Title: Interview with Betty Jo Hunt (July 7, 1973)
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007098/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Betty Jo Hunt (July 7, 1973)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: July 7, 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: UF00007098
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 111A

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Full Text


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

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Interviewer: Dexter Brooks

Subject: Betty Jo Hunt
Date: July 0, 1973

I: Mrs. Hunt, excuse me, Ms. Hunt, when were you born?

S: March 12, 1950.

I: And, who are your parents?

S: Mr. and Mrs. koliv Hunt. My mother's first name is Eva

I: What was her maiden name?

S: Jones

I: What is your father's occupation?

S: He's a supportive service counselor with North Carolina /'l TCA

I: And, your mather?

S: A housewife.

I: Who were your grandparents on your father's side?

S: Uh, Mr. and Mrs. Issac Hunt. My grandmother's first name is

Josephine. Her maiden name was Harding.

I: What was your grandfather's occupation.

S: I assume he was a farmer. As far as I know her was a farmer.

I: He died before you were born?

S: Yes, In 1939, I think.

I: And on your mother's side, your grandparents?

S: My grandfather is Dexter Jones. My grandmother is Willy Jane

I: Your grandfather's occupation.

S: He was a farmer. He is now 83. He lives with us. Of course,

he draws social security.

I: How many children in your mother's family?

LUM 111A Page 2

S; Six. Two girls and four boys.

I: And, in your father's family?

S: Four Boys.

I: Four boys and no girls. Your uncles on your father's side, what

are their occupations?

S: They're all dead now. One of them was a minister. I assume he

also farmed and I assume the other was a farmer. One of them was

in the military for a while. My dad at one time had a small, family

owned cafe and gas station. He helped my dad with that for awhile

then he kind of roamed aroundAdoing various jobs I F 'p L4Oy'

PoLle tt. Well what he did, he worked with drag line equipment,

I guess digging ditches or canals, or whatever.

I: So he worked with heavy equipment. How long has he worked with

this manpower type work?

S: Since '65 with various programs that terminate and others start so

it's another one.

I:_ Did he get out of heavy equipment?

S: NO, this was my father. My uncle was the one that worked with

heavy equipment.

I: Your father did what before he was in manpower and the related work?

S: He was a, well, he got out of farming at a roughly early age. He

started, well, he bought a little place there, a couple of acres.

I: Did he own his own farm?

S: No. Not his own farm. He was always working for the others r.

TV'_ [an_ Then he bought the two acres with the house already on

it and a little general type store with a lunch counter and a gas

pump. He also had a couple of buses he would, he had for awhile

LUM 111A page 3

S4turdqy, when he.d go around through- the country picking

up people taking them to town and the towns around. There

was schedules when he was going to be in which town and he

would also take groups on various trips, you know charter buses.

I guess that ended when I was, oh say, 5 or 6. Then he worked

on with the restaurant. We tore the old building down and built

another one.

I: This bus service, was that profitable.

S: Well, It got him across anyway. I don't know how profitable it was.

He worked really hard. He would tell me at times on chartered trips,

mail boxes along the road would look like ghosts because he was rtilly

tired. But, anyway, it kept us eating and it helped pay for the

place and everything so, it was just a livelyhood and not that

much extra but we managed.

I: Do you know his reasons for going into the Indian's self employed ranks

for going into the Manpower Project to N\ ?

S: Well, when he first went into the Manpower program, we still had the

restaurant and my mom would run it, and, uh, after being in it for

some twenty odd years it was time for a rest and change. He really

enjoys working with people and seems to understand all types of people,

He can get them going many times when other people can't and get them

into a position where then can help themselves. Uh, he just enjoys

his work and you've got to make money somehow. You might as well

do something you enjoy. He doesn't have that great an education, uh.

formal education, I think it was to about eleventh grade and he finished

that up after he became an adult. He's never had any college training

but he's had alot of experience in dealing with people and I think

LUM 111A page 4

he's a pretty sharp gut. I'm really proud of him.

tI What about your mother? What kind of education did she have.

S: My mom went to about seventh grade, but, I would say that's

about the equivalent of third grade. She can read enough to

read her bible and Sunday school lessons and the paper. She

can add. She can't subtract or multiply or divide or anything like


I: Who makes most of the decisions?

