Title: Interview with Barbara C. Sampson
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007116/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Barbara C. Sampson
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Spatial Coverage: Lumbee County (Fla.)
Funding: This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00007116
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 129

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Full Text


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LUM 129A
Date: November 18, 1973
Subject: Barbara Sampson Carter
Interviewer: Bruce Barton
Typist: Josephine Ann Suslowicz


B: This is side I. We're interviewing Barbara Sampson Carter. We're interviewing

her in the office of the Carolina Indian Voice in Pembroke, North Carolina.

Interviewer: Bruce Barton. This is November the 18, 1973. Barbara, first of

all we thank you very much for allowing us to interview you. Hopefully this

will be part of the--not only in the Oral History Indian Program at the Univer-

sity of Florida, but hopefully they'll give us a transcript of these tapes so

that we can put them in the old Main Oral History Library when Old Main is

reconditioned. Would you give us your full name?

C: Barbara Sampson Carter.

B: How old are you Barbara?

C: 27

B: Could you just, uh, brief instance or two give us a little resume' on Barbara

Sampson Carter?

C: I was born Barbara Ann Sampson and my parents are Margaret and Edwin Sampson.

I was an only child for ten years, and I was reared on the farm, which I didn't

really like then, but I'm very proud of it now, and my mother taught school.

Matter of fact she still does, and I went to grammar school at D.& e t

Elementary in the communittee where I lived. Then I went to Pembroke Grade

School in the eighth grade, and then I went to Pembroke High School where I

got married when I was only 16.

B: Would you recommend marriage at age 16 for other perspective people who might

be contemplating getting married at a very early age?

C: For Christ's sake, no.

B: (Laughs) That's interesting.

LUM 129A 2

C: Cause it really, really takes, um, like that took a lot of my, uh, teen-age life

away from me, you know, that I really had to accept responsibilities as a

mother and a wife, and when I should have been home going to basket--basketball

games and all that kind of stuff that 16, 17 year olds do.

B: Are you still married?

C: No. (Laughs)

B: You're a divorcee?

C: Right.

B: You plan to stay that way for a while?

C: For a while. For a long while.

B: Were there any children as a result of this marriage?

C: Yes. We had a son and a daughter which is one of the best things about the


B: Probably that did make it worth while when you look back.

C: Yeah, that along with all the other heartaches and knots and stuff.

B: So you're 27 and how old are your children?

C: My son will be 11 on the 21 of November, and my daughter was just 6 October


B: So, instead of being a cheerleader at age 16 you were giving birth to a son.

C: Right. Well, my Daddy said, here's my baby giving birth to another baby, and

he really couldn't go along with all that stuff.

B: Why do you think you did get married at such an early age?

C: Uh,-lack of facts, really.

B: They didn't have, uh, sex education, and the responsibilities of marriage and

that kind of thing in high school?

C: No. I really, you know, I was a very blind to, uh, sex education. Like I got

pregnant, and really didn't know how I got pregnant. And that--that--that is the

reason I was--I got married when I was 16--because I was pregnant and didn't even

LUM 129A 3

really know how I got pregnant. It's just one hell of a 0 t *

B: You think this might happen, uh, quite often? Maybe not so much now, but when--

ten years ago we were growing up, uh, you think it happened quite often?

C: I'm sure it did, you knowBq Wich is no reason to get married, you know. Like,

I guess experience is the best teacher. When I think about it now, there is no

way I would have gotten married if I had the mind I have now, but you live and

you learn. Like my daughter, if this happened to her, and I hope it doesn't,

you know, I hope that she won't get married just because she's pregnant. She's

not solving one problem, she's creating another. Maybe, you know, sometimes

it does work, but in my case it didn't. I was just definitely too young. Like,

uh, like I said, I was an only child for ten years and, and I will admit I was

a little spoiled. My Daddy was pretty good at that. Now I was my Daddy's girl.

I'm still my Daddy's girl, but, um, I was a little spoiled. My ex-husband was

a little spoiled. You know, we just wasn't ready for it--not to accept those

kind of responsibilities, but I--oh boy, did I--I did a lot of growing up.

B: Do you think being a Lumbee Indian added to the problem, or do you think this

played a part in, maybe, not getting the proper kind of sex education? Do you

think it was, uh, who do you think was at fault? Do you think it was the fact

that you're an Indian and went to a school with--that didn't have a proper

course in sex education, and marriage, and child rearing, and bodily functions,

and this kind of thing?

C: Yeah, there was a whole lot of people that was at fault: like you said now. Nothing

in school, you know, and I was, you know, just dumb to everything involving sex.

Christ, if we would have had that in school, then, you know, you'ld know what

was happening and what can happen.

B: So you think the school showed a lack of responsibility in this instance and

probably in a lot of other instances.

