. about 15, 20 years, something

like that. Anytime I get anything they can use--I send it over or carry it

over. Take it over, you get it in faster, I think.

I: Do you do this out of the goodness of your heart or is there compensation? --

pay I'm speaking about.

S; Uk, no, they used to give me film, you know, replace the film-.that's about

all it amounts to now. They pay me a little something but not enough eemn

buy gasoline to take the thing over there--let alone go out spend a couple of

hours getting the picture and processing it--taking it over to them.

I: Have you ever hit them--thought about hitting them for a raise?

Probably be Mr. Jack Shaw if. .

S: Well, we get a little publicity--I mean for part of them I get a credit line

you know. Of course, that increases my burden; people start calling me, you


know. They say, well this that and the other.

I: Yeq I recall one time getting you out of church to take some pictures of

the people. I didn't feel too guilty because I felt it was a worthy cause

_____-- ---- I imagine you get caught in all kinds of jams in

places, don't you?

S: Yes, certainly do.

I: Uh, how did you get interested in photography?

S: Well, I suppose it was back in 1938, 39--I picked up a little 49, double

ought, they called it, camera, got 2 rolls of film with it--an interesting

gadget you know, that was right up my line--I got to messing around with

it--finally, I borrowed it. I picked a camera from a lady and I shot a

few rolls on it and I'm sending it to Wisconsin for processing. The film

was only 25( a roll the-e her dayj. It costs 250 to get film processed. That's

500. Uh, any. .

I: That sounds like the gold ole days, sort of, doesn't it? Or was it only

with the exceptions of the films?

S: Well, uh, that 25 roll, that 25 processing--that was real cheap--I mean

-W look at it right now. But, the problem back then was getting 25 back


I: So we're still kind of in the same jam today.

S: Not the same, I would say. Film today. the same film today costs somewhere

around 85 a roll I use. Some of it costs a$1.25. I would say, though, it's.

possibly combine that $1.25 easier than you could a quarter back in those days.

I: What type of camera did you finally use for your shots of publicity?

S: Right now I'm using a -------------interchangeable back; you can preload

your film, you know, carry color and black and white--you can interchange

them. You don't have to shoot up a roll. It's not a real new camera--it's


been out a few years. And I use ni on--I use a nidn too; I'm getting into

35 mm. stuff. I like the large 4-mat4enegative. I use a 4 x 5 speedjacket

4or years. It gives you 4 x 5 negatives. You can really roll one up on

that. I used to see these fellows run around here with these old ---

You have to carry a suitcase full of film over you. Now you can take that little

35 mm and hang it around your neck--fill your pockets full of these little ole'

cassettes and you're in business.

I: So you do your own developing. Now how did you get into this--this again.

S: Well, that again goes back to, uh, the 25C processed rolls and 25--the company

lost some of the film once I didn't get any prints back. And once I got

s somebody else's prints. So I saw a little $2.98 processing kit, Sears and

Roebuck Catalog so I--that's where my processing started. I got that kit.

I: What age would you say youwere?

S: I was somewhere about, uh, maybe 19 at that time. A couple of years before

I went in service.

I: And, uh, so you got this kit--did it work immediately for you?

S: Oh, yeah, I had to of course, now you've got now you've got chemicals

and stuff like that--that's about all you've got. no enlarger or anything.

You have a little cutrhing frame, nothing but a glass. And you turn the light

on it and expose your negative, and you had to use soup bowls. I threw a

rug over the window, you know, and blacked out the room. Borrowed some soup

bowls--I started to say my wife's but didn't have any at that time. And, uh,

I messed around that a little bit. Then, of course when I went in the service,

all that was the processing end of it,---to me at that point because

I got in an infantry outfit and we didn't have time to process the film. But I

still. I still make it.


I: You were in what branch of service, now?

S: I was in the 9th Infantry Division, Fort Bragg for two years and we left

there in .

I: Would that be a foot. you would be classified as a foot soldier?

S: Yeah. Went overseas stayed two countries. I hit eight different countries

while I was over there.

I: Tell us which countries.

S: Uh, .

I: You got an education there.

S: Let's see. In Africa, we were in North Africa.w errthe Casablanca to

start with. We were in Donasia, Algier, and Lebia. And when we left

Africa we went to Sicily; we left Sicily went to England; left England,

went to France. There was an invasion there and, uh, through Belgium,

Germany, and through Poland. Back into German and back home.

I: Back home--what was that like?

S: Oh, my, can't imagine it. That was a great day, I'll you. We, you know,

we, let's see, about three years we stayed over there. And, uh, I don't

know, you reach a point where you just give up, you just don't think about

coming back.

I:' Were in mostly active combat all this time?

S: Yes, pretty active most time.

I: Do you have to just. .you're saying you just have to kind of forget about

home and everything in order to survive -y'--?

S: Well, you don't actually forget about it, but you know, when you're first

over there, you wrap it up real fast and go back home ten after a year and

then two years, then two and a half years, but I tell you, once we got it


rolling over there in France--got to cross that Rhine River. Incidentally,
I w e n a r se n
I went across thatla+Mdon Bridge before it fell.

I: Oh dea; I'm gad you got1there before it fell.

S: Whoever tried to blow it up.

I: Did you enjoy your service days?

S: I enjoyed most of them I would say. I can't say I enjoyed all of thea however,

I wouldn't take a million dollars for the experience--I wouldn't give a dime

to go through it again.

