Title: Interview with Mr. Willie Richardson (July 3, 1974)
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007173/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Mr. Willie Richardson (July 3, 1974)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: July 3, 1974
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: UF00007173
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 196

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Full Text


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

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Completed 5/7/75

LUM 196A


INTERVIEWEE: Mr. Willie Richardson

July 3, 1974

I: This is July 3, 1974. l'e2 erteu of the University

of Florida's History Department's American Indian Oral History Program,

and this after-, this morning rather I am in the home of Mr. and Mrs....

what is your name?

R: Willie.

I: Richardson.

R: Yes.

I: Mr. and Mrs. Willie Richardson.

R: Yes.

I: And he's kindly consented to talk with me. You work over at Gideon,

Mount Gideon with the rest of the folks over there.

R: Yes.

I: And we were talking about you yesterday.

R: Yes.

I: Brother C4 Richardson and I.

R: Yes.

I: Let's talk about your family for a minute so people will know who

we're talking about and, you know. Who was your parents?

R: Mark rt_ _? Richardson.

I: How old are you now?

R: I'm half-way deaf. I can't hear you.

I: I'm sorry. How old are you now?

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R: Seventy-four.

I: Seventy-four.

R: Yes.

I: Well, you've seen many moons then, haven't you?

R: ,--. ,.

I: How many are in your family?

R: Seven.

I: Seven. The madame usually remembers ages better than the fathers.

I don't know why that is, but do you know, can you remember the ages

of all your children...

R: Yes.

I: ...and their names?

R: Yes.

I: Would you give us their names and ages?

R: The oldest one is named fl ') He was fifty years old

the twenty-third of May, and the next oldest one she was forty-six

years old the ninth of April.

I: Yes, sir.

R: And the other one was forty-one years old the twenty-seventh of


I: Yes, sir.

R: And the next one was thirty-nine years old the third day of June.

And the next one was thirty, thirty-three years old or will be in Sep-


I: Yes, sir.

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R: And the next oldest one, he'll be thirty years old in December.

And the baby will be twenty-seven years old in August. That's his

wife in there.

I: And that's the baby boy.

R: That's right.

I: Yes, sir.

R: Yes. Yes.

I: Now you, you told us their names, didn't you? Could you tell us

their names in that order that you gave them to me?

R: ^ t4 Richardson.

I: Now let's go to the next one. __'_ _' .

R: (7VC( ? Richardson.

I: Right.

R: Robert Jules Richardson. Austin Richardson, and Willie

Joe Richardson, and James Nick. Mark M. RichardsonMark Mc 'shjt' i, ,b

I: Yes, sir.

R: Yes.

I: You have, then that makes how many boys and how many girls?

R: I ain't got but one girl.

I: Just one girl.

R: Yes. Six boys.

I: You've been blessed with six fine healthy sons.

R: Yes. Yes.

I: Well, now we're, we're just about two miles from Hollister here.

aren't we?

R: Yes. Yes. About two miles.

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I: Have you lived here all your life?

R: Practically. Let's see, we stayed out of Halifax County all of

about eleven months. We stayed over in Nash County and Nash County

didn't suit us. We moved over there in the spring and moved back in the

fall. Yes.

I: You were saying something a while ago about, about the American In-

dian people. They've been scattered all over, haven't they?

R: Yes, sir. Yes.

I: You're proud that you're an Indian, aren't you?

R: Yes, sir, Yes, and Ljust found it out, like I told you a while

ago, you know, I have not had a paper filled out in forty-five years no

other way.

I: Right.

R: You know, because you see, I knowed that I didn't belong to the white

race and I knowed I didn't belong to the colored race.

R: So therefore I stood for what I was.

I: Right. And our people have always told us we were Indians, haven't


R: That's right. That's right. That's what all my own people teach me.

I: Yes, sir.

R: Yes.

I: Did you always hear that your people here and our people back home

were the same people?

R: Yes.

I: We're all Indians, aren't we?

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R: That's right! All that's different we was at different tribes.

I: Yes, sir.

R: That was the only difference. It didn't mean nothing else, but we

were all Indian people.

I: Yes, sir.

R: Yes.

I: I wanted to ask you a question or two about Brother Joseph, Brother

John _____ p" You told me he'd passed away since I was over last.

R: Yes, sir.