LUM 129A 4

C: Yeah, I'm very sure. Like, I'ld want my daughter to know, uh, sex education.

She knows a lot 'now, you know, like she's a wise little thing. She can tell you

a lot about babies. It's--my Mom would have probably said, don't do that, don't

say that. Like, my little Sissy says something about somebody being pregnant, or

somebody's going to have a baby. My Mom would have turned all kinds of colors

if I would have said that at six years old, but I want her to know about it,

because I want her to have better opportunities as far as that's concerned, than

I did. It wasn't in the home. It wasn't that I didn't have the opportunity in

the home and things like that, because my Mom and Dad really had the best at

heart for me, because I was the kind of kid that would--that would go through

high school, and go through college, and marry a guy--one of the home town guys--

go to church on Sunday, have two babies, have a brick home, own a car and a

station wagon, and two dogs, and two mortgages, but it just didn't turn out like


B: It seldom does.

C: (Laughs)

B: When you went to, uh, high school, uh, Pembroke Senior High was, uh, all Indian

school, was it not?

C: Yes, it was.

B: Do you think that this was, uh, part of the problem--being isolated from what

other people are doing and thinking? Do you think it would have been better if

there had been Indian and, uh, Indian, Black, and White kids going there so that

they could learn from each other?

C: Probably so, and like if, uh, I'm sure if we would have had White kids going

there we would have had better education, better books, better everything, 'cause

I can remember, like when I was in high school, when we got our a'_ books,

we really thought we were getting new books, you know, and they were books that

the White kids had had in Lumberton and had used them, then they gave them to us.

LUM 129A 5

They got the new editions and everything. We got them from them and we thought

we were getting new books, and they had already used them.

B: I can't say that I've really heard of that many cases, uh, kids in Lumberton High

School having illegitimate babies and that kind of thing, so it might--you might
have something there. Well, how did you find that growing up in Robeson County

as a Lumbee Indian teen-ager?

C: Um, like what for instance?

B: What did you do for, uh, recreation, for instance?

C: Nothing really. That's probably one reason I got pregnant.

B: Nothing to do. (Laughs)

C: Right. (Laughs)

B: Well, where do the kids go? Do they--I understand they had bootleggers back

then. Is that where a lot of the kids would go?

C: Yeah, I guess so. About the only thing we did when I was in high school was

what--went to ball games which were really a big deal, you know. We got to go

to ball games. We went to a movie. Uh, we didn't have any dances when I was

in high and Christ's sake, that's not been that long. I graduated in '65. It

was really slow. Nothing really to do. Ride around like--like--just like the

kids are doing now--riding around. I can't really see there is that much

improvement in recreation. I really don't see any improvement in recreation,

as far as for the kids. There's really nothing, and like if we went to the movie,

in--over in Lumberton, you had to sit upstairs in the balcony with old hard seats,

and it's cold up there. Who wants to do that?

B: You mean Lumberton actually had segregation in their movie theater.

C: Oh, did they ever.

B: They tell me they had tri-racial segregation--had a section for Blacks, one for

Indians, and one for Whites.

C: Yeah, that really messed, uh, you know, in, uh, little stilts on their financing,

LUM 129A 6

you know, it seems like it would have been a lot easier just to have one bath-

room that said female--one bathroom that said male, instead of a bathroom that

said White Women, Black Women, and Indian Women, Black Men, Indian Men, and White

Men. Three sections in the movie.

B: Kind of interesting how we all just kind of accepted that as the way of life

back then, isn't it?

C: I don't--I--I don't know. There was--I don't know if we all really accepted

it or not. I didn't really. I remember one time I was going to the movie, and

my girlfriend, who, um, really looked like--she was really a good looking

Indian girl with black straight hair, black eyes, and olive skin, and I was--my

hair's dark brown, and skin's just a little lighter, but we went downstairs--

went to the window to go downstairs, and, um, I paid my money and the lady didn't

say anything, and then my girlfriend paid her money, and the lady said, um,

wouldn't you rather go upstairs ? Look lady, no she don't want to go

upstairs. We--we paid here, we're going in here, or we don't go in at all. So

I--I was really, um, she didn't give in.

B: She give--she give you your money back?

C: Yes.

B: You didn't--you didn't see the movie?

C: No, 'cause she wasn't going to let-u. in to go in downstairs.

B: Um.

C: When you could go just right over to Scotland County where there's no hassle, you


B: Do you think that was a peculiar problem to Robeson County back them?

C: Yeah, I think it was, uh, ignorance on their part.

B: I remember as a teen-ager growing up, and you might have some thoughts on it, that,

uh, the thing that was really frightening to me growing up as a teen-age--

Indian teen-ager in Robeson County, was seeing so much violence among Indian

LUM 129A 7

people. It seems strange to think back, but I don't ever remember hearing

anything about an Indian killing a White, it was always Indian killing Indian.

