Title: Interview with Viola Revels Jacobs
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007139/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Viola Revels Jacobs
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: UF00007139
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 152

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Full Text


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

Copyright, 2005, University of Florida.
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LUM 152A

Ms. Viola R. Jacobs (J)
Super Dollar Store, Pembroke, North Carolina

Interviewer: Marilyn Taylor (I)
August 12, 1973

Typed by: P. F. Williams

I: My name is Marilyn Taylor. I am recording for the Doris

Duke Foundation under the auspices of the University of

Florida. Today is August 12, 1973. I'm uptown in the

midtown section of Pembroke at what is called the Super

Dollar Store. We have several discount stores here, but

this is one which is managed by a very gracious lady, and

this in itself we feel is an accomplishment. But to get

into her story we'll let her tell it. And we'll get her

name and some of her background. Would you tell us your

full name, please?

J: Viola Revels Jacobs.

I: Mrs. Jacobs, I take it your maiden name is Revels?

J: Revels, that's right.

I: What was your father's name?

J: Foster Revels.

I: And is your husband living today?

LUM 152A 2

J: Yes, he is.

I: And what is his name?

J: He's Reverend R. B. Jacobs. He's a retired minister.

I: And what denomination is he affiliated with?

J: Missionary Baptist.

I: How long would you say you had the profession of being

a minister's wife?

J: Forty-one years.

I: So, are you saying you have been married this long and

perhaps a little longer?

J: No, just forty-one years. That's as long as I...

I: In other words, you've been married to Mr. Jacobs forty-

one years.

J: Forty-one years.

I: And did you have any children from this marriage, Mrs.


J: Yes, five.

I: Could you give us their names, because I think names are


J: My oldest son is James Albert Jacobs, and my next one is

a daughter, Alma Lee Jacobs Locklear--she's married to a

LUM 152A 3

Locklear. Earline Jacobs Bartlett, Bobby Ray Jacobs,

Gregory Jacobs.

I: And your youngest one is how old now?

J: Eighteen years.

I: So he's kind of out of the nest, or is he still at home?

J: He's still at home.

I: Does he go to school, or any particular occupation he's

involved in?

J: Well, he's just out of high school. He's planning to

start at the Federal Technical Institue in September.

I: OK. Excuse me just a minute. OK, Mrs. Jacobs, what

course of study does he hope to pursue, or does he know

at this time?

J: Diesel Mechanics.

I: In other words, he's going into the skilled trade as many

of our young people are. What are some of the other oc-

cupations or things that some other of your children are

involved in?

J: My oldest son is Robeson County tax supervisor. And my

daughter worked for Tidewater Hospital Association for

fifteen years. And my next daughter, she was just...

right now she's employed at Converse Rubber Company.

And my next son.which was Bobby Ray, was in an automobile

LUM 152A 4

accident in March, so he's not with us anymore.

I: I'm sorry to hear that.

J: So Gregory, he's gonna start school -in September.

I: How do you feel, Mrs. Jacobs, having raised--or you might

say you've pretty well raised, at eighteen you consider

that going pretty well into manhood--these many children,

and your husband retired.. Do you feel that you've pretty

well accomplished what you set out to do?

J: Yes, I do, because I'm very proud of my children. They've

all been very good. I haven't had any trouble with any

of them.

I: Let me ask you this. Often families, you know, have

different views on raising children, techniques of dis-

cipline and so on. Did you in bringing yours up believe

in paddling and spanking and this kind of thing?

J: Yes, I did.

I: Did you have to do it much, would you say?

J: Well, no, not very much. I disciplined a lot and they was

very easy to raise. They didn't give me too much trouble.

Well, back then there was not as much going on as there are

right now, different things, you know, to entice the young

LUM 152A 5


I: Did you find...was your husband as much involved in

discipline as you were, or were you the main one that

put on the discipline, so to speak?

J: No, he did. He did, too. In fact, back when we were

raising our other children he was not sick--right now

he's an invalid--and back then he was able to be about

and do his part in raising them, helping to bring them


I: Is Mr. Jacobs staying at home, or you have help or care,

or is he in...?

J: He's at home. He's at home right now, but I have take

him to the hospital a lot.

I: And you do this, and you seem to go about it with such

a serenity, and yet you manage...I understand you're the

complete manager of this store, and I don't know the volume

of business but I could imagine it's pretty large. Could

you give us an approximate, say, what you do in a month's

time or something like this, or some idea of your respon-

sibilities here at the store?