S: My father, my mother has very little say in financial matters

because she's not that equipped to deal with them. She's always

been taken care of by my dad. She has no initiative for getting ,*

into my dad. My dad and I discuss things. He asks my opinion and

we go from there. I don't know of any decision, lon range, short

range or whatever in hhe past year or so- (At U 4 U ( ie

Say, even before I was sixteen, he would always ask my opinion. We

sat down and discussed things, whereas he didn't do that with my


I: Your mother. Her personality; is she extroverted, uh LD1 ,]8 k ?1

S: No, she uh, well with her friends, the people she knows, she's
quite, well, I would say, she's/an extrovert and she's certainly not

an introvert either. She's somewhere in between. Uh, when we had

the restaurant, she had to meet people. We were uh, the restaurant

was on 1-95 and she met people going back and forth between New York

and Florida. Uh, she's not the type that you'd take to a party and

she'd get to know everybody, but, she will converse. She will talk

to those people she knows. She will C' Li She doesn't make

LUt7 111A page 5

that much effort to do that. I usually do that, introduce her

around, whatever.

I: Is your mother _____

S: Yes, she's a member of a Baptist church at our home. She stays on

me about doing what she thinks is right and all this. Of course,

she a little bit more liberal minded now, because of my influence.

She's still somewhat conservative.

I: You mean conservative when your speaking about what she thinks a

young lady what sort of activities she should be engaged in?

S: Right, right.

I: Is she uh, She's a faithful church goer?

S: Oh yes, every Sunday, unless I'm home and I plan to leave on Sunday

she's in church, because I don't go with her to church.

I: What are some of the church related activities she's involved in

Is she in the training end?

S: No, she's not involved in that. One time she participated in the'

church choir, but not any more. She's uh, she and another lady work

with I guess primary age kids six or seven, maybe even younger than

that. I don't know exactly what department she's in now. She's

been shifted around a bit, but she works with the smaller children

I: This is almost like Sunday-school. At the end does she uh at the end

do they have prayer meetings and everything?

S: Occasionally, I Think. You know, she goes to revivals and things like

limited to
I: So basically her church attendance is / Sunday morning?

S: Yes, unless there are special activities other than the usual

training and prayer meeting all that she does Ij t\t -

LLIJ/11A, page 6

but being away from home, you-know I don't know but that's

about all she does.

I: What about your father now how would you describe his personality?

S: He's a very open person. He really likes the people, he likes to

get to know them. The aggressive type.

I: And, what are some of the activities he enjoys-doing?

S: Well, as I said, he's mainly interested in the people. He really

likes to help them any way he can. As far as hobbies or anything,

he's older now. He used to like to bird hunt. Occasionally he'll

go fishing now but now that often anymore, he's so tied up with

his work, he's older and he has problems with his back.

I: Did he injure his back?

S: No, it's just the years taking their toll, I guess, kind of arthritis

or something.

I: Is your father religious.

S:: Well, you know, not as far as organized religion. I think he believes

in alot of the teachings he grew up with, but, as for going to church,

he doesn't do that on a regular basis. Occasionally, he and I will

decide to go but usually it's like (i:D S)t ), e n -a beautiful

voice. He enjoys listening to this singing. He goes on a complains

about how, what poor quality is put before him by various groups.

But, he likes to get out.

I: Has your father ever been involved in any political movements.

S: Well, we lived in the Back Swamp Township. He was very active

politically there, when I was smaller Well, then he got involved in

Manpower Programs and various poverty programs and that cut out of

his time you know, to take people to the poles to register and vote

and all that. During what period of time was he active, politically.

LUI)llA. page 7

St Well, I would say all of my life, up until I was about sixteen

or so, when he got involved with this other thing. He was pushing

various candidates and well, mainly, taking people to the poles to vote

and encouraging them to vote, and register. Did he ever

I: Did he ever serve on a precinct or committee or ...?

S: No, not to my knowledge.

1: Who were some of the candidates that he went on to support? Mainly

what type?