Is that the way you remember it?

C: Yes, but 'til you know--that's not really our fault either. Um, the places

that guys shot each other were like bootleggers, and that goes back to there

was no place for us to go, you know, so they resorted to this kind of stuff.

B: Do you think it's better now?

C: Yeah, some--not that much. Like I said, I don't see that much improvement over

the recreation as far as places for the kids to go. I think they're just a

little--they're a little smarter, you know. They're wising up, you know--this

ain't my bag, and I'm not going to do this kind of stuff. Like, um, I know, uh,

a few times that I've been places that really wasn't very highly recommended,

you know, my sister, who is ten years younger than me, wouldn't even think about

it. I think she's a pretty smart kid, you know. She wouldn't think about going

places like this.

B: So you went places probably that your sister wouldn't go, is that right?

C: Yeah, but I wouldn't even go now.

B: Well, considering all these things, are you proud ito be an Indian?

C: Yes, I--I've always been proud to be an Indian. It's great.

B: Would you just as soon be named a Lumbee Indian as anything else?

C: I'm first Indian and then a Lumbee. That--the name doesn't really matter that

much to me, whether it's Lumbee, Cherokee, Robeson County Indians, __*' _

you know. I'm first an Indian.

B: Did you know about the piece of legislation passed in '56 by the United States

Congress that you, as a Lumbee Indian, have a name only in that you aren't

entitled to have any of the other benefits of other Indians?

C: Like reservation Indians.

B: Um-hum.

LUM 129A 8

C: I don't necessarily--I think.* A. --I wouldn't want to come under that

stuff, because I think that's a bunch of bull.

B: You think we're better off than reservation Indians?

C: Yeah, I do. I think we, uh, have an advantage. Like, to me that, um, t.R.A. (?)

is like communism, you know. What--they, uh, okay, they give the--say if you,

uh, like your money--they're going to tell you how to spend your money, and

where to spend it, you know, and if it's my money, I'm going to spend it

where the hell I ant to, you know.

B: You ar - o, uh, going down to the reservation and getting your

food stamps, and all that stuff every month?

C: Heck no.

B: (Laughs)
m Je
C: Ang--and the man who's, running the trading post is a White A-_wr you know...-

B: That's what I heard.

C: That's really Swi t ; )4. t ?

B: Can you remember any particular instances when you were growing up in Robeson

County as a teen-ager--you were specifically discriminated against?

C: Um, my friend and I were talking about that Friday at--at work. I don't really,

really, um, I guess--guess those people over in Lumberton--they really didn't

know whether I was White, or whether I was Indian. Yeah, like, uh, I don't

look--I don't think that much--like my hair's not that dark, and my skin's not

that olive, so maybe they were a little confused, and it's probably the reason

for,.um, like you said, like with my friend that the lady turned away at the

movie house. That--that kind of stuff I--I've seen my people discriminated

upon, which really rubs me you know. Like--like there's--those people

over in the stores, the clerks over in the stores, who really think that's a big,

big thing, 'cause they're working over there in the store, and if they didn't need

LUM 129A 9

the damn money, they wouldn't be there to start with, and they really look down

on you, you know. Gives me the. .

B: You really think that the average White in Robeson County feels superior to the

Lumbee Indian?

C: Uh, I think any damn White person feels superior. I don't care where they are,

or who they are. It might be a little--it's not as bad, I'm sure, but, um,

all--all these White brothers telling me, you know, I don't feel any better.

I don't this, and I don't that, but really deep down inside I think they do. Even

like these--these guys--these dumb guys that go off and marry White girls, I

really think those girls really feel better than these guys, and usually they're

just poor White trash that they're t tnI'I a back here.

B: How about our White--uh, Indian lasses that go to S_ __ and these kind

of places? Does that same rule apply?

C: Yes, I'm sure.

B: Mm, seems like there has been, uh, it's not as bad as it used to be. When I was

a teen-ager most of the Indian girls used to go to Fayetteville and thought it

was a big deal to hang around with the soldiers, and that kind of thing. Wonder


C: Uh, I wonder. (Laughs)

B: You don't have any thoughts on that?

C: Yeah, I do. Um, I don't know if it's all really so much as it was to hang around

with a White guy, you know, I--I really--I can't understand what's so great

about being White, you know. Okay, like, uh, like the thing about going to

Fayetteville--over to Fort t LC- uh, like I did that, and it wasn't

that I was so hung up on a little White guy. Um, it all goes back to, um, where

is there to go in Pembroke, and the time--at the time when I was going over, I

was divorced, you know, it was right after my divorce. Uh, there's not really

LUM 129A 10

that many single guys in--Indian single guys in Pembroke today, and the ones

that are single were probably already asked for, if you could put it that way.

But like when I went, it was a matter of--it was just the thing of being bored.