J: Well, most of our volume right now comes to around any-

LUM 152A 6

where from ten to twelve thousand a month. It's kind

of slow right now. I've been here six and a half years

and I've seen it grow from the bottom up to where it is


I: Have you lived in Pembroke all of your married life?

Has your husband lived in other areas and pastored other

churches, or just here?

J: Just here. We've lived in Pembroke ever since I've been

married. But he has pastored churches all around over the


I: What do you find or have you found to be probably maybe

one of the hardest things to cope with as a minister's

wife? Because I know a great deal is expected of you.

J: Yes, there's been a great deal expected. I've tried to

be as good a minister's wife and go along with him and

help him out in his programs and do everything I could,

you know for the upbuilding of his program.

I: Um-hmm.

J: I really haven't had any real difficulties in being a

minister's wife.

I: Do you find that you've had any difficulties in being...

do you identify with the LumbeeA here?

LUM 152A 7

J: Yes, I do.

I: Has there been any difficulties you feel in the fact

that you are an Indian?

J: Well, there have been back in time, but things are getting


I: What's some of the things that...I know that in the years

that you've been here you've seen a great deal of changes.

What would you say are some of the, or oneperhaps, sig-

nificant change that you've seen maybe in human relations?

In betterment for the Indian if you can find that here.

J: Well, we've got more qualified people now than we ever

have had, and we're beginning to climb. Our people are

getting jobs that back a few years ago that they didn't

have, and I think we're being recognized more.

I: In other words, you think that the Indian you're saying

is being recognized more and being given opportunities?

J: And given opportunities, yes, and better jobs, and better

places in life.

I: How do you feel that as Indians we should go about trying

to improve our image? You know, we have one faction who's

out marching or drawing attention in this way. Do you

LUM 152A 8

think this is instrumental or helpful? Perhaps you have

a view on it in some way or another.

J: You mean this other group that's been trying to...

I: Well, I think we're talking about the Tuscarora that's

identified...they identify as Tuscarora.

J: Yes. Well, I don't go along with it.

I: What's the thing that you object to the most in the way

they're...certainly you want to see the Indian have a

better way of life. I'm sure you agree with that, do you


J: I agree with that. I would like to see our people grow

and climb, but I think they're going about it in the wrong


I: How do you in your position feel is the right way?

J: Well, I think they should settledown and grow along, not

try to climb to the top all overnight, as you might say.

I: Do you think the government should hand out any particular

thing? I think they're advocating wanting the schools

back, but yet I wonder if with it will go the control,

the government control. And if they get, you know, say,

reservation-like. How do you see the schools from your

children have grown up in them, the way they once were

LUM 152A 9

or as they are today. Has much change been about?

J: Well, there have been a lot of changes in the schools,

but still I think my older children grew up in' the

schools and they got good education. And children are

still getting good education today with the changes.

Although there's so many parents that don't approve of

the changes.

I: Why do you think this is, that they don't approve of the

changes, and would you name maybe one or two changes that

you have in mind?

J: Yes. Well, we in the South has never been integrated

and I think there's some that just can't see into is.

That I think is the biggest problem. They can't see into

these things and they can't see where it's gonna be any

better for us.

I: Do you think integration as such in the schools and so on

will upgrade the education for the American Indian?

J: Yes, I think so.

I: In what way do you feel this is true?

J: Well, I don't think that it's gonna make that much dif-

ference in having all three races to go together. I don't

think that it's gonna--in fact, it's not in the children.

LUM 152A 10

I think the biggest problem is in the parents. Interfering.

I think if the parents would stay out of it the children

would get along fine.

I: I've heard this opinion expressed before. I've also heard

that some have a fear'or feel threatened that there'll be

interracial marriages and this kind of thing. How would

you feel about that? Of course, we have to realize that

perhaps it is true, there is some. But personally, how

do you feel if you children were involved in, say, with

someone of another race?

J: Well, I don't approve of that too much. Although it has

happened in my family, I really don't approve of it too


I: In other words, you wouldn't just set out to encourage it,


J: No, I wouldn't.

I: How did you deal with it when it happened in your family?

J: Well, I went along with it because if they were satisfied

with it, I was, too.

I: This person of another race, would it have been a white

person predominantly, would you say?

LUM 152A 11

J: Yes, white.