I: And he's the one that, he started a lot of, you know, he was proud

of his Indian ancestry, and he started the interest you know, our


R: Yes.

I: ...a few years ago. Could you tell us something about that?

R: No, not too much because, you see, when they first started I didn't

attend like I should have done. No, but I tell you what, he was more

proud in it than the average person. He sure did.

I: He encouraged people to have pride in what they were, didn't he?

R: That's what he did. Yes.

I: And he always worked hard, didn't he, at it?

R: Yes, that's right. And the next thing was, you see, in being it makes

no difference what you are. We are supposed to treat each other the


I: Right.

R: Yes, and he believed in that.

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I: Right.

R: You know. You know, he told them one night at the club meeting.

Some of them had an argument with him about calling a colored funeral

director *n W' b ut calling him Mister. So he said, "Well, now,"

he said, "he called me Mr. ChJC pTf ." He said, "Hewas a man like

I was."

I: Right.

R: He says, "And I felt like he deserved the same thing I did." He

said, "Being of the Indian people," he said, "that don't make me mis-

treat nobody."

I: Right.

R: No. And that's one thing how come they put him out like they did,

because he said that his mother and father teach him this.

I: Yes, sir.

R: And he said, "And I believe they tried to live a life that was worth-


I: Yes, sir.

R: And he said, "That's what they teach me to do."

I: Yes, sir.

R: Yes. He said, "I call a white man mister,"and he said,"and he called

me by my name. And the black man he called me mister." He said, "I felt

like he deserved the same thing."

I: Yes, sir. 1- DO

R: Yes. You see, I tell you, he people they was wrong.


I: How is this, Brother Richardson?

R: Huh?

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I: How is this? Go right ahead, don't let me interrupt you. You

just go ahead and talk the way you feel. O.K.?

R: You know, you see, all of our old people teach us this here, don't

you know. Now you take her grandcfwte in there.

I: That's your wife you're talking about?

R: That's right,

I: Yes, sir.

R: He always told us that we didn't belong to the colored race, of

course. And he told us, he said, "Now, he says, "I tell where it come,

in the difference in our color." He said, "The first people come here

and took up with the Indian women."

I: Is that what happened?

R: And he said, that's what he said happened. And he said, "That's where

the difference comes in our colors." Yes, he said, "You would find some

real dark-skinned one and then," he'd say, "you'd find some were as white

as the average white person."

I: Right.

R: And he said, "That's where it comes from." He said, "The dark-skinned

people or the brown-skinned people," he said they were natural thoroughbred

Indians. But he said, "These real bright ones," he said, "were as much

white as they was Indian. That's why his color was brighter than the other

ones was."

I: Yes, sir.

R: Yes, that's what he said.

I: Well,do, this is about what's happened all over, isn't it? I mean,

the Cherokees, when you go among the Cherokees they're very bright people,

LUM 196A

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too, aren't they today?

R: Yes.

I: Although they weren't, originally they weren't.

R: That's right.

I: So that's happened to all the groups, hasn't it? That's a fact.

R: Yes, all over the, I reckon all over the world I read.

I: Yes, sir.

R: Yes.
a re^+^
I: Dr. BrpeBh Berry, who is head of the Department of Anthropology

and Sociology at Ohio State University, wrote a book. I believe it

was in 1960 this book was published, and it was called, -Almost White,

and it covers some two hundred groups of Indian survivors along the eastern

seaboard. Do you think we have that many groups of Indian people hW_?

Do you think maybe you could find two hundred groups of people of Indian

ancestry along the eastern seaboard or is it possible?

R: I don't know because I tell you, the population has got, the place

now has got above the average of most all the people. Yes.

I: But we do know there are lots of groups of American Indian survivors

that were almost forgotten for a long, long time, weren't they? They were...

R: That's right.

I: ...shoved aside in the mountains and the swamps, swamp land, in the

hills, different places, and mostly they were sort of shoved aside during

the Indian wars.

R: That's right.

I: But they're still here. Their people are still here.

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R: Oh, yes.

I: And some people don't know that and they, and some people believe

all these tribes were wiped out completely.

R: But they weren't.

I: They weren't.

R: Oh, no.

I: And our people have somehow, even without the help of the Bureau

of Indian Affairs, BIA in Washington or anything like that, those

groups who were without treaties with the United States government,

isn't it remarkable that somehow they have survived and they have held

together and they have their communities and they have...

R: Yes.