I went out of boredom. Uh, there's no place to go in Pembroke, Robeson County,

you know, and you went there to the officer's club and you listened to the band,

and you danced a little bit, and have a few drinks, and you come home. Same

routine. It wasn't--to,,me it wasn't the thing about going over there with a

White soldier. Who wants a White soldier? You know, anybody can join the army.

B: All they can do is peel potatoes.

C: Right. (Laughs)

B: Well. .

C: It wasn't no big thing about the White guy. Uh, like I said, mine was out of

boredom, and, um, like the girls that I went with, uh, like two were divorcees,

and, uh, one, uh, other was my cousin that was like my age that wasn't

married, and like I said, there's not many that--+IN+ WMAy single guys--Indian

guys at home to date.

B: So that phenomenon isn't, uh, necessarily anti-Indian male 114_e- It was just

that most of them were asked for, and sometimes you didn't relate to others,

and, uh, boredom--nothing to do.

C: Uh-huh.

B: That's understandable. All right, you say that you have two children. Do you

get any kind of subsistence from the county, or do you work for a living?

C: We do it on our own, you know. My--my Daddy is a firm believer in, um, get out

and work and make it your own way. You know, we got enough people on welfare.

You don't belong in that line, anyway, and I--I really wouldn't, you know. I'm

an able body. I can get out and work and support my kids myself, and that's it.

I'm supporting them myself.

LUM 129A 11

B: So, where do you work?

C: At the Lumbee Regional Development Association.

B: Could you tell us a little bit about what kind of agency this is?

C: It's a federally funded program for Indians, you know, it doesn't necessarily

mean Lumbee Indians because, you know, we have--all there had been was just

Lumbee. I can tell you about the program I work with. I--I'm more familiar

with that. I work with the adult education program. We have six centers and

we have a total enrollment of about 230 adults in these six centers.

B: Are they--are the adult students, are they all Indians?

C: Yeah, that's the great thing about it, uh, they're all Indian, and--and I can

really see where we're really doing some good. Like this one guy who works

with us, who is our testimonial for adult education, he started--one of the

recruiters, Lineada Jacobs, who is now, um, supervisor of recruiters, at this

time was a recruiter, and, um, this Mr. Falden Locklear who's from the Fairmont

area, she went to see him several times, and he--he would always give her an

excuse--no, he wouldn't go, he'ld go the next time or something. But this guy

could not read or write. He had a problem drinking. I think--I really think

he was an alcoholic. Uh, he was just nothing. He wasn't doing anything. He

was just wasting away, and Lineada, who is a very convincing person, finally

got him in school, and, uh, he started going to school, and really, really,

dug on it, you know, and he enjoyed it so much. He starts to read and he starts

to write, and, um, like he said one timewhen he went through the insurance

company where he'd always make his mark, and after he had been in school a

while, he'went to, -ub,,,t e agency to see something about his insurance, and the

lady said, well you can put your mark here, and he says, Lady I--I don't mark

anymore. He said, I can write my name. I learned in my education class. So he

did so well that we had, uh, a vacancy for a recruiter and he applied, and he is

one of the--we have six recruiters.' He is one of the best recruiters we- have.

LUM 129A 12

And he is--he's just our hefLe testimony that, you know, it can be done. Uh, it

really makes you feel good to goi-out there and see these elderly people--adult

people working that could never read or write, or that couldn't do anything. Now

they're reading and writing, and they don't have to make that mark, and it really

makes them--instills a lot of pride in them. You know, I even--I think they've,

uh, they have more pride about being Indian now since they've been in our classes.

B: Wonder why they didn't have an opportunity to go to school? Were most of these

people you're talking about in adult basic education? This is one of the programs

at the-Lumbee Regional Development Association, right?

C: Yeah, _-e_______-

B: It's, uh, known as short--L.R.D.A. That's, uh, sort of social agency, sort of

like some anti-poverty program?

C: Yeah, I guess you could identify that in that respect.

B: Is it funded by ,O

C: Yeah, um-hum.

B: Indian staffed and Indian run?

C: Right.

B: Do these people--these adults--these students and adult basic education--were

most of them completely illiterate? Couldn't read or write any at all?

C: Yes, they were, and you say why do I think that they were not given opportunities

to go to school when they were young, is because they--most of them were tenant

farmers--their parents were tenant farmers. Like, I'm sure, uh, you know, the

majority of this land belongs to the Indian, but White man comes in with his

education and swindles the land from our Indian people, so it's reversed that

we're working for the White man, you know, and we can't read or write, and we

don't really know whether they're giving us a fair deal or not, and these, uh,

these people had to stay home and work on these tenant farms for their White men,

so they couldn't go to school.

LUM 129A 13

B: Well, this sounds interesting. We'll continue this on side 2.