I: Did you make hem feel accepted or was it just an indif-

ference, or how would you say that you dealt...

J: No.

I: ...with this individually on a personal basis?

J: I accepted them, treated them just as nice as I could.

In fact, I accepted them as one of the family and made

the feel like they were one of my family. Because I

felt like if they wanted to be one of the family that

bad, then I could accept them.

I: Well, that's certainly an admirable attitude. It beats

getting all upset about it, because if one o children

we're talking about, sometimes they do have minds of their

own, don't they?

J: That's for sure.

I: And they're the ones that's having to live with them.

What do you find is a major change that's happened in

religion over the past forty-one years, particularly in

the Baptist area?

J: Well, I hardly know how to answer that.

I: Well, I don't want to put you on the spot, but somebody

LUM 152A 12

has said that we live in a more liberal age. More things

are accepted, you know, than what used to be, and I can

see, too, I wouldn't dare to have gone to school in what

is just normal clothing for some of our kids today and

this kind of thing because it just wouldn't have been

carried over. Well, the mini-skirt's gone and come, so

to speak and this kind of thing, but just fads and fashions

and so on that religion so to speak has been against or

frowned upon, but some of the things in these areas of

perhaps morals or attitudes, styles of life, can you feel

that...has religion become more liberal as people that,

you know, we speak that Baptists don't believe in this

and they don't believe in that, but do you feel that from

the time, recalling back when you were first in the Baptist

faith that it's become more liberal?

J: Yes. There've been some big changes. I really think that

this...I don't know whether the religion's any stronger

or not, but it just seems like there's been a big generation

gap, what I would call it, in" different things such as

dressing and the way church services is carriedcout, there's

so much different in it now than it was I'd say fifty years

LUM 152A 13


I: Well, even probably less than that. Let's get back to

your job here at the store. What's some of your every-

day duties that you have to do as manager that would not

fall in anyone else's hands. Of course, you're in the

position to...how many girls or personnel people do you


J: Well, I have one full-time girl and I have two part-time

girls. And they have most of the work to do in the store.

I have a lot of reports to fill out, a lot of paperwork

to do, which takes most of my time.

I: Do you do most of the ordering and so on to keep up with

inventory and such?

J: Yes, I have to keep up with the ordering, and we have a

spot inventory each week that we have to do of different...

each week it's a different merchandise that we have to

inventory to keep the buyers up to date on what we need

and what we're overstocked with, and...

I: Let's get some of the history of this store. This is a

chain store, is it not?

J: Yes.

LUM 152A 14

I: Other stores...being it's not locally owned, in other


J: No, this is a chain store.

I: Where do your reports go to, or where are the headquarters,

so to speak?

J: In Raleigh.

I: In Raleigh. Well, is this mainly a chain that's just

through North Carolina or does it include other states?

J: It's includes North Carolina, South Carolina,kVirginia.

I: So it's fairly large in the South in those three states,

I would say. How many stores would you estimate, or have

you ever heard the number?

J: Yes, they have seventy-eight stores.

I: And what is this number?

J: This is Number Four. This store opened September of 1966,

and this was the fourth store opened. And since then they

have went to seventy-eight stores.

I: You said you'd been working here how long now?

J: Six and a half years.

I: Have you been manager all that time?

J: Yes.

LUM 152A 15

I: You started out in a managing capacity.

J: Yes.

I: (If I'm right, how did you come about to just fall right

in to...did you have a recommendation from someone, or

since this is not a locally-owned store, did someone...

did you apply for it and just get it, or how did it come

about that...particularly on being a woman, number one.

Sometimes they're not always looked at as, you know,

holding managing positions, and it's just a curiosity

as to how you came about it. I think it's great.

J: Yes, at that time I had been manager of the cafeteria

at the high school for several years,and at that time

my husband had got sick and I had quit. But he had got

better, and the girl that was already here was gonna quit

because she had a tiny baby and she wanted to stay home

and take care of her baby, so she recommended me to this

job. I filled out an application and they hired me.

I: Did the man talk to you and get an interview, or did you

just do it on paper, so to speak?

J: Yes, I come down and he interviewed me.

I: How often does your...I don't know exactly, maybe the

term you use is general manager. Do they come by to

LUM 152A 16

check with you to see if you have problems and this kind

of thing? How often do they get down?

J: Well, we have a district supervisor that comes by anytime

maybe two or three weeks.