I: ...their Indian pride. And do you have any idea how many of our

people would be located in this part, you know, here in this part of

the state? Here in Northern North Carolina? Do you know how many of

our people there are here? Well, could you guess at it maybe? But would

there be a, there would be at least three thousand, wouldn't there?

R: More than that.

I: Be more than that, wouldn't it?

R: It would be more than that.

I: Yes, sir.

R: Yes. I'd say seventy-five percent. Yes, I'd say seventy-five percent,

because you take I would say for ten miles square, yes, for ten miles

square it could average around eighty percent.

I: The population would be about eighty percent Indian.

LUM 196A

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R: That's right. For ten miles square here. Yes.

I: Brother Richardson, you here take a lot of pride in your Indian

ancestry and do you meet regularly at the HC4dI L./e lIndian Club?

Does it meet very often.

R: I don't know because I ain't been able to go.

I: Yes, I know you've been sick for some time, haven't you?

R: About eleven years.

I: Yes, sir.

R: Yes, that's why, you know why I've been making out, well, up until

about four years ago, but just like you see me this morning that's the

way I have to wash my face. I can't stand up and wash my face.

I: Yes, sir.

R: No.

I: Do you think our people back home are better off in some ways than

our people here? Do you think they made more progress maybe or they've

been luckier or more fortunate?

R: Yes, I feel that way.

I: Yes, sir.

R: I feel that way because I tell you what, our people, our people

through here,they were promised and pretend to do the thing and then

when doing time comes they won't do it.

I: They talk a lot, but they don't do a lot, is that right?

R: That's right. You see...

I: Well, I guess you find thatin any group, any kind of group.

R: You see you take -at the average person as saying what you talk

LUM 196A

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so much, saying what you practice is what you do...

I: Yes, sir.

R: ...and when doing time comes they's all back up.

I: If the going gets tough you don't have as many followers, do you?

I mean...

R: That's right.

I: And our people can be kind of quiet about their Indianess if they

want to because they, a good many of the people here or like the people

back home look pure Caucasian, don't they? And if they don't want to

say anything about their Indian ancestry than they certainly wouldn't

have to, would they?

R: No. No, but U k 'i "

I: We're getting away from that hiding it, though, aren't we?

R: And it's time.

I: Yes, sir.

R: It's time, because you see t'-' iQti m I couldn't go, so I sent

Setter up to the club. Now they fussed -) A/ej i /-erJ,

-it be all full of fault. Well, you take Robert. Now he was running

for county commissioner.

I: Was that Mr. Robert R. Richardson?

R: That's right. Well, now I know that him and myself and everybody

else makes mistakes and d things we ought not to do. But I asked

the whole crowd in which I reckon is about two thousand around here who

claim to belong to the club...

I: About, you've got a membership of about two thousand.

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R: I reckon so.

I: Yes, sir.

R: st we all back him up, and one part of them got mad with me be-

cause I even sent the letter up there. Well, now if we don't do the

best we can to put some of our folks in front they won't never get in

front. Well, now if we wanted to make any headway we going to have to

put some of our folks in some of these offices and places like that to

help us.

I: Right.

R: Don't you know (7-.. ./ C ?

I: Yes, sir.

R: Yes, you see, if the whole club number had //,*' .".T ahead and had

voted for him like I asked them to do, plenty of them in there are doing

just (pgrSC, 1 hc- Robert did, because they won't even attend the


I: Well, I'm kind of that way like I am about going to church. If you're

not going to attend and lend your way to it and do your part, then I

don't think we have any room to complain about thatpay it don't go right.

R: Why, well why you got anywhere to bring any complaint at?

I: True.

R: You ain't doing your part. So then you going to blame me for not

doing mine.

I: Well, maybe we'll get, we'll get away from that maybe one of these days.

Do you think we are getting away from it? Do you think the Indian people

are closer together than they were say ten years ago?

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R: Yes. Yes, I think, you know from what I hear and I get the one in

near about every year. I failed to get it this year. And I

find in there, you know, that the government is even backing us up more

than ever. Yes, and our local state...

I: Yes, sir.

R: ...is backing us up more than it's ever have.

I: Well, right now within the past, I believe about five years, we've

formed in this state the State Commission on Indian Affairs. I understand

one of our people from the area here is attached to that commission in

Raleigh. Is that true? Are they, do we, do you have somebody from this

area right here working with the commission? Some of our people?