B: This is continuing on side 2 the interview with Barbara Sampson Carter. Inter-

viewer: Bruce Barton. Did you want to say something further about the, uh,

A.B.E. program--Adult Basic Education at L.R.D.A.?

C: If there's anything--anything that I really think, you know, in all the federally

funded programs that I've seen, I think this is one of the greatest. Like, I--I

like this, and, uh, day care centers as the top 'cause they deal with--the day

care centers deal with the children, and adult education with, uh, the people.

B: So, as far as you're concerned, uh, the Lumbee Regional Development Association

and the part that you play with adult basic education is a worthwhile program,

and gives you an opportunity to support your two children. Does that sum it up

pretty well?

C: Yeah, I think so.

B: Do you plan to work at A.B.E. as a career, or do you have, uh, aspirations to, uh,

go back to school, or--what--what do you think the future holds for you?

C: I would really--I--I'm not really--I plan to go back to college. I went a while.

Uh, my Mom tried so hard to send me to school and then I went--I just didn't

see it then when I needed it, but I do how. Uh, our program with adult education

will be up June the 30th, and if we're funded a--another year, then there's a

possibility that I will continue to work with this, but, um, maybe I can take

some course at night--some college courses at night, but I do plan to go back

to school, 'cause I--I really see the need for it. Like with my children, you

know, I'm not only going to do this for me. First of all I'm only going to do it

for them, and then myself.

B: Are you interested in politics?

LUM 129A 14

C: I'm not very much of a politician. When I start to talk about politics, I get

all hot and bothered and get mad, so I don't really think I belong in politics.

I'm too hot-headed for politics.

B: Do you think politics, uh, Upug .h At& the situation in Robeson County

as far as far-as Indians go?

C: Sure.

B: Do you think politics is part of the reason that, uh, for instance, Indians are. .

C: Politics plays a part in everything. Uh, can't--from the church on down, politics--

yeah, there's not going to have politics in church, but it sure is there.

B: Do you go to church?

C: Surely.

B: Why? If you feel politics is in church, why go to church?

C: That don't mean that I, you know, while I'm in church it's--it's--that my going

to church has anything to do with politics. I--I still say it's in there, whether

it's that much or not, but it's in the church.

B: What denomination are you?

C: Well, my Mother is Methodist. My Daddy is non-denomination. My sister is Baptist.

I guess I'm Baptist.

B: And the whole family think they're all going to the same place? (Laughs)

C: Yeah, my Daddy says that, you know, in the bible they ain't got no thing about

all these Methodist and Baptist and stuff. I'm inclined to agree with him--go

along with him, 'cause I think my Daddy's a pretty smart man.

B: You do love your Daddy. .

C: I sure do. He's my hero.

B: How about Henry Barry Lowry?

C: Yes, um, he's my Indian hero, uh, my all time great hero. I just wish we had

some more Henry Barry Lowrys now.

LUM 129A 15

B: Do you realize that Henry Barry Lowry is accused of killing 41 White people?

C: Good for Henry Barry Lowry.

B: (Laughs) That's a terrible thing to say.

C: I don't mean in that respect of violence Bi ( "C& That's how he had to do it

then, you know. There's other means in--like education. Now, uh, we can fight

it with education now. Fight the system and fight those White people in Robeson

County with our education.

B: Would you say that, uh, White people in Robeson County and White people outside

Robeson County are two different animals?

C: Yeah, but they're all animals.

B: (Laughs) How many do you..

C: I mean it. .

B: When you say White people, do you. .

C: I mean it in that sense of animals. They're all animals--all White people.

B: (Laughs) Do you distinguish between, uh, White people in Robeson County and

White people outside? Do you see a difference?

C: Surely. Uh, I worked in, uh, before I came to the, um, job that I'm with now,

and I've been there almost three years, I was working in Scotland County, which

I really enjoyed, and I worked with two White ladies, three Black guys, and two

Indian guys. Um, the little White lady I worked with was from Rockingham and

she was a wonderful person. I just loved her. She--she was just one of the

greatest people I've ever met.

B: So you couldn't say that, uh, point blank all White people are terrible?

C: No I--I don't think all White people are terrible, but even her, um, as much as

I hate to say it, she probably a little better, but she was--she'ld be--

she was pretty good at hiding it. She didn't ever let it show, but right on the

other hand there's a--like I said, there was two ladies I worked with from

Rockingham. There was this old lady who's about 55 or 60, 'cause she retired

LUM 129A 16

when I was there. She was as prejudiced as you ever saw.

B: Working in the poverty program?

C: Um-hum. (Affirmative)

B: She was attacking poverty by being prejudiced.

C: Right.

B: (Laughs)

C: But the other lady--I went home with her a lot. She--she was just great. I--I

really loved her, and I--I still think a lot of her.

B: Had you ever had any contact with, uh, with Blacks before you moved out into the

working world?