I: And you don't know just exactly when he's going to pop in.

J: I never know when he's coming.

I: I guess they have this planned purposely to not alert you.

J: It could be.

I: ...so you'd be expecting them. I don't think we covered...

give us a rundown on some of the merchandise the store

carries. It's sort of a department...give us some of the

departments so that we can tell what you deal in.

J: Yeah, it's just mostly a discount store. Now, we have

a health and beauty aid department, and then we have clothing,

we have housewares, toys, and we carry some automotive such

as oil. We carry electrical, like cords and things like


I: And linens, I see.

J: Bed linens, curtains...

I: Some paints.

J: Paint, we have paint.

I: And different decorating...and some beautiful lamps I was

LUM 152A 17

admiring up front there.

J: Yes, we have shoes. We carry ladies' sandals and men's

bedroom shoes, and tennises. We have a good variety of

tennis shoes, we sell a lot of those.

I: So when you say a variety store it really is variety in

all ways, isn't it?

J: Yes.

I: You have school supplies and candies and this kind of thing,


J: Yes.

I: I see some picnic and yard chairs and what-have-you. But

it would be hard to just narrow it down unless you did name

"a few of them other than variety store, and that covers

"a lot of territory, doesn't it?

J: Yes.

I: Did you always since you've been the manager deal with this

many, say, departments or this number of...you know, with

clothing, or did it increase as it goes along?

J: It increased over the years.

I: What did it mainly start out as?

J: Mostly just ladies' clothes and children's clothes, and


LUM 152A 18

I: Have you found that you've been able to adjust to grow

with the work, or has it become more burdenful...?

J: No, I've growed along with it. Whenever I started here

they had only twenty storesAso I've growed along with

it. I've began to get onto it all along as they made

changes up at the office, then I'd...it was easy for

me to grow into it.

I: Well, did you have any special help in adapting or adjusting

to the changes as they would come about?

J: Yes, my supervisor.

I: Well, you must have caught on rather quickly because you're

well-known in the community for your managing ability.

I've heard your name several times and about that you cer-

tainly would be a good interviewee as contributing to the

program. How do you feel about this women's liberation

thing? It's on the news today and it's talked a. lot, and

you being a woman in-'a managing position. Do you...maybe

you get equal pay for, you know, a man doing the same job,

but do you go along with this in any way at all? The

women's liberation and some of the things that they advocate?

J: Well, I don't know too much about that. I'd rather not

LUM 152A 19

have much to say about it because I'm not into it too


I: This day and age I know that we didn't dare talk about

it. Do you feel that...and these are some standard

questions that we ask and it might seem that it would

be pat for you or an-insult, maybe, considering your

religious origin and so on. But not necessarily, I

don't, you know, you have to ask the question to get

a person's opinion a lot of times. Many states have

legalized abortions. I'm not sure that it's been im-

plemented, but from a woman's standpoint they argue that

a woman should be able to control the destiny of her

body? How do you feel about this? Do you think abortion

should be legalized?

J: No, I don't.

I: And would this have any religious basis, or what would

you base your opinion on? How do you feel about that?

J: I would base it on a religious basis.

I: Under what? How would you say, you feel that it's wrong?

J: Well, I just feel it's wrong.

I: Is it murder in your book, so to speak?

LUM 152A 20

J: In my opinion it is murder.

I: Also our young people today are involved a great deal,

I'm told, I read in the paper, I hear, in a thing our

generation, I guess it's alcohol. Maybe always will be

to some extent of the vices, some of the adult vices.

They're involved in a thing called marijuana or pot.

Are you able to see this through the church's eyes and

how we can deal with this? What do you think might be

the answer to this?

J: I have no idea.

I: Does it worry you, or how do you feel about issues like


J: Yes, it worries me, thinking, after knowing that I have

a teen-age boy, it worries me. But I just don't know how

you would come about putting a stop to it, bringing any

end to it.

I: Someone has said that you couldn't, but to legalize it

in the sense that alcohol has been legalized, control it

in that way. You have to be a certain age and you'd be

guaranteed that you wouldn't get a hold of somerbad-stuff,

maybe a lot of chemicals been added to it. Would you say

LUM 152A 21

that this would be one solution in a sense, to legalize

it or to control it, maybe, more than legalizing, I guess.

J: Well, it's possible that it could be controlled a little

bit better, but I just don't know. It's just hard to

see on anything like that.