S: Well, he was uh, he has been a registered democrat all of his life,

as far as I know he always supported democratic candidates as far

as governatorial races and so forth and various state offices. I

think he may have voted republic the first couple of times, I'm

not sure.. The first time he voted A2 z i)1C&was this year-rv/ d''"
and that was my -&t I'm a registered democrat too, and I look

at the candidates rather than the party affiliation and I thought

that's 1, 0 9s just a better man and we sat down and discussed

it so, he voted the way I did and my mom did too.

I: Did your father ever discuss some of the difficulties he had getting

people interested in the political candidates, or even registered

to vote at this time?

S: I don't recall anything specific, but, I would assume uh, well,

he and I think alot a great deal and my philosophy is that you

cah't talk to a group of people and convince them to go out and

register with that much success. It has to be done an an individual

basis and this is seemingly how he operated. Uh, he encouraged

individuals to register. He would take them, to the poles. You have

-to-stay after people. You can't mention it to them and go on casually.

LUM 111A page 8

You have to stay after them because our people are and have not

been in the past thf kind to exercise their voice in government

that little vote they have. That's all that they have and I

encourage them to exercise that one thing.

I: Has your father traditionally supported Indian candidates?

S: Oh yes.

I: What about Black men?

S: It depends on the black. He has always supported *'J_ A ') ,

They have been good friends for many years, and other black

candidates who he thought were worthy of his trust or whatever he

supported. He has always been anti-white and especially after

WI t." T- D I guess)the radical in the family and I kind

of pull hi4long with me.

I: What about your early childhood years? You're an only child?

S: We have always had a very close family relationship. I've always

been able to sit down and talk with my dad and my mom about anything,

ask them any kind of questions, be it about their activities, or

be it about sex, political beliefs, religious beliefs, whatever.

It's a very open, very good relationship. I wouldn't trade it for the'

world, for anything really.. It's really fantastic and I don't

think that I would have progressed any faster if the relationship

had been any other way. I think they are the reason I am where I

am, you know, whether that's good or bad, I couldn't say. We're at

least progressive in the sense of what our people do.

I Could you describe your parents as indulgent in if you wanted certain

kinds of toys or- iw ?

LUM 111A page 9

S: Oh yeah. They tried to please me and I in turn tried to please


I: So, you didn't abuse this?

S: No, because they made me that way, you know, I don't take advantage.

I: Was this true of the playmates you had when you were growing up

were their parent's as liberal.

S: No, no I don't think so, and, quite often, I could talk with their

parents alot better than they could. I usually get along pretty

well with older. They would have me ask their parents to let them

go somewhere, or give them something, or whatever they wanted I was

their go between, or whatever.

I: Your education; where did you go to elementary school?

S: I went to Green Groves Elementary School, about three or four

miles from where I lived out in the country. I went to high

school at Primrose High; School. I went to college at :.i- =:::=.::/

State and I went to Law School at Duke University.
In elementary School,
I: /Reflecting back how would you describe the education that you

received you spent what, eight years?

S: No, I spent seven. I went from third grade to fourth grade and

I was only in fourth grade two or three weeks and I went to fifth


I; You went from the third grade you skipped two years?

S: No, I went from the third to the fourth and then I only stayed there

two weeks or so and so it was like from the third to the fifth

grade. So that makes 7 years. I had, on the whole, pretty good

instructors. They were always very patient with me. They pushed

me pretty hard, which was really good. I knew I had their interest

as well as the interest of my parents, and that, you know, together

LUM 111A page ]O

I guess, with a little ambition on my own part, caused me to

excel somewhat.

I: You always did, uh, you were always at the top of the class?

S: Yes, in my modesty.

I: At Green Grove, most of the children, at this time, all of the

children were Indians.

S: Right.

I: What sort of backgrounds did they come from.

S: They were farmers children, mainly, all of them, from the country.

I: Your school teachers; were there any teachers from the area there?
C()\ Lro kc,.
S: Uh, there were a few alot from thePEambreok area.
I: / of the teachers from -

S: From around Pembrook although there were a few from the immediate

area. But only a few UdW '2J

I: Did you say you went directly from Green Grove to Pembrook?

S: Yeah.

I: Why didn't you go to'Fairgrovel

S: Well, at that time, it seemed that most of the people getting into

college had gone to Pembrook and not that many from the Fair Groves

area had gone to college.

I: What Year was this?