I: Wouldn't want to do it again.

S: I would like to go back to Europe and look around a little bit. Especially

if we can get some of that Doris Duke money you're talking about.

I: Well, if we can find out where she is--she seems to be very generous, I

understand a very warm person. I haven't had the pleasure of meeting her;

I would like to. It would be nice.

S: Yes, those old service days were something.

I: I was going to ask you what it was like in combat, uh, did you find it when

you were in service the fact that you were Indian was a drawback or any kind

of a stigma or was work good for you--was there any significance at all?

Did anybody. .

S: As far as I'm concerned. .looking bahk on it--as far as I could see, uh,

there wasn't ..-------stayed in the same outfit, same company,

not the same fellows all the time because they went and come. But there

was no problem what so ever here this Of course, now we had

some characters, you know--they call you chief.

I: And how did you handle that. with humor more or less?


S: Oh, with humor, yes.

I: How can you think of some of the examples you might have answered

when they speak to you as chief? I have one professor, I see him on

campus, I refer to him as that man because I kind of have an identity

with him; he's Cherokee and I have a little bit of that. .I always

say, hi chief--he seems to be, you know. It's a tone of endearment.

I find now but I don't know if they always mean it that way or not.

S: Uh, other than that---I mean the guy that was fellows--a couple in

particular. They always called me chief but I didn't mind. I knew

he was, you know, you meet all kinds of people in service as far as

that goes. But, I mean heias a good--I mean it was. I took it in

stride. It didn't bother me any; in fact,------------. Somehow

or another, I didn't know too much about the situation before I went

into the service. Now, my parents were born up here in North Carolina.

I: Who were your parents?

S: Mr. and Mrs. Kerney Hunt.

I: Kerney Hunt.

S: His folks were from around Fairmont and mine were down here around the city

of Low. Do you know where Low. .?

I: I've heard of it.

S: Over near Lumberton--used to be a train stop there.

I: Yeah, I believe I've seen a sign or something there. I may have been through


S: They migrated--his parents migrated in South Carolina when he was a young,

a very young man. The grandfather was sawmill--he plotted t1se sawmill things

up and down the coast from the bottom started out. With- him, he was doing


the same tling. But, I don't know, he left grandfather and went to

Seller, South Carolina. They were putting in a me there at that

time. And he went to work there and- ---because he was married by

this time. He was running back and forth up here, uh, keeping company

with my mother. So they married and they lived in S-ler, South Carolina

until they died and dat's where we were on born down there. It's about

S.oh, I'd say about 35, 40 miles from here--about 20 miles this side as

far as South Carolina.

I: So, uh, .

S: I wasn't too well acquainted with the situation, not living up here--come

n-- -uf a-if ~visit occasionally .It's been said that, if you had to go to Lumberton

you always would have to go around the other way, because it's kind of dangerous

to come through, particularly if you're with any type of origin other than Indian.

Can you remember or heard talk of your parents speak of days such as these?

S: No.

I: O is this another thing of propaganda?

S: I guess it is; I'm not sure, uh, like I say I took up-------------in 1945,

bt of things to tie together. Of course, I knew there were about three school

systems up here in .lL.L

I: And what were they, white. .?

S: Yeah, white, Indian, and Negro#. But when I .when I got out of service,

got married and settled down up here, I really began to find out what it was

like, you know, with all these white only signs in restaurants, barbershops,

and things like this.

I: How did this make you feel when you say that?

S: Well,. .

I: I mean honestly and truthfully.

S: I tell you it didn't bother me too much, until over in Red Springs.


I: Did you find it offensive that you couldn't drink from the same water

fountain as a white man in Lumberton?

S: I certainly did, especially after spending six years in service, you know

and going wherever we wanted to.

I: O.K. you started to say something about Red Springs, would you bring that


S: Well, I don't know, the oily time it really bothered me, fretted me; I had

tospend two and half hours over in Red Springs sitting in front of a drug-

store with a white only sign in front of it, you know. It was about .- VL.

And I was sitting out in the car and there's refreshments in there you know.

Well, that pain really drove on, you know, so, but generally though I never

knowing they didn't want you in these places or never did impose upon them.

I've never yet in Robertson County been in a place where I knew that I wasn't

welcome with, uh, a sign on. I've possibly been in some place where I

wasn't welcome--but probably still go into some. but. And I still.

I: You used better tact, maybe than you did then.

S: And I still don't patronize the place.

I: How do you feel about spending your money in Red Springs today?

S: Well, I feel about the same way I've always felt. I've never spent any

there. I've never had cE occasion. I don't make it a point to go to Red

Springs to buy anything. Lumberton's no better--the same thing. I don't
is &- bd-h
know--somehow or another, it seems that Red Springs -a-little/worse than other

towns. But I don't think so--after Lumbertson--all the other places are just

as bad-in Robertson County. Of course you get out of Robertson County. you



I: Can you figure out any reason other than this prejudice----you know talk

to us and prepare us?

S: Well, I think that.

I: What people had against the Imdians so much?

S: It's not only Indians--I think it's just

I: It's ridiculous when you think about on it now.

S: I really tried to alayze this thing and how it's come about but I really

don't--I don't have any answers other than, uh, possibly slavery perhaps.

I don't know--these people were--I don't know how to take it, really, to

tell you the truth about it. To say that they were prejudiceebecause their

skin was black and yours was red, dark, black, whatever the case might be.