I: It's interesting. You say you worry about things. How

do you handle your worries when you...I want to ask you,

do you believe in prayer? I know perhaps that seems an

ambiguous answer, but maybe you have some personal ex-

perience you could share with us along these lines.

J: :No, I don't.

I: You don't have any personal experience that you want...

J: No, no more than just praying for better days.

I: Can you remember any time when you felt discrimination

against the American Indian personally, against you as

a personbecause you were Indian?

J: Yes.

I: Would you share that with us? Because these are things

we want to get in the open.

J: Well, as everybody around in this community knows that

the Indian people has always been looked down on and

LUM 152A 22

there's always been discrimination between white and


I: True.

J: Which I think is growing out. This racial is growing

out, which some of the older people that it's still,..

you can tell it's still in some of the older people.

But as the younger generation grows up, it's growing

out. A lot of it's growing out. I've seen the time

whenever a white person wouldn't have dared go to this

university here along with Indian people.

I: Would you think they had felt fear or what?

J: I just think that they felt...the way I have always

thought about it, they felt that they were that much

better than the Indian people.

I: In other words, it's white supremacy kind of a feeling.

J: That's right.

I: And of course, we know that we're all here and created by

one, and do you see that race relations are improving?

Didn't you say the young&- people, how about the older

people, are they able to sort of follow in this?

LUM 152A 23

J: It's improving, yes. It's improving some in the older

people but more in the young generation.

I: Now, you and I, you could say that we're not among the

young generation but you certainly have been one that's

gone along perhaps with the young generation and you

have young at heart, you see the problem as it is. And

yet you do not seem to feel any bitterness, and I'm sure

that you've had occasion to where you could if you were

minded. How do you deal with this? You know that you've

been discriminated against as an Indian. How does it

make you feel? Can you think of any one particular in-

cident that you could tell us about?

J: No, I don't. I feel much better. I feel much better that

it's growing out.

I: But at the time that-youlfelt discrimination by a white

person that was inflicted upon you in some way, did you

feel bitter at the time?

J: Well, yes, I did. Naturally I did.

I: Yes, I'd think so. But as time went on were you able to...

how did you think, have mercy on them or just more bitterness?

Because I'm sure you had to deal with this in bringing up

LUM 152A 24

your children, too.

J: Yes, I did. But back a few years ago, you see, that

was taught to the younger folks, in other words, to

children of white families it was taught to not associate,

you know, or have anything to do with the Indian children.

I think colored people has had a much better chance than

we've had.

I: Well, many people feel this, but they also feel we're in

sort of a 'red' movement now. That is, that it's time

for the American Indian to come forth. Do you believe

that it's his time to come forth, or our time, so to


J: Yes, I think it's time for us to begin to do something

about it.

I: And you mentioned that we have more qualified people. How

do you feel that this has come about, because people care

more, or do they go out and get themselves...?

J: They go out and get themselves education to where they can

qualify for these better jobs and then they expect to get

them. Whenever qualify for them they expect to get them.

I: Do you feel the university here has aided the local Lumbee

LUM 152A 25

Indian in this...

J: Yes...

I: ...to this extent?

J: Yes, very much.

I: Even though, let's see, it's been integrated since when

was it? It hasn't been too many years...

J: No, not too many years.

I: But I think it was to be integrated in order to keep the

college, is that correct?

J: Yes.

I: When you first heard about this, how did you feel about

it immediately? I mean, you probably had second thoughts

and third thoughts and so on, but how did you first think

about it?

J: Well, immediately I didn't think it was the right thing

to do, but then as time went along I could see that it was

for the betterment of us, of the Indian people.

I: Did you in any way look back to the black movement and

identify with that any as being that the integration some-

how helping their opportunities, economic, job-wise, and

this kind of thing, as they were coming up the scale and

LUM 152A 26

perhaps integration was helping this?

J: Yes, I think it was helping other races, too.

I: So in a way we are saying that if integration helps

one race it sort of like cause and effect, it's bound to

help the other.

J: I think so.

I: Well, I think a lot of times it's misunderstanding, mis-

conception, you know, even out-and-out propaganda, and

then Hollywood's version of the Indian. HOw do you see

that? Has that always been a true picture in your es-

timation of how Hollywood and news media has pictured

the American Indian as-maybe the savage or the war paint

character, or Tonto, the Lone Ranger and this kind of


J: Yes. I think, well, Indians on the reservation, I think

they pictured them different from us. Which they are,

they are different from us.