R: I don't know, because I don't hardly ever go nowhere but here. No,

and let me tell you something, when, when you go to, trying to go by

your Bible, like you're supposed to, your company is scarce anyhow.

B: Yes, I guess so.

S: I don't guess nothing, I know it. 'Cause if you wants a crowd, now you

get out there with the world, and you'll have a crowd. But when you get

there in the place where you ought to be at...

B: If you live a good Christian life you won't have as many people or


S: No, no your company is scarce. But like I told Brother Bartow this

morning, you know, you see the Bible declares that no liar can enter God's

kingdom. That's what it says. And then I get out here and go and sign a

paper that I am Black, knowing that I'm lying because I know I ain't black,

then I ain't got no inheritance in His kingdom. That's what He said. Yes,

so therefore, you know...

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I: You're not going to sign any paper like that, are you?

R: Sir?

I: You're not going to sign any paper like that, are you?

R: Not in forty-five years and I can prove that. Yes, 'cause I can

prove that by my driving license.

I: But what is, are there some people who say, "Well, we might as well

give up and just go ahead and go with the other races and just forget

about being Indian," or do we have people like that here?

R: Well, We have some ei to be some good leading folk.

And they say it's a sin.

I: To make a distinction between the races?

R: That's right.

I: I see.

R: Yes, I had one, the leading of a church tell me, he said,

"You're going to hell for going off and founding that church. So I...

I: Why, because it's an Indian church?

R: That's right. So I told him, "Well, now let me tell you something."

I said, "Don't you be there now and open the door for me when I get there."

That's right.

I: AYou mean to make it, don't you?

R: Huh?

I: You mean to be there, don't you?

R: Oh, yes. Oh, yes.

I: Well, I'm, I'm sure that's your testimony, and I wanted to ask you about

the church. How is the church getting along?

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R: Well, now I'm going to have to tell you the truth. You see, like

I told you I've not been able to attend the church.

I: I see.

R: And I don't know how, 'cause I ain't been up there but once this year.

And I'll tell you this after a while. I won't tell you this now because...

I: O.K. If you'd rather not we won't talk about hat right now then,

O.K.? We were talk yesterday with, Brother T chardson and I

were talking about child rearing and the way children are brought up

in the Indian community. Do you think that there's been much change in

the way children are brought up now in.Indian communities and the way

they're disciplined? I was remarking on how beautiful the manners of

our Indian children were in this part of the state. Do you think that

there's been much change in that or do the parents, or their discipline

is about like it used to be? Our old, well among our older people or

do you think we're softening up or changing in any way?

R: No, I don't think I would, I don't think the children are like they

have been. Oh, no.

I: You think they're better off or worse off?

R: 'Cause a good part of them stands up for what he is. Makes no difference,

you know, by the school being integrated, it don't make that much dif-

ference with the children. No, 'cause they don't get back off of the

I: How did our people feel in this area or this part of the state, did

they feel awfully bad when they had to give up their own school?

R: Some of them did and some of them didn't and our folks was to blame

for it.

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I: How was this, Brother Richardson?

R: Well, the night when they had the folks from Washington up there

to interview the schools, well, they had several of the good natured

white people from around here, they come. And I had a talk with a

whole, as many as I could outside that night. I told them, I said,

"Now let me tell you something before we go in there for the meeting."

I said, "They're going to let our children go the school with the

white folk." I said, "Don't go in there and make a mistake." I said,

"It makes no difference how good they make, they're getting along."

I said, "The white folk got their school. The dark folk got their school.

We paying tax." I said, "We are supposed to have our school." They're

telling me that they're making out fine going to school with the white

people. But that ain't the question. We're paying our tax, we want

our schools. No, they went right in there and they talked about how

good they was getting along together in the white school. Well, that

put our school clean out, don't you know it did? Why didn't they advo-

cate for our school to continue on, because we're paying tax, the black

man is paying tax, and the white man is paying tax. If they can have

their schools, how come we can't have ours?

I: I wonder why it is that, have you ever thought about this, Brother

Richardson, why is it that the Black man wanted to get into white schools,

but Indian people almost universally don't want to get into white schools?

R: Well, you ought to know.

I: Yes, I want your opinion, though. I've got my opinion, but would you

like, would you like to tell me what you think about it? How you feel

about it?