Uh, I don't know--sometimes it's hard to believe that that is it but J tell

you know, it's not so much. You can't--it's hard to change a a'Jg' Es dpot

with this. And that's the way it is right now. These people have been taught

this--they've lived it--they've taught it from childhood. They're not going

to get out of it any time soon. Now I feel possibly the situation could have

been a little bit better4 or, well, you know, racial discrimination, but some

people would have opened their doors but they were afraid of what somebody else

would iave-4id-. They would lose business like- .4 10 te down here in

Lumberton---what is it Meadowbrook? Uh, you know they don't allow Iidians or
nece i- Cer e4A nri eC
Negroes to be thar-o-------------. They're in the same outfit started one

over here.

I: Does this still exist today?

S: Yes.

I: To your knowledge? In other words, they don't hee- --------

S: They sell lots, yes.

I: But not to Indians or Negroes.


S: As far as I know. Never have had at Meadowbrook.

I: Is this supposed to be some exclusion, great --.--. ,

S: Supposed to be perpetual cemetery where you buy, you pay so much for

your plot. Now, they started a new one, uh, Lumbee Memorial Gardens--

something like that isn't it?

I: Sounds familiar I've heard of it.

S: Over. .. back over here some place between here and Lumberton off to the

left and out in there. But some of the people they didn't like it too much

the same outfit that started this o4 t'o2s the one in Lumberton, -rtfl) D 30t

thte=ta.- en. And, they didn't care too much about buying lots--of course

I was one of the first to buy--buy any there--decided it was a good buy

there--a good deal. We really needed a cemetery--one that was going to be

taken care of. I'm highly in favor of a Perpetualcare cemetery. But I

can see his pdf not to selling to Indians and Negroes. The other people

weed have em.

I: Oh, Lord, we can't live together--we can't even be dead together, can we?

S: That's right.

I: This is almost carrying it too far--it almost seems like madness doesn't it?

S: Yes, it does.

I: Or does it seem that way to you? It's funny in one sense of the word. It's

funny ha, ha and it's funny strange.

S: Well, I've never let it bother me too much. Uh, not any for that matter.

I: I've never been so aware of the discrimination against Indians as I have until

I came to this area and I've been around Indians. Indians is a part of my

heritage as Indian. I was brought up on, you know, primarily inmewhite

community. I'm about 3/4 Cherokee--something like that but my mother and

father separated when I was small so I didn't get much of h dian influence


til I got bigger. But, uh, I guess maybe they're on a reservation and

all, you know, together there. But I never noticed the discrimination

astiZal as it existed here. I feel it's--is it opening up--do you feel

it's because there's an Indian and your roots are here so to speak. Do

you feel it's for the betterment of the Indians--where you can go in and

get an ice cream cone or a coca cola or whatever?

S: Well, those, that, I think of course that, you know, these places are

doing it but they're not doing it because they want to. They're doing

it because they have to to close their doors. And some of them do it.

I: The civil rights movement.

S: Right. The civil rights movement. And some of them did that, you know.

But, I can't say for positively that's why, but I haven't, uh, I still don't

patronize these places I couldn't go in before. If there's somewhere else
rlrf\,e re, Av\ t 4, ^*3 -J}^]~1i n c," I161
to go--I go down ----------------used to go. -----------there anyway.

I: Well, I go there too. They have pretty good steaks.

S: But I tell yoi- Red Springs over there and Lumberton --they were tough.

Red Springs L-JAAm- L-m--- -opimposed upon You go to one of

these places and you. know you're not wanted--you're just sitting around

I: When you go off in this atmosphere environment of rejection. Do you think

it has anything to do with your self concept --------------

S: Well, I think children I don't know--it's not as bad.

I: How do you feel it affected you--I mean, you were probably old enough, mature

enough, mature enough tp come above it some. But looking back on your younger

years, how do you feel it affected you?

S: Well, uh, it never did bother me. Now you see, like I said, I wasn't up here

during my boyhood and all that--only after I come from out of service. I


didn't hIe,.--- ------. Those born and raised around here--they de-

finitely have an inferiority complex--no two ways about it.

I: Well, I can see in schools that I taught in--you can't--particulary, they'd

look at me, you know, you go on what you see sometimes and not --judge a book

by its cover, I guess you might say. Uh, til they learn me right away I can

sense fear in their eyes and everything else, you know, of Indian kids.

S: It's not as bad as it used to be. You know, kids that are growing up now

can go--walk around Lumberton and al of Red Springs, walk in the drugstore

and anyplace they want to. But before that, I definitely had an inferiority


I: Well, do you fell this is why maybe the Indian people, uh, took--I noticed

in a classroom situation they won't speak out--or maybe participate in class


S: It might be, I don't know. And too, it might be--are you speaking now as a

student--I mean when you're in there with them?

I: Yes, I meant like the professionalized questions or comments from some of


And maybe we!Lrego through a whole semester, of maybe 10 students, there might

be three or four Indian and I've never heard them say a word as far--in that

class. And somebody asked something about that--is this because they feel

they were judged or if they'd been shut to success too much. Could it be this,

I'm asking?

S: It could be, yes. I definitely belie that had something to do with it.

I: Then this is unjust in making what we might say an incrimination or freedom

of speech and this sort of thing. How do you feel this is in connection with


some of the militant groups that are springing up today?

S: Do you mean. ?

I: In other words you get held down like you shake a Pepsi Cola--it's so

long after a while that it won't happen like that unless. sort of

an analogy.