C: No, I--other than my nanny when I--lady that stayed with me when my Mom was teach-

ing school.

B: You mean Indian--you as an Indian had a, uh, Black nanny?

C: Yeah, my Ma loved her very much.

B: How did you find Blacks there? You know all the misconceptions we hear about

they're out to, uh, rape all the women, and they're sex crazed, and they're

going to run away to Africa with all the White women--did you find that to be,

uh, true? How did you get along with the Black males, for instance?

C: Well, there's probably a--there's fools in every race, but, um, just like the

White--little White lady whose name was Evelyn that I--I thought so much of,

there was this Black guy. His name was Curtis Fisher, who is one of the nicest

persons I have ever met in my life. I mean Black, White, Indian. He is one of

the greatest guys I have ever met, and--and he has--his wife was the same way,

and I visited in their home a lot, and he was a very well educated person. Now

he--he was the kind of person--you know, he knew his boundaries and he stayed in

his own--he didn't want anything to--he was like those--he didn't want anything

to do with no White woman because he had a little Black woman at home was the

sweetest thing he ever saw. So, you know, what was the hang-up with White people?

LUM 129A 17

B: So you found out that, uh, probably most males, Black and Indian, aren't probably

just out--all of them panting after White women.

C: Right.

B: So that's--that ought to lay to rest a few misconceptions I've heard. Uh, well

what does the future hold for you. When you--when you go to college, what do you--

what do you plan to study?

C: I'ld like to major in, uh, sociology. Um, like in Robeson County, I went to
social service twice, and it's the unfair place you've ever been to in your


B: Is it mostly staffed by White?

C: Right. That's unfair to start with even.

B: So White people are out to help Indians and Blacks, and the administrators and

the people giving the help are White.

C: And those people over there look down on you like you are, you know, nothing.

B: This is at the welfare department where you get food stamps and all that stuff?

C: Right. You know, those people are coming over there--first, they're not going

over there--the only reason they're going over there is because that's what

they have to turn to. You know, they need that help. They need food stamps.

They need the welfare checks, and that's why they're there, and, you know, they--

they must feel bad to go there to start with. You know, they hate to ask for

hand-outs. Uh, uh, there's some people that don't care, but you know, I think

the majority of the people hate to ask for hand-outs, and you'te standing there--

like this old lady with--elderly lady with--had been standing there for a long

time. She gets up thereto the counter and the lady's voice so hateful to her,

and so rude, you know, you can--you don't have to be like that about people.

You can respect people, I don't care what color they are. She's so mean to them,

and, and it's not really fair what goes on over there. The people that don't need

the food stamps are the ones that get them, and those people who are perishing

LUM 129A 18

to death are the ones that don't get them, or they charge them so much they

can't afford it. I just hate to see that kind of stuff going on. I wish there

was something I could really do about you know, and I really think if I, un,

could get a degree in that, then I'ld like to work with my people, you know.

Don't see them pushed around, but I've seen a few Indian people go over there

that are real awful, you know. They get over there and, and they turn. They

all want to be White when they get over there.

B: Maybe you better, uh, explain for the audience what is it that happens?

C: That's an Indian who is red on the outside and White on the inside.

B: (Laughs) So it's not, uh, let's talk a little bit about the prejudice among

Indians. Have you found, uh, Indians to be prejudiced, for instance, against


C: I've found Indians to be prejudiced against Indians.

B: No kidding?

C: No kidding.

B: Uh, I remember when I was a boy, I think I mentioned in an earlier interview,

that the way we used to, when we were boys--young boys growing up--kids--one

of us got mad with the other, we'ld call him a Black nigger. Did you have

any of that in your--with your childhood chums growing up?

C: Yeah, and I hate to say this, you know, but my daughter who is six, I heard her

refer to her eleven year old brother as this when she gets angry with him.

B: I wonder where this came from that we--that, uh, we--I guess in a way, if we

ascribe to that, we're saying that we're better than the Blacks.

C: Yes, you know, and I think we sometimes have a tendency to feel that way.

B: Do you think we are?

C: No, 'cause God made us all, no matter what color we are. I--I say that and

probably don't, uh, act like that all the time, but really deep down inside I--

I do feel like that. You know, I think some Black man is just as good as I am,

LUM 129A 19

but now, uh, I do think, you know, they're just as good as I am, but I don't

want my children marrying a Black. In fact, I don't want my children marrying

a White, either.

B: You rather they marry an Indian.

C: I sure--I hope they will, and if my daughter keeps the mind she's got, you:know,

she's very proud to be an Indian, that's the only thing being good enough for

her is an Indian.

B: We're some good old boys.....Do you think going to an all Indian school put you at

a disadvantage when you got out in the world?

C: Um, like what?

B: Like do you feel like you got, uh, a better education, or a lesser education by

going to an all Indian school?

C: Um, less. I'm sure. In Robeson County?