S: '63. The fall of '63 when I went to Pembroek? I thought I would

probably have a better chance to have better facilities, hopefully

at least good instructors whether or not they were better than those

at Fair Groves. The children that I would mingle with were from uh,

I: Middle class?

LUM 111A page 11

S; Well, middle class as far as, you know, Indian standards. Most

of their parents, well alot of their parents were teachers. I

just thought and my dad thought that that was the thing to do.

I'm blad I went there, you know. Of course I missed the experience

of being at Fair Groves and knowing alot more of the people in

the area, but, I think I got a pretty good education there at

Pembrook-High School. It deffinately prepared me for tembTroof

State College. I'm sure it wouldn't have prepared me as well

for Duke or UNC or wherever, but, I think I would have made it

had I decided to go there. I think I got a pretty good foundation

both a Green Grove and at PembriT k.

I: This was a joint decision on you and your father's part?

S: Right

I: What did your mother think of it?

S: Well, my mom usually lets us make the decisions. She goes along.

She's not the liberated type female that I'll probably be.

I: So you're still in process?

S: I'm still in process, since I only have myself to consider at the

momen and, well, and my folks, I have no husband or children.

I: How did the, uh, your former playmates view this decision? Did

you still continue to have a social relationship with your

Green Grove classmates?

S: Not that much since I didn't see them on a day to day basis, you

know hot being in school with them. I saw them at church. I was

still going to churchAReedy Branch Baptist Church with my mom.

I think they resented my going to b ,eek, in fact, I'm sure of

LUM 111A page ]2

it and I possibly got some cold shoulders occasionally, but It

didn't bother me that much because I'm, uh, kind of a talkative

person, and, perhaps I mingle sometimes with people when they

don't want me to. This didn't slow me down that much, but, eventually,

I started going to Harpers Ferry Baptist Church because I had

friends that I was in school with that went there. I guess I

was a senior in high school or maybe even after I graduated there,

that maybe sometime after I graduated there I started going to church

there and all during college I went there. And, then I started law

school and kind of broke away from most organized religion.

I; Was there, among the people in the community which you are from,

was there any sort of anti-Peibrepk r-f r ic, in general.

S: There's always been rivalry there. Uh, you know, like in the

athletic events. Uh,, plus, you have to realize that the

people in the area from the area that I come from and even more so

down in the Fair Grove area, are mainly farmers or now since the

industries came in they work in factories, uh, they aren't as

highly educated as a whole, as those around the PemrCbTk area, and

this obviously causes a break, plus just not being around each

other, not mingling with each other causes people to not be as

sociable, to not necessarily want to get to know people in another

area because on a day to day basis you're right there with your

own family and friends. There has been even slight hostility, you

know between the two areas and then always, well, lots of the

teachers were imported from the Rembook area. And, even like tome

of these factions that have broken away from the Lumbees, alot

of their problem, well in their minds anyway, is that the people

aroundPembrak, the educated, won't look down their noses at

LUM 111A page 13

them, you know, whether or not it's true, and in cases it is,

there's little social groups, or whatever, that mingle among

themselves and don't necessarily mingle with others who are

less educated people.

I: Y6u know, it's true. What about, when you went to PemltUv

how were you affected by the people in Pebrek, and uh?

S: Well, uh, I made friends easily, don't think, and perhaps I'm

wrong, I don't think they resented my coming. I did well in

school and graduated top in my class. That may have, you know,

bugged somebody.
you'd have
I: Do you think _/ .. been accepted as well by the people in Pembrook

if, perhaps, you hadn't done as well scholastically as you did?

S: Well, that's a loaded question, Uh, maybe I should, wellgoWhen I

was in high school, and in college I was somewhat studious, anyway,

I guess I didn't mingle as much then as I do now. I've grown up

sociably and have socially matured. I like people, you know, I'll

go up to someone and say "Hi, I'm Jo-Jo Hunt, who are you?", you know,

if I don;t know them or "where are you from", and you know, a few

years ago I wouldn't have been that open so, I think that together

with my not being an open and somewhat excelling and being somewhat

narrow minded too i.e.; religious and not participating that much

in some of the wilder extra curricular activities, uh, I was not as

accepted then as I am now. But, I wouldn't say that it was just due

to you know, my excelling scholastically. I think that it was a

mixture of all those things plus several others, you know, that I

probably can't put my finger on.