I: What's the major difference, do you feel?

J: Well, they're just different tribes. You seew re...

I really believe we are the descendants of-shite-s Lost

Colony. And that makes us different from the ones on the


LUM 152A 27

I: In other words, we're not reservation but persons of

free color, so to speak. -To live we don't have to be

bound to any one vicinity.

J: No, that's right.

I: Do you feel that we're better in a...I don't mean better,

but better off in our situation like this than the reser-

vation Indians<

J: I think so, because we're not...the government don't have

that much hold over us like they do them on the reservation.

I: Would you ever want to see the day when the government said

this is so much land and here's so much money and so on,

and asked...

J: No, I wouldn't.

I: It would be sort of hard to adjust after being...

J: Yes, it would.

I: ...a free person.

J: I'd rather go along free like we are.

I: How did your husband decide to become a back as a young

man a minister? Did he ever share that with you?

J: No.

I: You don't know what made him decide to...that he felt...

LUM 152A 28

it's Baptists, I believe, that feel that there's a

special calling. In other words, the Lord's calling

them or, you know...is this true or not?

J: Well, I imagine it would be so because...

I: They feel this way.

J: Yes, that is usually the way our ministers comes about,

because our older ministers was not really educated like

the ones, our younger ministers now that's going to seminary

and all. So I would think that they come along as a cal-

ling. They felt like that was their calling.

I: You mentioned, though, that older ministers and younger

ministers...are you, you said Baptist. Is it Missionary

Baptist' Southern Baptist, or what?

J: Missionary Baptist.

I: Do you think that the education that our younger ministers

receive now, it gives them a better...they're better equipped

to deal with,-or to carry out their job? Or do you think

that left alone that God would furnish them the tools

necessary for the job and so on?

J: Well, I feel like now, with everybody having the education,

the ministers feel like they got to have the education to

LUM 152A 29

be along on the level with their congregation. But back

whenever my husband was ordained and when he was coming

along, nobody had high educations like they got now.

I: High school was considered pretty good if you got through


J: If you got through high school that's as far. as you went.

I: But did he feel that it was a holdback? Probably not at

that time, did he?

J: No, no.

I: If you had to describe him as a minister, could you tag

him so to speak? I've read of, you know, the evangelistic

type or would he be the love of God, think of, say, Billy

Graham, or what kind of message do you...?

J: Well, I would describe him as just an old-fashioned preacher.

I: And could you elaborate on that just a little bit? I think

I understand what you mean, but for the benefit of our

readers and our listeners.

J: Well, he come along. He didn't have very much education,

but he would study his Bible and he would read a lot. And

he was able to put all this across to his congregation.

And he was known as one of the best preachers amongst our


LUM 152A 30

I: Mrs. Jacobs, how do you get this reputation as being...do

you think is it the people that you convert or the num-

ber of the members of your church, or what? Or is it

the way you deliver a sermon, maybe, or what do you


J: That is the main thing.is the way you can deliver a sermon.

You can just...you see people, I guess, make them under-

stand. Of course, they make them understand today in their

way, but it was in a different way then. I feel like it

was in a different way. 'They understood the Bible I think

plainer than they do today.

I: Do you think maybe we've got a little bit so educated that

we've overlooked maybe some of the simplicity of the Bible?

I've often thought that and I've heard it opinionated as

such. We try to make it so complicated...I believe they

said if we had the faith of a little child like one of

these, you know...

J: Yes, that's right.

I: You become too educated in trying to understand it. Do

you feel that that could be a hindrance?

J: Yes. They're too many. I think all of our services today

are based on programs and not old-fashioned revivals like

we used to have.

LUM 152A 31

I: Just spontaneous, right. In other words, the one that

you say that's on fire with the spirit of Christ, they

read from manuscripts, so to speak, or a book that's

prepared by maybe an organization.

J: Yes, they read their sermons and prepare them through

the week. Whenever back when I was a child, they got

up and delivered their sermon.

T: And sometimes they didn't know what they were gonna talk


J: That's right.

I: The Lord led them right on the spot.

