Title: Interview with John Raymond Brayboy
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007118/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with John Raymond Brayboy
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: UF00007118
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 131

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LUM 131A
Date: November 19, 1973
Subject: John Raymond Brayboy
Interviewer: Bruce Barton
Typist: Josephine Suslowicz


B: This is side 1. We're interviewing John Raymond Brayboy in his residence

in the prospect communittee. November the 19th, 1973. Interviewer: Bruce

Barton. Mr. Brayboy, we appreciate the interview. Would you like to lead

off the interview with a few words of summation telling us a little bit about--

about yourself; how old you are, where you were born, are you married, that

kind of thing?

J: I'm 26 years old. I've lived in Robeson all my life except for the time I

was in service, and I'm married. I got three children, one seven, one five,

and one fifteen months old, and I'm a sprinkler fitter, and I belong to the

union, and, uh, my job takes me all over the state working in different

places, and that's about it, I guess.

B: Could you tell us a little bit about your family background, who your

parents are, who--who raised you, and that kind of thing?

J: My father's name is George Brayboy and my mother's name's Eray.

B: How would you spell that?

J: E-R-A-Y, and I live with my grandfather all my life because my father and

mother separated when I was about a year old, and--and my grandfather's like

a father more than a grandfather, and I lived with him up until the time I

went in service, but he--now he passed away--been dead about two years, and

my mother was killed in a car accident in '64.

B: Jay, (?) you mentioned that-younbeeong to anunion. That's kind of a rarity

in Robeson County, isn't it?

J: It's very rare. There's'nat many people that are in a-union. There's a few

telephone people, and other than that I don't know of anyone else besides

LUM 131A 2

the three or four guys working with me that are in the -.C sprinkler


B: Could you tell us a little bit about how you got in the union, because it's

so rare a word of background might be helpful.

J: Well, I was working with a fellow when I was working with Crawford. Crawford's

a a-"si n company, and this fellow, his name's Jack Knight, was working

with them, and he was telling me about being in the union, and he told me

I should join it if I was going to stay in A P d so eventually I

quit working with Crawfor, and I was out looking for a job, and someone

told me that--about theV v)e company A 0 A\ri rhtI and

I went up there to see, and they told me I'ld have to join the union, which

I didn't object to, and they had to fill out the papers, and it took a

couple of weeks, and then I went to work, and that's how I got started.

B: Okay, were you raised on a farm?

J: Yes, I was.

B: Uh, was this in the Prospect CommunitA?

J: Yes.

B: And, uh, what kind of farm was it? Did you raise--what kind of crops was

raised on the farm? This was your grandfather's farm?

J: Yes, well, we had some tobacco, and cotton, and corn, and--and the later

part of the time we added a few things, but most-it was tobacco, and corn,

and cotton.

B: Where did you attend school, John?

J: I went to Prospect.

B: Is this elementary school and high school?

J: Yes.

B: Did you have any further education?

LUM 131A 3

J: Well, I went about a year and a half to Pembroke State College.

B: And after that--after you finished, uh, at Pembroke State you went in

service? Is this right?

J: Yes.

B: See any service overseas?

J: I went to Vietnam.

B: How long were you in Vietnam?

J: A year.

B: See any action?

J: Plenty of it.

B: (Laughs) Alright, alright. How was it for a Indian in service? Was it,

uh, any different than--any discrimination, anything you might remember

that, uh, set you apart, or is service different now?

J: Well, there's--there's nothing--no discrimination against Indians. Every-

body liked to joke and carry on with the Indians, but there was not--there

was variety just seeing a Indian in service, and they liked to pick, and

pick at them about living in teepees and things like that, but it was--no,

no harm by it, and usually ninety percent of the White people would tell you

they had part Indian in them. It never failed.

B: Had some of those people that, uh, his grandmother--grandmother was a

Sherokee? (Laughs)

J: Yep.

B: Alright, so we got you up to service. How was it growing up in Robeson

County as an Indian?" Tell us a little about your boyhood.

J: Well, I guess it was hard at times, but I used to get up early in the morn-

ing before I went to school, and get the mule out, and plow a couple of

acres of corn or cotton, or something, before I went to school, and then

I'ld go to school, come in and eat, and then work until dark, and then set

LUM 131A 4

down and listen tq papa tell stories about the old times and AdbU t all

of his people, and how they used to be. It was interesting listening to

his old stories.