R: Well, he wants to be white, and the next thing, you see, he thinks

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it's a great thing to be piled up there with the white people, white

children, and it's a little thing, you know. It's not no great thing

to be piled up with them, because you know good and well there's very

few white people that love even many of us, much less the black man.

Don't you know it is? All he cares about is what he gets out of it.

I: Do you think that this, do you think they'll ever change? Do you

think they'll be a change of attitude on both sides ever? Or do you

think it's going to be worse or better?

R: I don't think it's going to get no better. No, I don't think it's

going to get no better, because I tell you, people today has got to

the place that they don't care very much about their self. When you

get to that place then you don't care nothing about me. No, when you

care anything about your race or your denomination you'll stick to it

and try to support it. But that's done away with now. No.

I: How about, Brother Richardson, let's talk for a minute about in

this part of the country. Is it easy for an Indian person to earn a

living, to get out and get a job, or do they have to go out and work

or what?

R: Well, that's one thing what I was just telling you a while ago

about when Roberts was running for county commissioner. If our folks

would have supported him he might have got it.

I: How did he make out? I mean how did the vote go when he ran for

county commissioner? Did he get a good, did he get a good vote?

R: Oh, yes. He got a good portion. But you see, a good part of our

folks that belonged to the club wouldn't vote for him. And therefore,

you see, if we can, could get somebody in an office like that, you see,

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it would help us to get more of our own people jobs in different offices.

But you take as a whole throughout this whole area, if you go into a

bank, doctors office or whatnot, if you see anybody in there besides

a white person it's a dark person. And whats the matter, we won't

support our club like we ought to, due there would be some of our folks

in there. But it ain't.

I: Everybody ought to be represented, oughten they?

R: That's it.

I: But they're not.

R: Well, if we had somebody to represent us, don't you know. But as

long as we drag around here and won't support each other...

I: Right.

R: ...then it don't leave us no leadership nowhere. Because once,you

see, just like the people that got in for commissioner, that was again

more power, you know, for to help somebody else. They got him another

job in another office. Don't you know it was?

I: Yes, sir. Let me ask you this, do our people here get out and vote

pretty good? Or do you have to kind of coax them or how do they turn out?

How do they respond to the beauty of voting? This is what I wanted to

ask you.

R: (Am,_

I: Will they get out and vote?

R: 6J ) -. But the trouble of it is just about everyone of

them vote the wrong way.

I: Is that right?

R: That's right. Yes, and you know, a good part of our folk before he'll

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vote for one of our club members he'll vote for the blackest man there

is in this country. And I know that. And some of them hire them to


I: Do you think there's some vote selling going on or something like


R: Yes. Yes, plenty of it.

I: Is that a fact.

R: Two different ones come in and told me that a man bought five cases

of wine and he give it to folks to vote his way.

I: Five cases of wine.

R: To vote his way, and then he hauled them over there and carried them

back home.

I: That's bad, isn't it?

R: Well, I'm not going to do that.

I: No, not I.

R: No. No.4 114/)S4' I .Ayou know, I picked some of the folks and

find out which way they'd gone and what not. But, you see, when I go

in there to vote they don't know what I do.

I: That's right. That's a good point. I'm glad you brought that out,

because a man goes in that booth to vote he can have a secret vote if

he wants to.

R: That's right.

I: If he doesn't tell anybody who he votes for there's no law in the

land that can compell him to tell who he voted for because he's got

the secret vote.

R: That's it.

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I: But usually people want to find out who he voted for, don't they?

R: Yes, but I ain't, they ain't going to find out who I vote for.

That's none of their business.

I: That's right.

R: No, that's none of their business. No, sir. No, I went over there

that day and it was divided up. Yes, sir. Down on this end down there

there was the colored folks down on that end down there talking, and

there was more of our folks down there than there was up on this end

up here.

I: Is that right?

R: That's right. That's what I call a man cutting his throat his own

self. Yes. Yes, you see that's our trouble. Our folks won't stick

together. We won't stand because I'm scared you'll get a little bit

further than I am, and somebody has got to get in front.

I: Somebody has got to do the leading.

R: Oh, yes. It makes no difference what the flock is, there's got

to be a leader there somewhere.

I: Yes, sir.

R: Everybody can't be a leader. who going

I: That's true. We can end up having too many chiefs and not enough

Indians, can't we?

R: That's right. That's right. Yes.