J: Didn't know, and back then they would start on time, They

had a time to start. Well, they didn't have a time to

stop. If they felt like having service all day they had

service all day. And I...well, it just seems like there

was more love between the people back then than there are


I: What do you think was probably one of the hardest jobs in

ministering to Indian people and perhaps uneducated at that

time. There were drawbacks as well as maybe disadvantages,

but what do you feel was perhaps one of the hardest jobs?

Was it getting the Gospel across or was it just keeping

peace within a large group, or...?

LUM 152A 32

J: Well, back in them dayslit was not too hard to keep

peace in the group. But now, I think money has a lot

to do with being so much confusion in the churches.

I: Would you elaborate on that just a little bit? In what

way do you feel...?

J: Well, it seems that everybody wants to know where all of

the money goes. They don't...they set this price, they

pay the preacher so much and then some will come along and

sya he's not doing his job. He's not doing what we're

paying him to do, and it just brings a lot of confusion


I: Excuse me just a minute, let me turn this tape..........

I had to pause there just a minute while I turned the tape.

This is Side Two with Mrs. Viola Jacobs. She was discussing

some of the changes that she feels and has seen in the

ministry. She was mentioning money. You think we've be-

come too money-minded in our religion.

J: Yes, I do.

I: And how was it you were saying...in other words, you put

LUM 152A 33

out a budget for this and so much to go to missions and

so much to the preacher, and it's...how do you feel it

should be run? On faith more or less, or how was it

back as you were coming up as a minister's wife, SO TSp-cr s

J: Well, there was not too many of these different programs

where you had to raise money to send here and so: much to

send < rc"

1: .oJ' e- \Io 00O Christmas offering and this kind of

thing, missionaries...

J: That's right.

I: ...far missionaries and local missionaries. Do you think

the Baptist convention, you know the whole, put pressure

on the local church, or you know, the little smaller

churches to give...

J: Yes, they put too much pressure on the smaller churches.

I: And do you think some of the money could perhaps better

be used in a local area...

J: I think so.

I: ...for the poor, maybe, for example, or...?

J: I think so. I think we have enough in our community that

needs help that don't get it. I think that they need this

LUM 152A 34

money that they're sending off somewhere else that they

don't know what it's going for. A lot of times they don't

know what it's going for.

I: And sometimes it is misappropriated, we know that. I

think what you're saying, charity begins at home. I don't

know, that's been attributed to the Bible but I don't know

if it really a quote or not. But do you feel that way?

J: I feel that way, yes. Because we have needy people in

our community, too, that needs help from the churches and

I think we don't have enough of visitation because it's

like I said before, there's not as much love between

people as there used to be.

I: Do you think that if we could get together on a racial

basis, is your...was there a time in your life as a minister's

wife when your husband, say, ministered to other than all-

Indian congregations?

J: Yes, ma'am. He sure did.

I: Would you tell us about that? Was it always, or how?

J: No, he's...my husband would preach a lot for colored

people and white people, too. He's been to all different

races. And well, I just feel like that he done his duty.

LUM 152A 35

I: Do you feel...did he take with him the ideal of race,

that we're all under one, or how...what was his attitude

about that?

J: Well, his attitude was that we're all as one. That if

you were Christians, if he wanted to preach to a Christian

congregation regardless of color or what they were, he


I: I want to ask you this, and it's jumping from subject to

another, but yet it does fit in with the religious scheme

and our religious concept of things. We hear a great deal

today about sex, sex, sex. It's in the movies, it's all

over. Sex education in the schools. Someone said maybe...

you know, we do have to talk about it some in the church,

or should we sidetrack it? Where do you think, what area

should it be left to? You know, should it be covered in

the church, the home, the school, all of them? How do you

feel about this? And as your children and our children

come up what would be your philosophy on the sex education?

J: Well, I think it should be taught to them. I think it

should be taught at a early age because although older

people didn't believe in this, it might help if it was

taught to them at an early age.

LUM 152A 36

I: How do you feel this would help? I agree, but I know

you have a deeper reason than...you know, you have to back

up your feeling there.

J: Well, as they grow up, whenever they grow up to be this age

it wouldn't become such a shock to them.

1: Right. I see what you mean. In other words, it's just

not all thrown in their lap at one time and fed to them

sort of gradually, you're saying. .. '

J: Yes, I think it would be better to krind-fgrow into it

and not all come as a shock.