B: What kind of stories did he tell?

J: Well, he would tell about people going off to Georgia to work the turpentine,

and people stealing other peoples wives, and running away and things like


B: (Laughs) Let's see, what was your, uh, this was your grandfather that

raised you?

J: Right.

B: What was his name?

J: John Bo C 2d4eCtr

B: Was he an interesting fellow?

J: Quite interesting.

B: I've heard you tell a story about when you returned from service how he

woke you up one morning. Would you like to recount that for us?

J: Yeah, he--he liked for you to get up early in the morning. He didn't want

you in bed after six o'clock, and I thought that I got grown since I'ld

been to Vietnam, and--and I'ld been in service, and he called me one morn-

ing about six o'clock, and I told him to leave me alone. I wanted to rest

awhile. I'ld been out late that night, anyway, and so he went on, and I

thought he'd gone and left me alone--went off hunting, and he went--

apparently went out to the barn to feed the mule and the hogs, and after

a while he come back and stood in the door at the foot of the bed, and shot

out the door, and I got out of bed then, in a hurry. (Laughs) I,...

grabbed my--jumped in my pants and grabbed hy shoes and shirt, and went on

down the road. I stopped down at I and I was shaking like a leaf

on a tree.

LUM 131A 5

B: (Laughs) Did--what did boys do for a diversion, when you were a boy

growing up? Uh, recreation--where did kids go on the weekend, how--where

did guys take their girls courting, that kind of thing?

J: Well, they went out to--when it's courting time, they usually go to Prospect

Drive-In, or to a dance, or something, but when I was a little boy, there

was not too much to do. There was nobody around that I could play with,

but the--except maybe on Sunday when my cousins would come over, and we'ld

run and chase each other, play cowboys and Indians.

B: Did you be the cowboy or the Indian?

J: Well, it's different ways. Sometimes the cowboy, and sometimes the Indian,

but I used to--papa would send me off somewhere and I had a buddy. Oh,

"** I 'Id stop by his house and we would play baseball with corncobs.

(Laughs) And get us a stick and knock--hit the corncob and run to the

base and back. We played hours at a time like that.

B: So you didn't have many toys when you were growing up?

J: Very few.

B: Let's see, how old are you?

J: 26

B: And your grandfather believed that hard work was, uh, a virtue of a good


J: Yes.

B: Do you know if he ever--did your grandfather ever did any traveling, or

was he--live all his life here in Robeson County.

J: Well, the farthest he ever went was to the beach and back.

B: That's as far as he ever went? How old was he when he died?

J: He was 86.

B: I don't know whether that's sad or not, because sometimes people really

LUM 131A 6

don't have to go far afield to learn about life. So, what do you think

about farming? Did, uh, being raised on a farm change your mind about being

a farmer when you grew up?

J: No, not really. Farming is a good life. It's--well, you're more or less

your own boss. You don't have a certain schedule to go by. You work when

you feel like it. If it's too hot, you can wait till it cools offhand do

your work, unless you've got a lot of it to do.

B: Yeah, one of the things we're interested in in this series of interviews

is seeing how people do ordinary things, like going to school, courting,

getting married. Where did you meet your wife?

J: Well, it--I was--me and Richard was running around together, and

he met this woman, and her and Connie were messing around together, and I

had told him I'ld seen her on the street, and I told him I'ld like to date

her, and he called--I'ld been to work at Braysborough, I believe, and I

come in that night, and he called me on the phone and told me that he had

me a date with her, and, well, I didn't believe it, and he--I thought he

said some other night, but he said that night, and so I went down there

and picked her up, and I don't think she knew who she was going off with.

B: (Laughs)

J: She was supposed to went somewhere else, and she had to be sure that I was

going to bring her back in time to go where she was going. It was the only

was she'd go, so she went, and i r 1&- Lk e I made a date with her

for another time, and everything worked out.

B: Was she hard to catch? She give you a run for your money?

J: She--not really. She just hard about her--having her strange ways.

B: (Laughs) Strange ways. You mean she's, uh, kind of strange?

J: She's not like--like normal people.

LUM 131A 7

B: (Laughs) That's one way of putting it. You having any regrets about getting


J: No, not really.

B: Except on payday.

J: Once in a while. There's no big thing on payday anymore. She's beginning

to agree with my. .