I: Then school to you in Peimbrvk then, basically was uh, I mean you

lived to your own community and commuted to school and you didn't

involve yourself that much with the social activities of the school

LUM 111A pagel4

and none in the town?

S: Well, uh, I didn't commute. The first year a friend of ours was

teaching there, so, my dad would take me up to his house and I

would ride with him to school, so, after school, we would come

home and I didn't have that much time. After that year, my sophomore

year and part of my junior year, I uh, most of my junior year,
I rode the Union bus that came within about three niles of .f house.

I got on the bus, went to the union and then got a high school bus

to come in.

I: Right,

S: You know, just riding with them on the bus was a little more exposure

and then, after I got a drivers license, that next A in

fact, I started driving to school and I could stay as lon as

I wanted, uh, although I usually went home shortly after school

because mom was expecting me and she was a chronic worrier and I would

get on her nerves. Uh, but, you know, some of the kids would ride

with me, occasionally, and after I got a drivers license I would go

to basketball games and dances and all that. Any other time, like

before I got a drivers license, if I wanted to go to an activity at

school, and I usually did my dad would take me and then wait around
k I.JL J
in town, or go-ever his friends, or whatever and come back and

pick me up.

I: Could you have attended any high school in the county that you wanted

at this particular time, in '63? Was Robinson at that time operating

on a freedom of choice.

S: Uh, I think it either began that year, or the following year, '64 that

I could have selected any school, but I waNted to go to emlbrcOft.

LUM 111A page ]5

I: Did you consider going to Lumberton ? i ?

S: No, I didn't.

I: Why?

S: Well, I'm sure they had much better facilities, in fact, uh,

most of the white schools had better facilities. We would get

the used, battered books and the lab equipment wasi.somewhat

scarce, you know, the chemistry lab, the physics lab. Uh, but,

I also wanted to feel free and at home with my peers, you know,

I wasn't that interested in getting to know the white kids and

I'm still not that interested in getting to know them, whites of

my age unless there's some way that can help me to do something

that I want to do, you know, be it political, or what ever, uh,

I'm very pro Indian and I always have been. At first I was compelled

to mingle with Indians because at that time I couldn't mingle with

whites and because of uhm social situations, many times you didn't

want to mingle with blacks. You know, all of that has changed
discuss things
somewhat now, I have black friends, we get along/and all this but

still, you always feel better freer and happier with your own

kind, you know, be it from Rbi County or Washington D.C., New

Mexico, Saersefa or wherever. You have more things in common.

I: You felt,or course, your basic reason for going to Pembrook was

to get a better education but you felt that, uh, to go to Pembrook

A{.CC )lG- to go to Lumberton the ratio gap at that time would

have been to much to bridge.

S: I don't' necessarily think that It would have been to much to bridge.

The fact is that I didn't want to bridge it. I didn't want to be

bothered, you know, with having to bridge it.

I: Do you recall the time in your life when you became conscious of a

difference in races

LUM 111 A page ]6

S: That was to far back. I don't remember, no. Uh, I think I

have been conscious of that most of my life. Uh, I mean after

seeing alot of white only sighs, especially after you learn to

read, you uh, you know, it really hits you in the face.

I: Do you recall the first kind of discrimination act the was

directed againstyou as an Indian?

S: Uh, I don't know as this was the first one because, you know, at

home yourrsort of she red and my folks wouldn't put me in that

position. My dad ouldalways? speak up. He's not a submissive

type person and if somebody pushes, he pushes back. But, the

first time I recall, was not in Robn-o County, it was Raleigh.

I must have been about ten or eleven. My dad had a fick-up truck

and he did a little truck farming. He would buy tomatoes or

watermellons or whatever and take them up to the farmers market

and sell them and he had sold them in the little towns around.