I: Now, I want to jump to something else. This gets off a

little bit but I'm trying cover a spectrum of things here

because you're a very interesting interviewee and have

contributed a great deal. And I might add for our readers,

she's standing up this whole time. She, says she's used

to standing, and I'm getting tired here and I know she is,

too. But I want to ask you is there any particular...in

raising your children, was there any particular recipe or

food that they liked? Mama cooked so-and-so, maybe, or

Mother, or whatever it is they might...? What did they

call you? Is it Mama, Mother, or what?

J: They mostly called me Mama.

LUM 152A 37

I: What do you find yourself preparing most for the family

as it grew up?

J: Mostly vegetables and meat. Meat and vegetables and not

too much sweets.

I: What about starchy foods, potatoes and rices and so on?

J: Well, some of them liked that and some didn't.

I: Well, how did you deal with this when you have a relatively

large family and some will eat maybe one thing you've

fixed and they don't...did you just put it on the table and

say, "Eat it!" or if they didn't like it...?

J: Well, they would pick around and get something. They'd

get some of what they liked, they would get enough of it.

But although there were some things on the table that some

of them would not eat.

I: Did you have any source of raising vegetables or cows or

was this provided by maybe your husband being a minister?

Did the congregation furnish any of the food?

J: Well, we would have a lot give to us and I always had a

garden, too. Raised my own vegetables.

I: Do you still today do that?

J: I don't have a garden this year. No, I don't, because

working and trying to work a garden is...

LUM 152A 38

I: And what hours do you work? Let me ask you that.

J: Nine to six.

I: Nine to six. Mrs. Jacobs, it's hard to get everything

in and yet it's impossible to at the same time. Is there

anything that I haven't mentioned that you'd like to say

in the behalf of the American Indian or from a woman's

point of view, a mother's point of view, a minister's

wife, a Christian, an everyday citizen? If you had a

message to give, perhaps, to the people across the

United States as these tapes will be going in various

places and I know probably this is putting you on the

spot. What better human relations would you if it was

in your power would you advocate or try to see come about?

You mentioned more love at one time, and perhaps you have

other ideas.

J: Yes, I think if we had more love, more Christianity, more

Christian people...if we had more Christian people then

naturally the love would come along, and I think we would

have a much better place to live.

I: And do you envision seeing this, that it will improve?

J: I believe it will improve.

LUM 152A 39

I: Well, we want to...we'll end, then, on that note. And

if you have any...unless you do have something else you

want to add.

J: I don't know if I have anything else I would like to add

to it.

I: Let's see, did I ask you about the university? How do

you see that? Does it, with the...in cooperating with

the town? Do you see the relationship there is improving

or is it better or could it be room for improvement, do

you think?

J: Well, there's room, still room for improvement. But it's

improved some, but I think there's still room.for more


I: I'm surer-I wanted to ask you this--that you've seen many

changes over at that college, haven't you?

J: O(artainly have.

I: Did it start with Old Main as you saw it?

J: Started with Old Main, yes.

I: And it's grown now into...golly, it'd be hard to say how

many buildings are over there, but it's a full-fledged

university, is it not?

J: Yes.

LUM 152A 40

I: And...

J: My brother, I had a brother that started there back in

1926 when it was a normal, it was...

I: A normal school.

J: Normal school, and he went there in the sixth grade.

I: Is that right? Well, that's interesting.

J: So it's growed a lot since then.

I: And how many children were in your family that you grew

up with?

J: Eight, eight children.

I: Eight, so you have a relatively large family.

J: Yeah, five boys and three girls.

I: And your parents were the old-fashioned kind, did they

spare the rod and spoil the child?

J: Yes, yes.

I: We kind of got away from that in this past generation, I

think. Do you think that this is...maybe we need to get

back to it more?

J: I think we need to get back to it. It would help.

I: Do you think this really shows a greater love to be able

to discipline our children even though it may be harder?

LUM 152A 41

J: That's right. Well, the Bible says to raise them in

the way you'd have them to go and they might wander off

but they'll come back.

I: And we've seen this happen so many times, haven't we?

J: Yes, ma'am. So many times.

I: Mrs. Jacobs, I want to thank you so much. You've con-

tributed to the program a great deal, and on behalf of

Doris Duke's Foundation, the University of Florida,

myself and the program here, the local people, I'm sure

they will enjoy your interview and you've been very kind

and very gracious--and standing all this time, too! I

want to thank you so much and wish you luck in every area

of your life.

J: Yes, well, I hope I've been of some help to you.

I: Well, you certainly have, and thank you so much.


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