B: Looking back at it in retrospect, if you had it to go back over again, would

you get married?

J: Yes, sir.

B: Well, that's interesting, being a 32 year old bachelor. You have three

boys. What kind of hope do you have for your boys?

J: Well, I hope to have a doctor, and a lawyer, and a football player--base-

ball player, anyway.

B: (Laughs) That's a pretty good hope. How do you feel about being an Indian

of Robeson County? Have you found it to be difficult growing up being an

Indian? Well, at times, I guess, but all in all it's--well, I may be in a

different situation than most people since I got up and got out to work,

and I worked away from home, and it's--the--the discrimination is not like

it is here, and so t-& ly you find people away from home they're

interested in you being Indian. They don't--it's not no thing about being

SL against you.

B: Not a liability away from Robeson County.

J: No, it's an asset.

B: How do you feel about the school system, since you have two boys that are

in school, and you have one won't be too many years away from going to

school. How do you see ways for them to improve the school so that your

boys get a decent education?

LUM 131A 8

J: Well, I don't knowifast what really to say about that. I guess I'm partial

that we've had our own schools so long. They want--now they've integrated

them and set up this bussing situation which is a disadvantage, I think,

to a lot of children, which it's not really affecting mine, I guess, because

being so close to the school, but all in all, when they're having to bus

children that's right close to one school off to another school, I don't

think it's a good thing, but maybe even if they--they've got to be inte-

grated, maybe if they get the right teachers from different areas, they

get better--a better education. I don't know, though, but I guess maybe

I'm old-fashioned. I like Indians going to Indian schools, and Whites

going to theirs, and Blacks to theirs.

B: What about if, uh, doing it that way, if, uh, Indians and Blacks get the

short end of the stick? Could you still live with it?

J: Well, I guess, if there's no way around it, you have to live with it, but

I wouldn't want to agree with that. It's--tha c *.

somebody's--we amirle do something about Indians and Blacks getting the

short end of the stick. It's been like that since I can remember, and it's--

which I think is--they're not going to be too much getting the short end

of the stick anymore. I think the Indians have found out that--and the

Blacks that they can retaliate against things like this.

B: It ought to be a good day when we can all get some equity. When you were

a boy, John, did you have to attend church regularly?

J: Yeah, it's a kind of funny thing, though, uh, it--maybe it's not funny, but

my momma used to go to church and papa would keep me at home on Sunday morn-

ing, and I heard him tell it many time that one Sunday morning I was push-

ing the chair across the floor by about four years old, and I just pushed

the chair back and forth across the floor, and he said, f t I'll

fix you next Sunday, if you can push a chair back and forth across the floor

LUM 131A 9

you can go to church. So he started sending me to church, and I went to

church every Sunday up until the time I went in service, and then, after

I got out of service I got slack on it for a while, but well, after I got

married, I started going back to church then, and I go about every Sunday.

B: Which church, or what denomination do you attend?

J: Now I go to Holiness Church, but before I was going to the Methodist church,

and I think--well, I went to the Methodist church that I attended since

I been going to Holiness church, and I've found that I like--I'ld rather

go to the Holiness church. It seems that it's--well, there's a lot of

difference i________ that the peoples' more in the spirit in

the Holiness church than there are in the Methodist?

B: So that's why you'ld rather go to the Holiness church, because people are

more, uh, demonstrative?

J: Yeah.

B: In what way? Do they shout?

J: Well, they shout, and go on. Well, they seem to be much closer to the

Lord than they are in the Methodist church, and they express their feelings

alot more.

B: What about your boys? Do you try to get them to church every Sunday? Do

you think it's a good thing to send children to school when they're young?

J: Yeah, to church. Yeah, it's a good thing to send them to church. I think

it--well, if it groes up in them, they're more likely to go to church when

they get grown, and raise their children to go too.

J: Do you find that most Indian people do attend church regularly?

B: The majority of them go to church. Well, most Indian people of our church

people, they've been raised like that. They--maybe they don't know any

better, but it's a good thing if they don't know any better, but you find

that they all, uh, tied to the church, the majority of them, some way or

LUM 131A 10


B: The only irony I see in that is that there's such a high mortality rate

among Indians. You know, Indians killing Indians. I wonder what the core-

lation is, if any. It's kind of--I've never been able to figure out why

Indians are so prone to go to church and so tied to church, and yet so

many Indians kill Indians. Can you make any sense of that?