I: Well, I certainly hope things improve, and I wanted to ask you about,

for example, in this part of the country the urban development, has it

reached this area? Do-you have a housing project yet?

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R: No.

I: Do you think there's a possibility that you might get a housing

project like this. You know, in Pembroke now we have two. We have a

housing project going and we have a, I know we have over a hundred

apartments. And those apartments rent for whatever you're able to

pay, and it seems to me this would be a blessing to our people here.

Has anybody worked at that and tried to get them in here

R: Not that I know of. No, not that I know of. Yes, that would

be a great help if could do it.

I: Well, that's something that we might, you might look into, because

it just might work out. If somebody would look into that and work at

it you just might get a housing project in here, in this community. It

would take care of a lot of low income families, and we have a lot of

poor people among our people here and among our people back home, and

they need the help.

R: Yes.

I: They need this help. And these are really fine projects. They are

designed to help the poor people. And I hope that somebody will get

something like this going, because if our people can do it back home then

it can be done here. But back home our people went for a long time before

they ever looked into it and before they ever investigated it. But now

we've got two large projects and two large units of buildings that help

a lot of people. If you've got, if you've got a housing development that

will take care of say a hundred families, that would be a blessing in

your community, wouldn't it?

R: Yes.

LUM 196A

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I: And that's there for us, and it's there for any community, not just

an Indian community, it's there for the people that need it in the

urban area, and it might be that you qualify, you know. It never

hurts to look into something and to check on it.
R: Well, could you reW COtx
SWell, could youget one of them through this com-

munity under our organization?

I: Well, it's possible. Anything, you never know till you really try.

Back home they, if you can't do it under one organization maybe you

could do it under another and in some other way. Don't just depend

on one. If you, if you get a 'no' here, try over there and try some-

thing different, some other different approach. You know, they, you

know how the federal government is. They won't make any distinction

on the basis of race.

R: No.

I: But when you got a solid community -fi-of one kind of people, then

that people can get their projects going,and it's a community project,

and it serves the community not on a racial basis but on a community


R: Yes.

I: So this is another, this is the kind of approach we use back home, and

this is one organization we have like this is L.R.D.A., the Lumbee

Regional Development Association. And we're getting, we've got a

good many programs going, some educational programs. And I think it's

working beautifully. But that's one thing that it won't work on if you

just go there and say, "Well, because I'm an Indian..." It doesn't

make any difference whether you're Indian or not in this particular

LUM 196A

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instance, but you might be able to swing on the basis of your

community, as a community project.

R: Yes.

I: And, but if you've got a community project where there are mostly

Indians, then you're going to have a mostly Indian project, you


R: Yes.

I: I certainly hope that you'll go ahead, and you've made good progress
A e
so far, and it seems to me that housing is one, one of your big needs.

R: Yes.

I: You might get a project in Hollister. Have you any idea how large

Hollister is? About three thousand would you say?

R: I doubt whether there are that many in there now. Yes, I doubt whether...

I: Well, Hollister would probably qualify as an urban development area,

because this is, we've got our projects in Pembroke, and the people

who wanted to move in they could move into these projects. See, I

know people who would pay as little as ten dollars a month, you know,

for those. It depends, the rent you pay is based on how much money

you earned.

R: Yes.

I: Yes, sir. And I think they charge you about twenty percent-#-of

what you make, you know...

R: Yes.

I: ...or some percentage. I'm not sure of the actual...

LUM 196A

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I: On the other side of this tape we were talking about the possibility

of urban development in this area, and I was saying I hope this is

something you'll look into. Is there anything you'd like to say?

For example, if you had the power, Brother Richardson, to change

anything about your county at all, if you had this power what would

you rather see changed than anything else?

R: I can't hardly hear nothing, and part of the time I don't understand.

I: I see. I was asking you a theoretical question like this, if you

had the power to change anything about your community, if you could

change anything, you know we don't have that power, but if you

did what would you rather see changed than anything else?

R: Well, I tell you one thing, the first thing I'd like to see I'd

like to see our folks change the way that they're living.

I: Their way of living. Yes, sir.

R: And the second thing is that our people would understand each other

and try to come more together because you see I got a

thing with my own kinfolk. And they don't even like me because I

left the church up here and moved up yonder to the other church, and

that didn't make, that didn't change me at all.

I: You're still the same person, aren't you?