S: I don't know.. I think militancy's had its place some time Tci the pajL.

But I don't think you're going to get too far with it nowadays. You can't--

I don't anything can be accomplished like that. As here in Robertson County,

uh, we have, uh, I would say they're militant--ignorant for the most part.

I: Most Lumbees feel that way--we did establish that you were Lumbee, you identify

with this. .

S: I identify with the Lums. yes. o

I: We say this is the law of the land. miot-paItg-ilis.

S: It doesn't make too much difference. Thye've had many different names around

here. And I can't see where these names make any difference to the situation,

you know. Some of thesegroups--I don't know what they are after. I know one

group in particular they're talking about. .

I: You're talking about. .let's name so we won't get confused on t1at. I under-

stand that there are so many divisions of it that's it is hard to keep up.

S: I'm talking about -w- -Brooks .

I: .. -- -.* a great man. i
~-- '.-
S: Yeah, he says he is fighting for his people.. people, wants to be known

as Tuskorosa. I don't have any objection to being called Tuskorosa. He can

recalled anything he wants to. He definitely not speaking for me. And I feel

he is definitely not speaking for the majority of people in Robertson County

because the majority of people in Robertson County don't even reii 4y (?) with

him. I know I don't.


I: What would you say the extent of his followers In Lumberton..

S: I really don't know. I think his following doesn't seem to be.

I: Two hundred, three hundred? That much?

S: I don't know--I don't believe its that much, when you get down to brass


I: Since you're in photography and pretty closely related to the newspaper,

what is the latest on what their activities are?

S: You mean aTkomer

I: Right--the other day he was giving me the latest information on it.

S: Oh, they're still in jail, unless they got out today.

I: And the state council meets in Raleigh.

S: The last count I had of it--they were still in jail.

I: Oh, give us a rundown on it--I don't think we've had one up to date recently.

------------- -------------really has to come from---

S: Well, uh, I don't know--all I know is what I read in the paper, you know.

I: Will Rodgers says that may not be true but- e can relate that if you like.

S: But, as you know, they locked up--they went ahead and arrested him the other

day--making quite a mess around the premises of the Indian Commission Building

so they put them in jail. -Atr-am BPcgs is on a $100 bond and Franks, his old

buddy, I think he's taking over aSchief it seems, he's on $100 bond. I think

he's still in jail, too, or he was this morning, only one had gotten out. They

had the women on a $25 bond.

I: Was it their wives? These other women involved, who.

S: I think their, evidently there were some other women. Now Howard Brook's

wife was involved under a $200 bond.

I: Why did they maketers higher?

S: I think they found a concealed weapon on her..


I: I thought maybe they considered the women more valuable.

S: I don't think so.

I: She had a knife on her?

S: That's according to Raleigh News --- -----

I: What was their purpose in Raleigh news, you understand it.

S: Well, I don't knDowrw. It seems they wanted, originally you know they

said they were going to see Governor Wholehauser, but Governor Wholehauser

decided that he didn't want to see them or he wouldn't see them. So, anyway,

they switched to the Indian Commission. They wanted to convene this commission

to add their grievance with them, but the Indian Commission wouldn't have anything

to do with them long as they had -------between them and the other race,

you know. But, I think they just don't want to have anything to do with them


I: What is the extent that you know, if you do know this, of Franks, what's his

first name?

S: He's.. .uh,------------ranks

I: Of their education?

S: I don't know about Franks, I never paid too much attention to him, even

though, you know, I've been hearing about him--he's been in and out of jail

around here for the past mveral years on his marches and things. This is just

old stuff to him. I think he thrives on that sort of thing. But, I couldn't.

with the information I could get Hiram Brooks in all probability didn't get

beyond first grade.

I:Does he state any reason why. .

S:This is hand me down stuff. I don't know--I've never talked to him. I've

thought about going out and talking to him, you know.

I:When you go, take me with you.

S:But I've never gotten around to it.


I don't know where the ashtrays are so I guess we'll have to use whatever

we're using. We ought to go out and talk to him sometimes, but ask for

triba Laa, federal aid, things like that. I don't know where he expects

to find tribalaaEs. Now, if he wants to get a hold of some tribale-, I guess

he'll have to get a reservation somewhere and move in with some of those cats.

I: And that's what they want--segregation, don't they?

S: Seemingly. And return of Indian schools, as I understand it--back to.

I: Bet-yet they want government support, financially.

S: I think that would be a step backwards, in my opinion, really. It's chaotic

now in some places, but it'll take 100 or 2 years to work itself out,

but I think it would be--I think it's--we don't like the way sometof the

schools around here manage, you know, these so-called city units. It's

ridiculous if you look at it, but.

I: Yeah, double voting issue.

S: All that stuff--but I don't, I don't--I'm not in favor. I recognize his right

to go ahead and do whatever he wants to do as long as it doesn't interfere with

anybody else, but it's a democratic country we live in, as I understand it,

we have, uh, go ahead you're free to do what you please as long as it doesn't

interfere with somebody else. If it starts to interfere with someone else,

I think there is where you ought to draw the line. But a lot of people don't

recognize that.

I: I think that as of two or three weeks ago, it was reported that around the

county there was some 31 fires, or something like this. Of course, I don't

know if all of them have been proven officially or any of them have--certain

it was the standards of Carson. The Tuscarora got credit whether they did

all of it or not. How--do you think they are capable of doing this kind of



S: Well, I think they're capable of doing it. I couldn't say definitely

they did do it. But I tell you, uh. .take these imported Indians they

have in here. .