J: Well, I never thought about it, um, but it's true. I don't know. Uh,

Indians are high tempered, I guess, and when they get mad they think about

killing for the first thing, and maybe that's what it is.

B: Why do you think, uh, Indians are so prone to kill each other. Do you

think it's, uh, a sense of what they call manhood? To not let any slight

go uncontested? And if you--seems to me, when I was a boy, if you hurt

somebody's manhood, you more than likely you're going to have to shoot him

or he's going to shoot you. Have you found this to be true?

J: I think that that's a big part of it, and a lot of times, I guess, they __

S+and they don't want their pride hurt, and they want--they

decide that they're going to cut him, or shoot him, or something to get even

with him.

B: I've heard some VCti P references to bootleggers, and you being a young

man, and having lived here during your--your teenage years, and young

adult years, do you know very much about bootleggers? Is this a reality?

Were there really bootleggers, and what did people do when they went to a


J: It's a reality, alright, and it's still going on. There's people--what it

is people can't go to a store and buy beer and liquor--well, they can get

liquor in a liquor store, but it's not like going to somebody's house and

sitting down and drinking beer or liquor, and talking to your friends,

LUM 131A 11

and going on and talking about what you done this week, and what girl you

went off with last night, and things like that. It's just a place people

could go and sit down and talk, and usually some 1 7 somebody--stranger

comes in, or it's somebody that somebody's got a grudge against and they

decide that that's the time and the place to take care of it, and they end

up an argument, or somebody getting hurt.

B: What do you think we can do to combat this?

J: Well, I think the biggest--biggest thing that would combat it and for--save

the people from having to pay fines in court for being caught for selling

unlegal beer and liquor, is if we had Vh kind of W f it would

eliminate a lot of it, and I think that a lot of people drink like that

just because it's--it's against the rules. People like to go against the

rules just because they're there, for some reason.

B: What do you think we could do as far as, uh, finding something for the

young to do? Does this seem to be a problem to you, along this same line

that there's really nothing to do for the youngsters?

J: Yes, well, like when I was coming up there was nowhere to go unless you

went to somebody's house and played with other kids, and I think that you

need some kind of recreation center set up where--where the kids can come

and play baseball, or maybe somewhere where they can swim, and, like me,

I--I'm 26 years old, and I never learned how to swim, and--and the reason

for that was papa told me that I ought to not get in the water until I

learned how to swim. (Laughs) I often wonder how I'm supposed to learn

how to swim if I didn't get in the water, but I think that children need

to learn how to swim, and to play different games--play baseball, and all

things--sort of things like that, and they need a place to go where they

can do all these things well. Now like, our J.C. chapter started the boy-

LUM 131A 12

scout club I started, and that's a good thing for kids. It gives them

something to do, and they take them on camping trips. That's something

that children really look forward to, and it's things like that that can

help the kids a lot, but you've got to get people involved to help--to do

things like that.

B: Okay, now we're talking about some of the things that the, uh, White people

have done with success, and you know, there's a movement going on now--it's

going--fE Indian movement. What do you think our role is? Is

it to, uh, do you think we should go back to the old traditional ways and

find out how the old Indians used to do it, and go back to that way, or do

you think we ought to take part in the economic and social and political

life in Robeson County?

J: Well, I don't know if going back to the old Indian ways, like they do on

reservations, would cut it with most people. I don't believe I could live

that way. I think we need to gdt in the political life and, and well, as

far as the economic, we've got to educate the children now, so that they

can get in, uh, fit into the economy situation, because it's--education is

an important thing. It's an important factor in whether--how much money

you're going to make, and if you're not educated, you're not going to make

"a whole lot of money. It's because the White man's not going to give you

"a job making a lot of money if--just because you r_ OJ it if you've not

got the education, and politically you've got to get the people out that's

not helping the Indian people, and get people in there that will help them,

and you've got to have Indians that wants to help the Indian people, and

it's for sure that the White man's not going to do anything to help. him if

he can help himself.

B: How was it at Pembroke State University when you were there? Were there

LUM 131A 13

many Indian students there at that time, and when was it?

J: It was in '64 and '65, and well, there's not really--percentage wise there's

not very many there, and I guess there's maybe even less now, is it, when

you compare it to the White--number of White people that--and others that

are there now.