But, I went with him that day, it must have been on a Saturday or

so, I don't know, anyway well it was in summer, I guess because

of the produce being ready for market and all this, anyway) whatever

day it was, I went with him. There was this little snack bar there

at the farmers market and it was just hat and I was tired from riding

up there and being out in the sun all day while he was selling his

produce. Uh, so, I went to the snack bar to get a coke or a sandwich

or something and I think there was a sign, white only, and I hesitated

to go in there, you know I saw that, and I came back to the truck

where my dad-was. I was really upset and in tears and my dad said, uh,

you know,.'that's not gonna happen, you don't have to be treated this

"way. We have as much right to go anywhere we want to as anybody

else.' So, he went with me we went inside the place, we got our

LUM 111A page 17

sandwichlor our coke or whatever. We sat down and ate it, white

only sign or none you know, we did that. He has always been protective

of me, I guess as any loving father would be. I respect him for always

standing up for what he believes in and I respect him for caring

enough about me to put himself in jeopardy whatever jeopardy it might

be, whether it's someone saying harsh words to you or a policeman

there, or whatever, we went in that snack bar and got our sandwich

and we ate it right there. So that stands out in my mind. I'm sure

there are others you know, I just can't remember. There were always)

when Twas a little girl, signs on the trashy restaurants, whites

only' on the barber shops white only'. I grew up with that. Perhaps

that's why I'm so hostile today.

I: Did that incident also say anything to you about the difference between

being Indian in Robinsn County and being Indian in say Wake County?

S: Well, at that time, no. But, you know, I have learned since then,

it has been brought home to me. Like just in, you know, in Stockney
quite often
County/your treated alot better than in Robinson and anywhere
there's a large concentration of a minority people be they/black,

Chicano or whatever, uh, there's going to be alot more hostility

right there, you know, because the whites have to deal with tf somewhat

right there, uh, but, discrimination racism and everything is all

across this country not just in Rubinson County. We can feel it more

there, because we're used to feeling it there and because the people,

the whites are used to having us there and used to showing that

hostility. Now it's not so blatant, it's more shuttle but, it's still

there, and, still we go within our own circles we don't venture out

that much. It may be just because we don't want to. That's why

I don't, you know but all these factors make me that way, not

LUM 111A page ]8

wanting to venture out that much.

I: Did your father, then did he feel that at this particular time,

that the white schools in general were much better than the Indian's?

Much better equipped?

S: Much better equipped, yes, and you know, we had no dealing s with

the white teachers so, we didn't know about their qualifications.

Being in college with uh, with uh, whites although not mingling

with them that much still, you know, I knew about what they could

do in the classroom from their questions and their answers to

questions posted to them. I found that they deffinately, those

that were in college with me were not intellectually superior. Many

of them were inferior in fact, so if that's any clue to what their

teachers are then I think that we had, the teachers, Indian teachers

that I was exposed to were just as good. The facilities were poor.

I: Did your father ever try to change the situation as far as, uh, let's

say to uh, more equalize the education system. Did he support PTA

movements or anything?

S: Oh yes, he went to the PTA meetings and all this. When I was at

Green Grove when I started there and when I graduated or finished the

eight grade, we still didn't have a cafeteria. It was being built

during my final year there and they opened it the following year.

The library facilities were very inadequate and even the playground

equipment was scarce. ,So, you know, we would have little fall carnivalsto,

v4hk box suppers. The mothers would get together and prepare boxes of

f6od, bake cakes and all this and we would have raffles and things at
the school to raise money. My dad had / contact uh, you know, various

stores in Lumberton since we had the little gas station and cafe.

LUM 111 A pagel9

Uh, obviously, they didn't necessarily want to give him the merchandise, l,

Because he was one of their patrons, it was the thing to do. So, you

know, he could go like to furniture stores and things and get lamps,

wholesalers and get other stuffthat could be sold, you know. They

would donate that, through him to the school. It would be sold and

we would use the proceeds of that one nightSget together or whatever

to buy library books and eventually to build a cafeteria. Whereas

the Robinson Board of Education didn't do enough to alleviate the

problem people had to take things into their own hands and that's

why we had such great pride in our school and I'm sure the other

Indian schools had to db the same thing. And something you build

with your own efforts, with your own hands, you know, the whole of

your brow or whatever. Kids would even get out and pick cotton

you know, have little queens that you would pay money on and whoever

got to get the most money would be the queen, you know, little things

like that. Uh, after you do that you just have pride in what you build

whether or not it's as good as another school that's been helped by
the state or by the/Board of Education.

I: Could you compare the kind of spirit among the school patrons before

and after integration?