B: Right.

C: I'm sure it was less than the White folks--th White folks in Lumberton.

B: Why do you think, uh, all the Indians go to one school in one school system,

and Whites and Blacks go to other school systems, primarily?

C: Why--why do I think--repeat the question.

B: For instance, most of the Indians--I'ld say 95% now--it used to be a hundred

per cent--go to the Robeson County school system, and, uh, the Blacks and Whites

would go to the five other L /1 school systems, and do you think this was

done on purpose, or did this happened to be where we lived?

C: Uh, well like over in Lamberton--Magnolia, which is near Lumberton, you know,

there was Indian kids that lived in 'te city limits of lumberton, but they were

bussed out to the Magnolia school.

B: Wonder Why?

C: I guess that's--that's the system there, you know--White system. That's the way

they want it.

LUM 129A 20

B: The Whites didn't want Indians to go to school with them?

C: No. Definitely not, you know, and it should have been the other way around.

We didn't want them to go to school with us.

B: Right.

C: Like you know, um, uh, like my going toschool. I've always been a pretty strong

individual. Like-I don't think there's no damn body any better than I am, and on

the other hand I don't think I'm any better than you, but, like, uh, going to an
all Indian school probably gave me a little c gn t about Ind--uh, White people.

I maybe have a tendency to be a little shy and to speak up sometimes. Uh, like,
uh, I probably, in the past, let some White people be very rude to me and not

callS their attention to it, but you're damn sure that I would do it now. You

know, um, like, uh, like thecierks in the store, they are so snotty.

B: Is that the same thing as rude?

C: Yeah.

B: (Laughs)

C: They are so rude to you, you know, like they're doing--that's their job, you know,

and they're doing you a favor to wait on you because you're an Indian and they're


B: So you hold to the theory that most Whites in Robeson County, really deep down

inside consider themselves superior to the Indians.

C: No, I--I think it's more so with the middle class poor--no. No, I guess--yeah,

your middle class White, cause your poor White trash, they, you know, they ain't

got nothing, and they know they ain't got nothing, so they don't say too much,

but it's that middle class that you can't deal with. Those that, you know,

that mostly finished high school and that are clerks in the store--that kind.

Those are the ones that are hard to deal with. You can deal more with those,

um, the educated Whites. The really educated Whites--you can deal more with

LUM 129A 21

them, if you can say you can deal with them any at all. They would be the ones

that you could more so, but that middle class White man, he is hell to deal with

because he think he's so much better, and that's--that's why I say ,-L e 4 CkA

Said- on their part.

B: I'll buy that. Well what.. ?

C: Then again, I think I--I remember even educated Whites, um, in Robeson are--are

pretty down on Indians. Like I was taking an English course over at the college,

and this professor who was White, naturally, he--he was really nice to me, you

know? Like you--you can tell when somebody likes you or not, you know. He was

always good to me in class and the first, um, semester I got a 'B' out of him.
U I de ledd WA f
The next semester I had to write a paper on Who am I? and I reallybailltette

White people in Robeson County. I talked about how prejudiced they were and that

was lack of sense and ignorance on their part, and I--I really raked them over

the coals, and this man gives me back my paper and gives me a 'C' on it, and, uh,

I had like two mistakes, and I asked him, well why did I get that grade in content?

But then, on the other hand, he wrote a note on the paper that said content was

great, and after the paper was _WrO __ you know, I could tell the difference.

B: in his attitude toward me, and he lived in Robeson.

B: (Laughed) Do you plan to go to Pembroke State University when you go back to


C: Yes, because I have to. Not necessarily because I want to. I have to because of

my children.

B: So if you had your druthers you, you might go somewhere else?

C: Yes, I would.

B: Do you think Pembroke State University is dealing with the Indians of Robeson

County as they should?

C: No. They're very unfair to them. Like, um, we have so many kids that are so

LUM 129A 22

capable of college that are turnedaway, you know, and it--like those kids that

come here from New York, and even the kids that come from right over from Lumberton,

have an advantage over us because they have the better education system. They have

the better schools. They have better things to work with.

B: Don't they always tell us, though, that, uh, that we're fortunate to have so many

Indian teachers, who graduated from Pembroke State University, and they always

bring that up and point it out when anybody questions education among Indians?

C: And that was--well, I guess the reason for us having so many Indian teachers is

because then it was an all Indian school, you know. There wasn't no problem

getting in. Didn't have all these hang-ups with all these White people wanting

to come to school here.

B: Would you like to see Pembroke State University all Indian?

C: Yes. I might be a little selfish, but I really would, because, um, there's so many

of us out there that didn't go to school--didn't have the ability to go, but,

um, like that entrance exam. I think it's a bunch of bull. I think they ought

to do away with tests completely.

B: Why?

C: Because I--I really don't think they tell the true story. Like I get all nervous

and upset and forget everything I know when I start in to take a test.