B: Do you ever foresee the day when you'll go back to college, or the University?

J: I don't know. I'ld like to, but the job I've got--well, I'ld like to go

and take some night courses, but the job I've got is unpredictable about

how long I'm going to be at home until--I don't know, unless I get a job

close to home that would last a year or so, but there's not any chance

unless I just quit my job and take another job.

B: Alright, so you're one of the few people I know--Indians living in Robeson

County that belongs to a union. Would you, uh, would you recommend union-

izing all the industries in Robeson County? If so, why?

J: Yes, I would recommend it because it would be a big economic boost to the

Indian people alone, much less the county, because it would mean at least

two or three thousand dollars more per year per family, and two or three

thousand dollars a year more per family would make a difference--a lot of

difference in the majority of the people--Indian people working in plants,

and their economic standings.

B: So you think a little union, activity wouldn't hurt?

J: Not at all, and then, too, there'ld be less jeaperdy in their jobs. They

wouldn't have to worry about whether they worked, didn't do what the employer

wanted as far as working overtime, and if they didn't want to work over-

time, they wouldn't have to worry about it when they got back Monday. He

ain't firing them for not working overtime, or something, maybe, that they

weren't supposed to do, and that they have to do now to keep their jobs.

LUM 131A 14

B: Yeah, we'll continue this on side 2.


B: This is side 2 continuing the interview with John Raymond Brayboy. Inter-

viewer: Bruce Barton. Okay, continuing this discussion with the unions,

why do you think there isn't more unions in Robeson County? Do you have

any thoughts on that?

J: Well, the biggest thing is that the people are led to believe that they are

bad, and they're not good for the economy. They put--they are told that if

they have a union, that the plant will close down, and the people believe

that, and too, they tell them that they'll lose their houses that they got

money invested in, and--and that they ain't got no job, there ain't no

way they can pay for it, and they can't borrow any money from the bank if

they've got a union, and things like this.

B: They're probably pulling our leg, don't you reckon?

J: Yeah.

B: Alright, John, let's go on to something else. How do you feel about Tus-

carora Indians in general? What's your feelings on that.

J: Well, I don't think I'ld want to be a Tuscarora, but they've got their

beliefs, and they're not claiming that they're White people, or anything.

They still claim to be Indians. As long as they're Indians, that's the

important thing, and they've got some good beliefs. Some of the activities

have been sort of violent, but sometimes maybe you have to resort to violence

to get any results out of things, but all in all, it's what they believe,

and if they believe it, that's good. It's a good thing that you can have

different beliefs, and if it's--and it's all working for a good cause--

working for the betterment of the Indian people, and it's--and they're

still being Indians, that's--that's good. They're not getting away from

LUM 131A 15

their identity.

B: I infer from this that you--you're satisfied with the name Lumbee.

J: Very much so.

B: Why do you think they named us Lumbee?

J: Because we live on the Lumber River.

B: That seems to be reason enough, and it doesn't bother you that when that law

was passed naming us Lumbee Indians, that it doesn't, uh, uh, entitle us to

the same, so called, benefits as other Indians, specifically reservation


J: No, it doesn't bother me. I--I'm not looking for a handout, and I don't

think I'ld want a handout and somebody telling me that I had to do certain

things in order to get it.

B: You wouldn't want to live on a reservation?

J: (Laughs) No.

B: And you wouldn't want the--thejl.A. to tell you how to run your business?

J: No, not at all.

B: How about if there was an oil well on your little piece of land?

J: It just--what? If I was on a reservation?

B: Yeah.

J: If there's oil on my little piece of land, I'ld want to own it.

B: (Laughs)

J: Not somebody else.

B: (Laughs) Do you think, uh, Uncle Sam's been known to rook an Indian here

and there?

J: Seems he has.

B: You think he did it on purpose?

J: Well, the government--government may not have done it on purpose, but the

people that was handling the situation done it on purpose for their own


LUM 131A 16

B: How do you identify with other Indians across the country; those that

live on reservations, and, uh, well for instance, some of the Indians who've

been in jail, supposedly to help others, has been pretty well-known people:

Dennis Banks, uh, Bellicourt, and a few others. Do you identify with these


J: Uh, I don't quite understand.

B: I mean do you--in the Indian way--do you feel like you're brothers and you

have something in common?