R: That's right.

I: Maybe a little bit better off for having done that.

R: Well, yes, I am in a sense because folks talked about me so much I
studied my bible to find out whether I was right or wrong. And

LUM 196A

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that did tell me I had no particular church to belong to except

the church of God.

I: Brother Richardson, are there people who would like to see the In-

dian community just wiped out and just have two races and forget

about the third race? You think there are people like that in your


R: Plenty of them. Plenty of them would be glad.

I: And they think this extra race, so to speak, is sort of a nuisance

or it gives them a little something extra they have to do that they

wouldn't have had to do if they didn't have it, is that it?

R: No, you take as a whole a good many of our own people, if they could

see it all done away with they would be so glad of it.

I: Some of our own people.

R: That's right. That's right. But there's one thing I hope. I hope

it don't happen.

I: Yes.

R: Yes, I hope it don't happen.

I: Well, there are always going to be Indian people here wheever likes
tAwoe, Vcr
it or doesn't like it.

R: They're going to be here.

I: They're going to be here.

R: Just as long as time lasts.

I: Right.

R: Yes, just as long as time lasts they're going to be here.

I: Do you think you get good cooperation from the people back home? Do

they help in any way?

LUM 196A

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R: Well, I reckon so. But like I told you, you know, you see I

ain't been.

I: You see, I ran out of tape there after asking you that question.

R: Yes.

I: I missed that.

R: Yes, because I ain't been able to go up to the club meeting house.

I: I see.

R: No, and I don't, I can't tell you, 'cause you see I am protecting


I: Right.

R: 'Cause I don't want to...

I: And what you say you want it to be that, don't you?

R: That's right. That's right, because you see if I go and tell the

thing and that be wrong, I've got it to pay for.

I: Right.

R: And whatever I say I want to tell it for to be the truth.

I: Yes, sir. I was interviewing a little twelve year old Indian girl

this morning, and one of the things she said, and what you just said

reminded me, one of the things she said is that if I tell somebody

I'm going to do something and make them a promise, then I'm going

to do that. I'm going to keep my promises. That was a twelve year

old Indian girl talking. And if she feels this way, don't you suppose

that's characteristic of all our Indian people? They believe in

keeping their promises.

R: That's right. That's what.

I: Yes, sir.

LUM 196A

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R: Yes.

I: Well, is there anything else you'd like to add before we close this

interview? I've enjoyed it very much and appreciate your giving it

to me.

R: Yes, I tell you, since our people being the first people here in this

country I feel like that we deserve our rights here in this country

to our portion, because we was the first people was in this country.

And then the white people, they come here and kill our folks and

drove them out, and then went and got these other folks and brought

them here and worked them as slaves. And now they have gone ahead

and put them in front of,us. And I don't feel like we're justified.

I: Do you, in other words do you think the black man gets better treat-

ment than the Indian man?

R: Well, if you notice here where we go like I foresaid, doctor's office,

hospital and places, that's what who we see there. Well, then you

see, our people is not allowed that privilege due a good part of our

people will be there just like the black person is. Why, you see

I've hold the black man no disrespect at all.

I: Right.

R: Because we all one if we are in Christ.

I: Right.

R: Yes, it makes no difference what our color is. We are in Christ we

are just one. Yes. But our folks being the first folks here I don't

feel that we're been treated fair, because they were here first. We

ought to have some say-so now, and ought to have some authority.

I: Yes, sir.

LUM 196A

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R: Don't you feel that way?

I: Yes, sir. Yes, sir, I certainly do.

R: Yes.

I: Well, I certainly want to thank you. I want, I've enjoyed this

interview and you were very kind to give it to us, and I want to

say that I've enjoyed the Indian hospitality in your home and

I want to thank you for that, too, because our people are a wonder-

ful people, aren't they? They're hospitible and they're kind to

each other. They're kind even to strangers, aren't they? You

find them that way.

R: That's right. That's right.

I: And I love them. I love our people.

R: L4 sir. We're, I tell you, if you, we have plenty of them

that don't even belong to the church that are good to you. But

the thing of it is, we have so many around here that is not even

as good that been belonging to the church, will not do you the favor

that one will that has never been born again. Yes, that's right.

I: It's hard to beat that good old Indian hospitality and neighborliness,

isn't it?

R: That's right.

I: They're friendly.

R: That's right. That's right.