I: Now tell us what you mean by that--I understand I think.

S: These American Indian Movement People. I think they have an office

down in Lumberton. You know, they. .I don't think. I don't really

believepr am Brooks had gone as far as he had in this little kick

he's on unless if it had not been for these people, these outside

Indians. Now I think they should go back to Wounded Knee or Pineridge

wherever they come from, because in my opinion, they don't have anything

to offer us, because we've been out of T.P.'s a long time.

I: Yeah, and it's a shame that we're not eating raw buffalo meat with the price

of meat these days or we'd been having some.

S: Go out there and get some pony meat or something. But I feel that, getting

back to the&-i _n -- I've always felt that's my opinion I think I'm entitled

to it regardless of.

I: This is what we want, your opinion.

S: I think, I've always contended that these, uh, outside agitators on top of

this whole arson bit. Now possibly there's been some fires that someone just

took advantage of the situation, you know, possibility there. I still think,

I'll always believe they're on top of it, --J ----- - f

I: Well, I think that seems to be the general public opinion all around.

S: And in the final analysis, I think it will probably come out. Of course,

they've already arrested three other people and I think. I think we got

the right people myself.


I: Let's see. which service. you finished here at Pembroke State College,

it probably was then, owned by the university, you finished here.

S: Yes, it was a four-yeqr college.

I: Uh, was it an Indian school at that time when you finished?

S: Well, it was--there were some whites here.

I: Did you find an difficulty in the human relations were strained. how would

you find this?

S: I nrer found, uh, I don't think enough of them here to make any difference.

Just getting them to come in, youknow .

I: Well, as an Indian and born in an Indian community predominantly up to that

time, would you feel that they were imposing or didn't have any right to be

here, what was your reaction?

S: No, I was glad to see them come in. I think, uh, well, I think that, uh,

I think we need outside influence, you know. I don't believe, uh, see we're

going round and round in a rut and that rut is getting deeper and deeper and

deeper. Uh, children out at Magnolia here at Prospect, Pembroke High, -----

seems to me should be another at Pembroke State. Those that managed to get

to college go to Pembroke State from those high schools- Right when they

graduated they went right smack dab back to the place they come from.

I: To teach?

S: Right and that's the way it went. From Magnolia High to Pembroke State

College and back to Magnolia High, and the same with the other schools. And

we didn't have. there were a few white teachers, you know, they were very

scarce around Pembroke in theelementary schools but there was nothing coming

in from the outside. I think this outside,. .

I: Sort of isolation.


S:We were just going around in a rut in my opinion. I think you can gain.

I think everybody has something to offer and different reach. And that's

the reason why. I think it helps the other students too get more on the

stick, this outside influence. That's one of the reasons I don't favor

this higher tuition rate for out-of-staters now you might say I don't want

to be paying taxes. I don't want my tax money being spent for. to educate

people from other states for them to leave and go back. But the way I see it,

we have people doing the sme thing. .sort of a change. We get people together

from different areas, we'll have different ideas. you can sort of combine them.

I think it's good to have, uh, I think that, uh, I don't think the good old

legislative, uh, fathers, and representatives and all that were doing good

things when they slapped that tuition up there so high, this amount. .like

shutting off a faucet, I don't think we felt the full affects of it, yet.

I: In other words, you think. you're saying it would not only be a benefit to

education but in improving human relations?

S: Right. f r

I: Do you think as you get to know people he race Bsue, you know, fades in the

background, or. .?

S: -JL -I think so,it could help that too.

I: From your experience in service, were you able to see this or did it even exist

here because you had more noble means for a cause to go about to be concerned.

S: Well, the service, of course; they're having problems in service there with

this but we didn't have, uh, as you know, it was all Negroe outfits. The Negroes

that went in service went in certain outfits. They lived in barracks by them-

selves. They're isolated, you know, sort of speak. And when they went into town,

it was the same situation, generally. But, uh, I didn't experience those problems.


I didn't go into. I never did, uh, fact that this is--I don't know if I

ever did talk to a Negroe soldier at Fort Bragg or not, I may have. I didn't

come into contact with' them, you see.

I: How did you find the blacks accepted, I mean, you said that the contacts was

very limited. The contacts tha dorhave. Were the relationships between

blacks and Indians good. Or was it just. .?

S: I don't know. I never had enough to know, to tell you the truth aboutthe

matter. I mean, uh, you're still talking about the service?

I: Yeah.

S: Never had enough contact with them fC,

I: Well, I was leading up to the reason for the question. I was trying to lead

up to the fact that at one time, did not the Tuscorora had, uh, one of the colleges,

one of the black colleges they had some black support--did they withdraw?

S: You mean up in Raleigh?

I: Yes, these people.

S: I think most of them did in information I get. You have a certain group of

people and they get anything. anybody they see out on the street demonstrating,

therefore, it doesn't make any difference whether it's good or bad. Usually,

they're for it. Naturally, the Negroes would support these Tuscororas up there.

They feel that they are the same %grip that they are and I suppose it's possible

we are to a certain extent. But, I feel that we are definitely making progress

in this area here in Robertson County. I think that political xeoes a = we ve

got to try.

I: You're saying within the aw.