J: Well I think we've got something in common with all Indians, and we've all

striving to make things better for the Indian people.

B: Because of our peculiar nature, and, uh, because of the peculiarity of the

law that named us Lumbee Indian in 1956, naming us Lumbee Indians but exclud-

ing us from any benefits that might be coming to other Indians, and because

of the physical makeup of our people, whereas we have some black skinned

people, and occasionally, uh, a blue-eyed, blond headed Indian, where do

you think we came from?

J: Well, I'ld like to go along with the theory that we come from the lost

colony, which I believe it's as solid a theory as there is, and I would

like to think that we did come from the lost colony. There's no other trace,

and we don't have any other trace of it.

B: Why do you think we came from the lost colony? This is John White's lost

colony? C

J: Yes. Well, that's from the name GSeu'an being left on the trees, and they

say that the people left who believed that some kind of writing, or something

on the trees so that the people would know where they were at when they come


B: And we do have a blue-eye crop up every now and then.

LUM 131A 17

J: And a blond head.

B: (Laughs) So you think that's from Virginia 2re& and her folks.

J: In all probability.

B: Okay, have you ever been to any of the Tuscarora Indian meetings?

J: No.

B: Would you like to go and see what they do?

J: Well, I would like to go, but--nor am I afeared by not going.

B: What makes you say that?

J: Well, they been kind of violent at times, and they let it be known that they

don't like anybody that's a Lumbee, and if I went, I'ld probably tell them

I was a Tuscarora.

B: (Laughs) But you think they are basically good, sincere people who are--

who are entitled to their beliefs?

J: Yeah, they're basically sincere. I know a few of them. I've got some friends

in the Tuscaroras, and they're--since they're just like the Lumbees are.

They just got the belief, maybe a little different. Don't--well, the biggest

thing is that they really believe they're Tuscaroras and they were mistreated

by being given the name Lumbee.

B: That doesn't--the name Lumbee doesn't bother you personally?

J: Not at all

B: Do you have any desire to move away from Robeson County, or is this where

you want to live?

J: Sometimes I get aggravated and wish there was somewhere else, but I don't

have no desire to leave and stay away. I think I got broke from that in a

hurry. I went to Baltimore and worked about two weeks and a half, and I

liked to starve up there, and the people up there are not like they are here.

The people will talk to you here4 but up there they don't have time, and they

don't take up time with strangers, unless you're very forward, and I'm not

LUM 131A 18

forward, and not crazy to go out and talk to people unless it's something

you got to do to find out about something, but I like living in Robeson

County, and I like living where I'm at. I wouldn't want to live in any

other part of the county, but it's just that--I guess, the Southern

hospitality that's the greatest thing in the world.

B: Do you take part in politics in Robeson County?

J: No, I don't take any part other than voting.

B: Why?

J: Well, it seems that there's a few people in4Ih!.'LCt that doing all the

decision making for everybody else, and they don't try to find out what

everybody else thinks about it, and so, and if they decide anything, they go

ahead and do it, and then you find out about it a week or two later.

B: So you think, probably, that there's about a hardy dozen that's making all

the decisions, and you think maybe--are these Indian people you're talking


J: Yeah, the famous Eighteen they calls it.

B: (Laughs) The ones that, uh, run everything for Indians.

J: Right.

B: Do you think maybe this might have something to do with the deprivation that

the general Indian feels in Robeson County because he's not, uh, maybe not

allowed, but not invited to take part in the political process?

J: I think so. They feel that, alot of them, that if they get an Indian in

there, he's going to turn White on them, and they just might as well just

go ahead and have a White man in the office anyway.

B: That's kind of sad, but I think that's a pretty true reading of the situation.

How about the judicial process in Robeson County? Have you ever had to go to

traffic court or anything like this, and notice, maybe, proportion as to how

many Indians versus Whites you see in court?

LUM 131A 19

J: Well, I've been to traffic court several times, and, well, I've been tPAfbQXl

and the majority of the people are Indians.

B: You mean the ones being tried?

J: The ones being tried are Indians. The majority of them are Indians and

Blacks--very few White people.

B: Do you know of any Indian judges in Robeson County?

J: No, there's not any. Now, there was one one time, but after they made the--

changed the courts into district courts, they voted the Indian judge out

of--which was h&C VR j

B: How about highway patrolmen?