S: Well, I don't know of anything like that happening now. I don't think

that there's that much interest in doing something that would benefit

other races, although, that's kind of a bad way to feel, you know, that's

the position we've been put in. Quite often now, in the country schools

at least, Indians and Blacks are mixed together and there are whites

there although not that many. There's always hostility, even between

Indians and blacks. I think the reason is that both have been programed

by the majority society to be destructful of each other, to not like

LUM 111 A page 20

to not like each other simply because if we did we might form

a coalition and since the county is about divided about equally

between the three reaches, then should we get together and

get everybody to the polls we could run the whole show, you know,

and that won't work as far as the establishment is concerned. So,

I think there has always been a conspiracy to keep us apart and it

still thrives. My mom has been destte-t She doesn't like

blacks that much. She has changed somewhat because, I think, of my

influence. But, still, there's that line drawn and perhaps, even

with me, although I try to be the liberal as far as blacks are concerned

even more/o -that whites. I can talk with them easier. I can, we have

uh, similar problems although they're not the same. They've still

been pushed around and we have too. We have that in common. We
I guess, A
can talk about it. But, still, there is a/line that I draw too as well

as drawing it from the other side the majority society.

I: What are your views on bir # control?

S: On birth control? Uh, I think birhF control is a must, you know,

as far as the single person, because down home there's still alot

of religious hang-ups and a girl that has a baby out of wedlock is

looked down upon and she has to struggle with trying to feed the

child and to educate itA I think really, people ought to be able

to do whatever they want to do as long as it doesn't hurt somebody

else. If they want to have premarital or extramarital sex, you know

it's their decision, they should make it. Uh, I think that courses

on human reproduction should be taught in all schools beginning in

the elementary grades, that any girl that wants contraceptives should

Lum 111 A page 21

he able to get them because obviously because of human nature

if people decide that that's what they want to do they're going

to do it and they're going to be bringing unwanted, uh, perhaps

even unloved at first, children into this cruel world, in fact,

Uh, unnecessarily. Uh,, I think that parenthood should be something

that's planned for that the parents should at least be somewhat

able to take care of them, you know, with.a great deal of love, take

care of them emotionally, spiritually and, of course, educationally,

and I just don't see somebody getting pregnant, uh without planning

that, being able to do all that. Perhaps I think, or expect too much

out of people, but, I wish that every girl in -i-County, every

Indian girl in particular, uh, should be exposed to the pitfalls, be

able to carry on her education, not have to drop out because she's

pregnant, even for a year, you know, uh and be able still to be free

in what she wants to do without this burden over her head of the possi-

bility of getting pregnant.

I: Are you aware that more Indian babies are born per year in Robinson

County than any other race?

S: Yeah, I know that, you know, even nationally speaking that we're the

largest growing population and I'm all for that. I would like to out-

number everybody, but, uh, still we have to consider the lives of those

children and not just try to populate and not educate or provide

for any other way.

I: Do you think that birth control has bver been used by the dominate

white society to limit the population in the black and Indian pop-


S: Uh, yes, yes, I do, but, you know, regardless of their motive$ you

know, I have made this decision not because they say it's the thing

LUM 111 A page 22

to do but because I think it's right for my people. You know,

I could care less what the blacks or what the whites do as long

as they don't overpopulate to the extent of crowding me in and

my people making it environmentally impossible to survive. But,

you know, I am just thinking of the child that's born. I want that

child to have the best possible, and, I think birth control until a

potential paent is at least halfway capable of taking care of the

child, is necessary.

I: Then, basically, you believe in a person having an educated choice,
S: Richt, right. I don't think it should be a slip up, you know. I/think
under a c oCe
that somebody that's been taught that a baby comes from / .sebges

leaf should be roaming around. I think this should be taught in schools,

you know, how things come about and be taught that contraceptives are

available and make them deffinately available to anybody even if it

leads to sexual promiscuity or whatever. I really think that

people are going to do what they want anyway and I don't think that

the use of contraceptives is going to increase it or decrease it and

that's where it stands as far as I'm concerned.

I: You say you attended State University, or anyway, graduated

from there. Did you ever have any classes in the building called

Old Main?

S: Oh yes, I did. I had political science k6'1' f there and

Spanish lab, I guess.