B: You think, uh, because of the education Indian students get in grammar school and

high school that they're less prepared to deal with this test than Whites, for


C: Surely. That's very obvious, you know.

B: About--do you have any idea what the percentage is in--of the enrollment, uh,

how many are Indian at P.S.U.?

C: Not really, but I, you know, that's obvious too. You can go over there and'look

on the campus and tell. It's hard as heck to find an Indian walking around over


LUM 129A 23

B: (Laughs) I've heard the figure given that maybe 200 out of, I think there's

2300 enrollment, or something around that figure, and 200 are Indian, and there

are 30 thousand in the county. Does that strike you as unfair?
U L AA if'Vf&Sell...
C: fia f you know, if Whites have to come, it ought to be

just the other way around. There ought to be, maybe, 200 Whites on campus.

B: What can we do about it?

C: Well, like I said about that entrance- exam, I think all Indians ought to be

exempted from it.

B: Forever, or just until they catch up?

C: Forever. Vl W it's gonna be a hell of a long time catching up.

B: I think you're right, there. So, what kind of future do you see for your children

in Robeson County?

C: You know, there's no place like home, but if I had--if I was financially able,

I would take my children and leave. Not because I don't want them to be reared

here, because I want them to have a good education, and I think they would have

a better education away from here.

B: Would you like to see double voting broken?

C: Yes. I surely would.

B: Do you think that would help your children to get a better education?

C: I'm sure it would.

B: You know exactly what double voting is?

C: Not really. ,Uh, it's something like the city system voting on their thing, and we

don't get to vote on theirs.

B: That's pretty close, which means simply that we have, uh, people elected to serve

on our county Board of Education who have no--do not have children in the school

system, which is kind of ridiculous.

C: And that don't care. You know, why should they come--they don't have any reason

LUM 129A 24

to concern theirself with our problem, 'cause they're White people to start with,

and that's ridiculous. You know, County Superintendent of the Indian Schools

is a White man--big White man.

B: Now that there's so many student enrollment Indian.

C: Yeah, and even before it wasn't, you know, that we had our own schools, and when

I was there 4I W 3 o'k that's true, because, uh, we raised money to build

our schools and buy our supplies, which is sort of sad, you know, because you'd

think in North Carolina that the education I4* S 4toIjWpbut we're really paying

for it and paying for it in so many different ways.

B: Do you think we'll ever have an Indian Superintendent of the Robeson County school


C: I think so. I think it will be a long time, though. The thing is our people will

just--will not really null t their. We got too many ILt j' That's

the same as re

B: So you think the problem is within our own ranks, uh, say, so you think the

problem, if we're ever going to change anything, we'ld have to get ourselves


C: That's right. Clean up our own backyard first.

B: You don't think it would help to just to go kill forty or fifty White people?

C: No, that would create more problems. We could probably do without some Whites,

but, you know, that's not the way to eliminate them.

B: What do you think the best way for Indian people to help themselves?

C: To get educated.

B: That's the best way--education.

C: I think that's one of the best, and unity to pull together. Uh, but see then, if

you're not educated to--you don't really understand all this stuff, and people can

play your way, you know, paint you a lot of pretty pictures.

B: What about newspapers IW__ te newspaper business, The Carolina Indian
Voice. Uh, I have some strong feelings about this that I'm interviewing. Uh,
Voice. Uh, I have some strong feelings about this that I'm interviewing. U~h,

LUM 129A 25

which newspapers do most Indians read in Robeson County?

C: Well, let's just say that you're young. It's only been here not a year yet. Um,

3e you believe / eni .But, you know, we intend to change all that.

B: Do you think, uh, the kind of newspaper coverage that we've had over the last

hundred and three years, and the politics that we've had, and the judicial

process, do you think all of this is a sum total of the Indian as we know him

today? Ur, not able to unify, not able to administer his own affairs?

C: Right, and you talk about news coverage for us? The only news coverage we ever

had was in, uh, the boy down the street shot the boy across the street. Killing

somebody, or somebody's in jail, or if we did something wrong. That's the only

kind of news coverage we got. We did anything great we might read it in the

Cilex}/t L or something like that, but you never read it in $..l .^

That damn newspaper. I don't read it anymore.

B: Well, we might as well plug the Carolina Indian Voice. Uh, you think the Carolina

Indian Voice will play a role in changing the attitude of the Lumbee Indian of

Robeson County?

C: I sure do, because, um, you know, I think we can take a newspaper and do just

about anything you want to, and gfg PW I very \_ t l-er whatever. It could

really be a great asset to Lumbee Indians. I think it is--not could be. I think

it is a great asset.

B: We thank you Barbara Sampson Carter. We're on a subject dear to my heart, but we're

running out of tape, and I thank you very much.

C: You're welcome.

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