J: Uh, I think we've got one, or did have one Indian, but I think he's quit' and

IjN wV*4 44 F0,40

B: (Laughs) Probably outnumbered. How about, uh, does the school situation

bother you any?

J: Well, the biggest thing bothers me is bussing. It's--I think they spend a

lot of tax money unnecessarily running busses all over the country--all over

the county, when it's not necessary, and we've got three or four children in

one household and they going to two different--two or three different schools,

and that's uncalled for jy *i

B: What kind of future do you see for your children in Robeson County?

J: Well I think they're going, basically, they'll probably get a better educa-

tion. It's there if they want it, and as far as getting money to get an

education, if they want to get an education, and go to law school or doc--to

be a doctor, I think the chances are much greater than they were when I

was going to school.

B: You would encourage your boys to go on and get as much education as they


J: Just as much as they can get, and as long as it's there, I'll encourage them

LUM 131A 20

to take all of it they can get.

B: Well, one thing that interests me is, uh, attitudes in Robeson County. What

do you think's been the biggest, uh, drawback to Indian people in Robeson

County in your estimation as far as, uh, molding people's attitudes and

getting--keeping Indians in line, and getting them to do what they want them

to do?

J: Well, uh, I think that the White man has misled Indians so long, and that

once somebody tried to do something for them, they think that it's just a

hoax and they're not really going to be able to do anything, and they think

that if somebody tried and they failed, they think that everything else was

going to fail, and it's just hard to convince Indians that things is going to

get any better for them.

B: The Robesonion is the daily newspaper in Robeson County. Do you think,

generally speaking, and I know you can't be specific on any particular thing,

but do you think, generally speaking, that e Robesonion is anti-Indian, or

pro-Indian in its news reporting?

J: Anti-Indian.

B: Why would you say that?

J: Well, if anything bad happens to Indians,. ie Robesonion is the first to

carry it. If there's anything good, they say as little about it as they can--

no more than they have to, and it's--they just play up the Indian to be a bad

B: Why do you think so many Indians subscribe toThe Robesonion?

J: Well, it's been the only every day paper in the county for years, and I think

maybe that's the biggest reason they do it--to get the news.

B: Do you subscribe torhe Robesonion?

J: Not any more. I used to, but I quit.

B: You see any hope for the future in this area?

LUM 131A 21

J: Well, I think that there's hope. Indians are slow to convince, but once

you get them convinced and get them on your side, they--and they see the

light, then they usually stay with you and go along with what you've got to


B: Right now, in your way of thinking, uh, how do you think Indians are going to

do politically in the coming years.

J: Well, I think the political situation is going to turn around, and you're

going to have more Indians in public office. Not just in the county, it's

going to be in the state legislature, and places like that.

B: Do you think an Indian could be the superintendent of the Robeson County

School System and get the support and cooperation from other Indians?

J: Yes, uh, well, I think he could be, and, uh, there's several Indians that are

qualified for that job, and I think they could do a lot better job of running

the county's schools than Young Allen's doing. --

B: You're not, necessarily, a great big fan of Young Allen's?

J: Not a fan at all. I don't care anything about him. I'ld really like to see

him out of office.

B: Do you think things are getting better or worse?

J: Well, sometimes I think they're getting better, and then, againl"ttooks like

it might be getting worse. I don't know. It's up and down.

B: What do you think's the biggest problem facing Indians in Robeson County right


J: Well the biggest problem facing Indians, I think, is that the--the majority

of them are the economic situation, and they're not got enough education to

compete with the White man.

B: See any ways to change this?

J: Well, you've got to educate the people. Of course, they've got this technical

schools that even people that's up in their twenties can go to and learn a

LUM 13 A 22

trade, and then against still, a lot of trades that you learn you can't put

to use in the county-because there's--like the work I'm in, uh, you've got to

leave home to do it, in most cases, but still, even if you had to leave home

and stay away a week at a time they'd be better off economically than they

are now.

B: In spite of everything you know about being a Lumbee Indian of Robeson County,

are you proud to be an Indian, and if not, what else would you rather be?

J: There's nothing else I'ld rather be. I'ld rather be an Indian.

B: Well, I think we've covered the situation fairly well, and I certainly appre-

ciate you taking the time to give me this interview, and I hope we'll be able

to talk again at a future date. Thank you.

J: You're welcome.

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