I: If we can help our brother we'll do it, won't we?

R: That's what we are supposed to do. Yes, and that's what we will do

if we had been born again. But now there's plenty of them belonging

to the church that has never been born again. Oh, no.

LUM 196A

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I: In the HJI0oWAk Indian community, Brother Richardson, were, in

our church work is mostly that of, I'm sorry, is our church, is our

church work, is it mostly Baptist? I can't talk today for some

reason. Is it mostly Baptist? Missionary Baptist?

R: Yes.

I: Yes, sir.

R: Yes.

I: And we have two churches now.

R: Yes, up here.

I: We have three churches instead of two. Is that right?

R: Two up here.

I: Aed some of our people are in Halifax county, and some of them are

in Warren County and some of them are in Nash County.

R: That's right.

I: Are there any of them in any of the other nearby counties that you

know of?

R: Ma-th I know of. No. No, I c I don't know of.

I: Yes, sir. Well, thank you very much. I've enjoyed it and you are

very kind.

R: Yes, well, you know, I'm glad to see any of y'all when y'all come.

I: We appreciate that, Brother. We appreciate that. You're sweet.

R: And I...

I: Our people are sweet where ever you find them, aren't they?

R: I have to, I'm just like everybody else in the world. Everybody.

You know how special folks, we all are like that. Any of y'all come

LUM 196A

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up here I enjoy you.

I: Well, we enjoy you, too, and we want you to come anytime you can.

Any of our people from this area we want them to come, too, and

feel at home.

R: Well, I feel I'd be treated that way.

I: Yes, sir.

R: But thatS r naover yonder, I can't forget him, because...

U: Yes, I loves you, too.

R: ...the rest of them they treats me nice, you know. All of them do,

and I love them all.

I: You love Brother Bartow Locklear, don't you?

R: Yes, sir, more so because looks like he cares more for me.

I: He come to see you, won't he?

R: He hardly ever comes. He don't come to see me. Plenty of times
the rest of them come, somebody come and tell me such and such one

day was up here Saturday night, went back east. Well, I said now
P* r+ t I.# CtcA re-d
here ____ time, everybody was to go.out the door.

And, "Oh, yes, they come yesterday. Went back yesterday evening."

I ain't seen him. He don't come many times. I don't see him, cause

he comes -(r--

,t: Yes, I always try to make it a habit if I can get here. You know,

a lot of times you're with the other man, you hate to ask him for

his car to go to see somebody. But when it's been a long time I

tell him I want to take the truck and run and see Brother Willie

/ tCArft r y I like to get around to see how he's getting along.

'Cause things going to always be like that, Brother-Wii *

R: Yes.

LUM 196A

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1-f: We ain't going to always beAtogether.

R: No.

14: We're going to be across the river together.

R: That's right.

L A: There's going to be a place for us.
R: Yes.

S: Do the little things God would have us to do. So forever we'll

be together across the river.

R: Yes.

0: The parted never have to part .

R: That's right. Yes.

l 8: And I'm looking for that. If I never see home again I'm glad to

be with my friends just across the river.

R: Yes.

0 *: Where we'll never part no more.

R: That's right. Yes.

I: Now that was an exchange between Brother, Reverend Bartow Locklear

and Mr. Richardson. They're ver warm friends and Christians together

and Christian workers, and we all love each other very much.

R: Yes. I tell you, a person living here in this world now i, Si C

the way$before, and don't feel like, you know, that he is strong

enough to make it in he's in a bad condition. Yes. I tell some

of them most anytime, you know, Sometime I have some

of them come in and we talk the matter over, you know. And I tell

them tht you ain't got the faith enough to believe that he would

LUM 196A

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take you, you was in a bad condition. But now if you got faith

enough to believe that he will save you in the last hour, now if

you got that faith in him you is alright anyhow. Yes, 'cause you

got faith in him he'll do what he promised. And if you got faith

in him you'll do the best you can to do what he asked you to do.

That's right. You see, I've studied my Bible, but I don't study

it like I have 'cause my eyes is failed me so bad. But I have

studied it for thirty-five years. That's right. Yes, I had, I've

been teaching sunday school for thirty-four years and I've found

what you got to do, live what you teach. Yes, live what you teach.

Don't go and tell me one thing and let me see you doing another one.

No,'cause my teaching will be in vain. Yes.

I: Thank you so very much.

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