S: Right. Uh, we can get representatives in the legislature. We can get repre-

sentatives on the board of education, county commissioners, all that. But of

course we don't. we still don't have the representation that we should have.

And I don't know whether we'll ever get it or not. But, we need. .


I: We do have some better than we do now?

S: Yes, uh, huh. I feel we're making progress and I think tfis is the route we've

got to travel, because this demonstrations and burnings and breaking out windows,

and things of that nature. I don't think that's it. I think you generate more

ill feelings there than;you're not getting anyplace. You're taking one step

forwards and going two steps backwards in my opinion.

I: You're saying perhaps, uh, forcefulness and militancy counteracts to get

it back.

S: Right. And I don't think that's the way to get the job done.

I: Uh, someone has made the analogy that the Lumbees are not exactly you know,

100% behind the Tuscaroras. Others have said they're completely ashamed; they

want to just force themselves to any part of anything they do. Some are writing


S: They have, uh, you say some feel that the Lumbees are not 100% behind the


I: Some feel that the Lumbees are behind the Tuscoraram And that the Lumbees are

behind the Tucaroras. And that the Lumbees, we're talking about Cornell Locklear

and his group, the Eastern Indians, they compare him to Martin LUther King. They've

been going through legal channels, you know. But he had the Black Panthers

there with a bit of threat.

S: Well, you know Martin Luther King; he was supposed to be a nonviolent .man and he

was a nonviolent man, himself.

I: Right.

S: But, he lead these marches which lead to violence. In my opinion, he was

directly responsible for. .he lead these marches.

I: Some-people said that he, he talked down, you know, violence. Yet, the Black

Panthers, he could call them .but the thing is if he had to .the threat

of force.


S: Well, the way I feel.

I: They see the analogy here the Lumbee and the Tuscorara. the Tuscorara

being the Black Panther so to speak. .

S: Well, I've never favored any of these groups, such as, uh, either ----__!

lae-r .eOfJ'i I don't ]ow what they're wanting really. I haven't gotten

into the East Carolina set up very much and I don't. .

I: Excuse me just a minute, let me .. .




I: Okay, you were saying you never favored Cornell Locklear.

S: I mean, I never, in so far as identifying with him. I don't see anything

to identify with. a certain. I mean I don't know what they're after.

They say they don't like Lumbees. tey don't like the same Lumbee. Well,

it doesn't really make any difference to me. Uh, as Cornell and Brooks'

group. I don't. .I don't declare. I declare not to identify with either

of those groups. When it comes to identifying these groups, I don't. .

I don't. what they are wanting to do in my opinion is, uh, they want to go

back to tepee days. I want to just live as person, you know, and accept,

in so far as being a Lumbee Indian or any kind of an Indian. That doesn't make

any difference. .but if somebody wants to name us. that's all right too.

I don't have any. I don't see any reason for identifying with a particular

group. And I don't see what they're after, you know. Unless it's federal aid,

if that's what they're after, shucks. I think most of them ought to get off

their fannies and o the work.

I: Certainly you've made your contribution to the Indi ns. maybe this is one of
"rS -T ; t th aaC. -X -K
the benefits they woutd have. ..they re lazy work as har -- ----- --

--- ---- going out and really put it to -------

accomplish much.

S: I think that anybody that wants to. Of: course we're going to have poverty. We've

had it ever' since time began and we'll have it until the end of time, because the

Bible tells that. ,. l

I: We've always. .

S: Indians have a monopoly on poverty. more than the Negroe. Might be a little

bit more of it, but more prevalent in the Indians than Negroes, but you'll find

poverty among the whites also, but, uh, I believe today if a man really wants to


do something, he can get on out here and do it. The opportunity's available

right now, except. .he can go in business for himself if he want to.

I: Um, hum. You don't, then, see as much discrimination toward the American

Indian, particularly the lumbee in this area as there once was?

S: I don't think so, not now. Uh, there is still discrimination, job opportunities,

high-paying jobs, things like that. That still exists. But it's improving, slowly

but surely. I don't know how long, if ever,Aget to the point to where it will

be like it should. But it has improved and I -think it will improve some more.

I: You say ---- -- ---is pretty -_ ----- I won't ask you a question

relative to the defensive or anything. Might even sound ridiculous to you, but

again when We mention names, do you feel proud to be Lumbee Indian, when you

hear the name Lumbee.

S: Well, Lumbee, like I said doesn't mean anything to me, really, I mean, the name

itself. Now, uh, .

I: What about the word Indian?

S: The word Indian, it doesn't. I'm proud that I am an Indian, but, and you

know what's funny, I never have given it too much thought, until all this stuff

come about. Like I said, I just prefer to be, .to live in this society as

a pat of it and not a part from it, you know.

I: Well, you seem to have philosophy that others express that you believe in the

race, the human race, a member of the human race.

S: I don't see any reason Qy we can't all live harmoniously. I think. they'll

come a day, possibly, I don't know when that will be,. it won't be during my

time, though. Possibly, I think they'll come a day, but like I said, I just

prefer to live as part of society doing my share of whatever's to be done.

As to identifying groups, I don't know, I just don't go in for that bit.


I: Somebody has proposed September 22 as American Indian Day, but you know.

it hasn't. they've envisioned it as becoming a natimal holiday, would you

advocate this?

S: Well, I don't. .

I: Would you sign a petition, would you put your name?