I: Do you recall the uh, Can you recall how you first learned of the

scheduled demolition of that building?

S: Uh, I was in Durham. I don't recall exactly when it was. Uh, I

guess we read it in the paper. I heard it on the T.V. news and I

LITll A Page23

was really not that upset about it. I knew the condition of the

building, but I.didn't realize the significance, you know, df

keeping that building there. I was indifferent, I wouldn't care,

but then, you know, I went home and I talked with people and

I saw the feelings then and they started feelingsAin me, you know,

the same way and, you know, I didn't participate that much in the

movement although I did taXing with people lots of times, but

I was away at school and even though there is only 110 miles )20

miles distance, uh, therets'a huge communication gap. You don't

know what's happening part of the time, uh, you know and I was there

on weekends and people had gone their separate ways rather than

during the week when some of the things were happening.

I: Can you describe some of the people with which you talked with

that changed, that gradually changed your mind on the building.

S: Well do you mean name them or ...?

I: No, I meanitypes of people and what their reasons were for wanting

to preserve it?

S: Well they're the outspoken and the more educated group and there's

a segmentAthose and then there were some of the poor people that,

perhaps they realized the significancejthen again, possibly they

] just got on the band wagon of a cause for whatever reason. Uh, I

talked mainly with the leaders of the movement who were college

graduates, some of them former teachers. They are the more radical

corner of the group. It seems that many of the others were afraid

to speak up because of putting their jobs in jeopardy and then some

of the others were somewhat of mind with the .Pit Crest country club

set and they obviously were not going to jeopardize that position.

So, I just thought that the people who actually had, possessed

LUM 111 A page 23

interest of the Indians in Rebison County, be it Lumbee,

Tuscarora or whatever were behind the movement. They told

me what that this was the last remaining symbol of Lndian
the state
Education, provided by / on the college level as it was

the first state institution in the country specifically for

Indians although now we're f('"4 i in the minority. You know,

that kind of fired me up a little bit and I supported it.

I: What were some of the views given,or the reasons given 1y the

uneducated type of person who never attended classes in this

particular building?

S: Well, of course they were influenced by what the others said.

You know, they just saw Old :Main as the 4dMf State College,

Pembrook State University of several years ago, where Indians

had some say in what was happening, were very involved in even

athletic activities, felt like it was their institution and it

was for them, you know, they could do what they wanted there

without feeling embarrassed, fdxiing at ease, or whatever, you know

you just didn't have to leave home to get a college degree. There

was pride in the institution and this kind of floated over to the

rest of the Indian population even though they had never gone to

school there. You'd ride by and see the building and "hey, there's

our school", you know.

I: Do you have any comments on the opinion held by some people that

the destruction or the conscious effort by certain people to destroy

all Indian heritage at the school which possibly would sever any

remaining link in peoples minds with i-ook as being identified

as an Indian School and would transform into being a

true racial university having no special obligation to Indians?-

LUM 111 A page 24

S: Well, you know, I've heard that over an-d over and I think I

feel that way too. Uh, there are various people that have

propounded that theory. I think there's alot of truth in theO


I: In the political situation right now in Robinson County what are

some of the changes you would like to see affected in the next, let's

say three years?

S: In the hext three years? Well, that double voting has got to go. Uh,
tio r;N\f\
education is one of the primary ways to survive in a domin-te society.

I think that Indian people should make the decisions for Indian

children. You know, perhaps weIll make mistakes. But, anyway, we can

learn by those mistakes, and, obviously, mistakes have been made by tie

whites seerr us in the past and they haven't learned, really, they

didn't want to learn, they didn't care to learn from those mistakes.

They could care less about Indian people and Indian children. Uh, I

really think that the parents of Indian children should make the decisions

and, it cannot be done with double voting as it is because you're

going to have, perhaps one token Indian on the school beard in a

position of not that much influence and then) those that are
given /. positions probably will go along somewhat and anyway,

they aren't the choice of the people. Those in he appointive positions

aren't the choice of the Indian people. Uh, and you know, if this

is going to be a democracy, If America is so strong on that, on

representative government, then it's about time the sham down home

is gotten rid of and that we have truly representative government.

I: What are some of the other issues that you would like to see attacked?
LS it 0' (c?


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