S: I wouldn't get hung up on it, but if we had enough people that wanted it I

would, I mean, if it was really something. I mean if the Indian people

are really behind you know.
I: I mean just sit down and say well, this is American Indian Day, let's all

sit down but really get out and you know, let teachers in schools to put

more emphasis on it than, you know, have the whole curriculum maybe around


S: I guess that's all eight. Something. just never did get hung tp on the Indian

bit. .I mean, Indian heritage, Indian culture, .

I: You don't care whether it fades away or. ?

S: No, no, it, the way I see it, uh, as far as the Indian culture, it has faded

away. We've been out of it for years and years and years.

I: For td Lumbee this seems to be true because we're not a reservation Indian as


S: These reservation Indians, I suppose is another story. But I don't. .I never

did get hung up on it. I never did get hung up on that. Iteverdid get hung

up on Old Main over here. I didn't think. good riddance you know. They

talked about tearing that thing down. Of course, uh, I hated to see it go the

way it did, but they had to change the side. We could jump from one side to the

other right fast.

I: A, yeah. that's all right. .

S: But, uh the American Indian today. I don't see where it would serve any purpose


really, necessarily. I never did get sentimental over this thing. Uh, over

all, American culture, heritage, and. .

I: Well, maybe you're like most people. It doesn't do much good to get hung up

because there's not much youtcan do about it. Is there? As I've often said,

the people that maybe hate the whites can't get what------------------------

S: I've never actually hated them. You know, I used to in my older days, in

my middle-aged days get a little peeved sometimes, you know.

I: Yes, I think we all do.

S: But actually hating people, I don't suppose I .I don't know if I could hate

anybody or not. really, truly hate people, you know.

: ---- ------------------------ -------. Well this is why

we're delving into this thin of why it is p ople aeem to be against the American
,_, i n o r i s i t j _/.

Indian or is it jus p-- - av-en- t been able to until

recently to drink from the same fountain as white men.

S: Of course. I tell you. .

I: When I just came to Pembroke twenty-five years ago, I lived with an Indian

family, which was more affluent than I grew up in. And most people ride by

Main Street, they think Pembroke looks something like Dodge City maybe. Now,

we've had some improvements on state road, buildings, and provisions that's come

in, chain stores, and this kind of thing. But, uh, I would like you to comment

on some of the homes that we have and have people living out here. We do have

some affluent people here and beautiful homes in Pembroke.

S: Got blossoms growing all over the place.

I: Spring has almost sprung, hasn't it?

S: Well, I tell you. .most of these homes you see around here, though, people


really worked for. They had desires.

I: Tell us about that. i L -0 r-__

S: --- -------have to be packing up and go. Well, some people, now, they

had, we have people here in Pembroke have homes and property. Some of them

inherited it. Their parents worked hard for it. And we have peqie in Pembroke

that have real nice homes; they're in debt up to their ears, just like I am.

I don't have a big one--but it's pretty good. But I'll be paying on it. .

I: It's got electric lights, a toilet that flushes. it's got the same thing

that millionaires have, maybe not in the same standing.

S: I think it seems to. .uh, people have the desire to get out of these shacks

and stuff they do something about it. Now. .my house, the home I was.born and

raised in .you could uh, lie in bed and count the stars at night. and look

outside look through the cracks in the house and see the chickens running around

out in the yard.

I: I heard this. many people, .

S: But I didn't inherit anything. no land, no house, no nothing. About all @F

--.-could do was get --2-_f--------. But when I got out of service

I spent all the mustering out pay and got married. Then took it from there.

I: I know you consider that a good investment. it's lasting. or do you,

do you not. is marriage a good institution. ? Some of the young people say

it's going out of style. How do you feel?

S: I don't think it's going out of style. I think they'll eventually come around

and see that .they'll eventually come around. they'll wake up one of these

days. Now, uh, I grant you that possibly some people get married and maybe

they shouldn't have, but, I think that marriage is a good institution. I don't


see how in the world we can do without it.

I: I believe you said you-had a son, did you not?

S: Uh, yes, I have a son.

I: What is his age?

S: Let's see. he's 27. 26. About 26. .

I: Is he in school or service?

S: He was in school here for a while til he got married.

I: That slows you down.

S: He's working somewhere there in Lorenburg. And a daughter, Kay. She'sabout

23 now I guess. She's married. She's been married about a year. She was

working down at Greengrove. no Partegrove School. She used to do secretarial

work up at Pembroke High School. But, uh, right now, though, she quit. Monday

went down here to Peggy's Nursery.

I: Oh, this is the daycare center you're speaking of. How many. I've been by

there. .I've never been in. do you know about how many children they

accommodate in there?

S: I certainly don't. I'm supposed to go in there and make some pictures some-

times in the near future, but. .

I: What his is connection, Mr. Adkins?

S: I really don't know. .I. .we had a date set. We were going to make some. I

don't know what they going do. what it is. but I couldn't make it that time.

We called it off and we haven't set another date yet. Uh, I think something

come up and I didn't make it. So we j4st haven't gotten around. I haven't

leen in there yet.

I: We have an interesting commerce here. And it's been said that Pembroke needs

"a lot more industry and job opportunity. Could you see the benefit of having

"a 24-hour nursery.. work on shift work?


S: I don't know whether that would. you mean here in Pembroke?

I: Yeah, would it pay off or would it be feasible for practical reasons? Uh,

help families, you know. .

S: Might lead to abandonment of children. .they might bring them there and

not. .Ha. ha.

I: No, I mean the people that work shift work having -------i ----mothers

have to wait working at, uh

S: Yeah. I really don't believe .I really don't know. I'm not qualified to

answer. I was fixing to say I'm not qualified to answer. I started to say

I didn't believe it would be profitable to operate,. .but I really don't

know, you know. Might be.

I: Did your daughter express or has she been there since. long enough to get

an impression and tell how she likes working with the Lumbee people?

S: I haven't talked to her about it. Now, that's what she was doing at Pinegrove,

working in the kindergarten. .. .got a chance to go up here but she started

there Monday. I've seen her a couple of times since but I haven't had time to

tIk to her about it. She really likes little children. She works real good

with them. I have here in the. I say I have her. school superintendent

of First Baptist. e ---------------a-weetiy. She keeps the nursery.

I: You're a member of the First Baptist Church here in. .?

S: Pembroke, yes.

I: .And, what is. you're Sunday school superintendent?

S: Yes.

I: What is. what is about the membership, approximately of the First Baptist



S: It's very small. Always has been for some reason, less than 200. Now that

is, you know, the resident members. you know how we have new members on

the book.

I: Sort of dead members, they call it.

S: Yeah, they moved out and moved their membership. It's politics.

I: Do you enjoy church work?

S: Oh, yes.

I: I beliawe, uh, you go to prayer meeting every night. I think on Wednesday

night I got you out of prayer meeting to tape some people you had connection

with, uh, Dr. Spees, from the university. Duke University it was.

S: Yeah, I knew.iim. yeah. Duke University, yes that's right.

I: Take blood samples to become diseased patterns of the Lumbees.

S: Whatever happened to that?

I: Well, I think it's still in the studying, research, uh,Adetermine diabetics

L24one of the diseases that's high in Lumbees and nervous disorders, suicides

S: Lance Blaspoas (?) sponsor of a mass glucomoa, diabetes clinic here sometime

in the near future, I don't know if we're biting off more than we can chew or

not,bte it takes a host of.

I: So you're -&--iPAtL---too. What other interests do you have that maybe I

haven't mentioned?

S: Civic clubs?

I: ----- -obbies. .-------------?

S: I tell you. I'm a active member of the Lion's Club. I belong to the V.F.W.,

the Booster's Club, and all that. I'm not very active in those two over half

the time. As for hobbies, I simply don't get a chance to work at anything.

Usually, about 99% of the time, I'm running off some place to take pictures


of somebody or something. Matter of fact, I get away from here. But this

job here occupies the majority of the time. The activities going on. .

I: Do you enjoy your work?

S: I enjoy. I enjoy my work. it gets aggravating at times, just like anything,

else. It hs advantages and disadvantages.

I: Let me ask you this. You make a lot of pictures of people. It's been said

that some people just, you know, that can make a picture, I wouldn't say just

anyone. it doesn't matter that. some people are more photogenic than others,

is this true or is this hypothetic?

S: That's true. That's a fact. I know some people. .

I: Is there a cause for it. what is this? I mean you can sometimes take a

beautiful girl and she doesn't turn out tha way on the picture. .

S: It doesn't turn out that way on the picture, that's right.

I: You can take one sort of homely and plain looking and make her beautiful.

I didn't know if that was the photographer or not. .I was going to ask

you how they make a homely girl beautiful if you could do that or not.

Of course, maybe you can do it with touch-ups.

S: When I say more photogenic, I mean that. some people you can point a camera

at them and they light up like a sunflower. Others you can point one at and

freeze and you can't get them right. Sometimes, I have to make six or seven

shots and you can make more than that if you get-.a fairly decent shot, you know.

Some people you can hit them one time and you've got it. And, yet, I don't know.

I: You say that taking pictures, as you say, causes people to freeze. Uh, they

sort of fool the camera maybe?

S: I don't know what it is, uh, I suppose I would fall in that clAss.

I: I know in interviewing, I've encountered people and I'm kind of one of them

but I just go ahead and do it. I found out to get over ---- the


best way to do is, you know, --------- ---water and jump in. Uh, recorded,

you know, they feel they're being recorded sometimes now words are garbled

and this kind of thing, but, how are you following ----- -L----fear of the

camera when you're on the other side of it?

S: I'm not in front of it very much. I've noticed the pictures that I have been

though, you're trying to. instead of just acting natural, you're trying to!

pose, or something you know. If you jsut relax and forget about it, I think

it'll make a much better looking picture. I make it a habit not to get in front

of a camera very much. I look like a convict and then------- -

long time.

I: You're not very objective about yourself, anyway, I think you're being, uh,

dishonest, facetiousto yourself. .1 couldn't agree with that.

S: Aren't. I'm about to run out of time. how about you?

I: Okay. we're about to run out of tape. I want to thank you for the con-

tribution made in giving me this interview and for myself, I thank you.

In behalf of the Doris Duke Foundation and the American Indian. the history

program. Uh, maybe me day maybe your children, your grandchildren, will come

down and hug you and listen to granddaddy who will tell some of his philoaphy

and people across te nation, that's what we want you to do. You want to give

your telephone number and your address for anybody that wants their picture

taken? You've got more to do than...5t- CO'. 0)

S: Look in the hook.

I: Okay, so we'll let you cut. we'll cut off now so you can go take your pictures

then. And thank you again, Mr. Elmer Hunt.

S: Glad to help you out, if I've helped you. Hal ha!

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