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Monologue with Adolf Dial, July 15, 1971

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Title:
Monologue with Adolf Dial, July 15, 1971
Creator:
Dial, Adolf ( Speaker )
Publication Date:
Language:
English

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Subjects / Keywords:
Seminole Oral History Collection ( local )
Spatial Coverage:
Lumbee County (Fla.)

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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

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
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Made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.
Resource Identifier:
LUM 233 ( SPOHP IDENTIFIER )

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LUM 233A F, des

MONOLOGUE: Adolph Dial with Miscellaneous Commentary pwh

DATE: July 15, 1971



D: Mr. John L. Carter is now gone. One story he told me early in the

day, we didn't put on tape, was that one family who wanted to enter

the Blue School at one time in the Burnt Swamp Community, there was

some question about blood, so rather than let them enter the school

they closed the school down for a year. At this time and of course

for many years, the late 19th century, and also in the 20th century,

the Indian people, many of them were very particular about just who

entered the schools, for the simple reason that they at one time felt

that they had to fight hard not to be swallowed up in the black

community, that is, in this period from 1835 to 1887, and working

so hard to get their own schools going in 1887, of course there

were subscription schools prior to that time. Some academies, but

working hard to gt their schools going, after 1887, they wanted to

make sure that they stayed as pure Indian as possible. As a matter

of fact, it was in the 1920's that one group of people moved into

the area, and coming from out of state, which involved a lawsuit, and

at this particular time, a forced school systemwas established, known

as the Independence. Also, the state of North Carolina

established, or by legislation passed a law creating a legislative

committee, or as someone called it, a geneological committee, who

would decide on all families, who would enter any of the Indian schools

in Robeson County. In other words, if there was a question of blood,

the case might wind up before this committee, and the members of this

committee were appointed by ... once the governor appointed the members






2 pwh




of this committee, every replacement for committee members were named

by the committee itself. It was somewhat a perpetual committee, and

this committee operated for many years, oh, perhaps from somewhere

around the '20's, the late '20's, I will check this out later, up

until the Brown Decision 1954. After the Brown Decision, in 1954,

I never did hear of the committee anymore. The committee seemed to

die a natural death in its own way. Now that the schools are integrated,

we find the present lawsuit of course, the Indians have a suit in

federal court. They claim that they are not really concerned too

much with the schools being integrated, bit they are concerned about

the gerrymanderingof the lines. They did get a dirty deal, on the

lines of say, Red Springs, the boundary lines of Red Springs City

Schools, which comes right up to Oxendine Schoolis campus. This,

they felt, was very unfair. It's another example of minority groups

always fighting an uphill battle, and often times losing. You might

say the same situation, as of this date, it's true with getting

candidates selected from the Indian race. Now, I have a brother,

Herman Dial, who is a county commissioner, but he was elected from the

Pembroke -Maxton district, and this is a predominantly Indian district.

A quite a few blacks in the district also. Now, it is true that no

no Lumbee Indian as of today, has ever won a county election if in

competition with a white candidate. This gives,this gives an example

of difficulty involved in getting Indians elected. Today I met with

Mr. Hammonds, a black man from Washington, D.C., who came

down to inspect our project. Our project was, is known as Lumbee Indian

Caucus. This is a project funded by the Commission on Race and Religion

of the United Methodist Church. We are funded in the amount of $20,000.00.

We don't have the money yet, but he saidthat it would be here no later





3 pwh



thaniSeptember the first, in the amount of $20,000.00, for voter

registration and civic education. We would hope that out of this,

would come the thing of candidates, not candidates, but people,

learning about the candidates, knowing about government, making up

their own minds, and voting their own conviction. It is not at all

the purpose of the Lumbee Indian Caucus, to try to dictate to anyone.

But we would like to see the principles of democracy involved. We

would like to see Lumbee Indians have an opportunity, example, we

have never sent a Lumbee Indian to the North Carolina House. Mr.

Weldon Lowry tried it once, and before Mr. Weldon Lowry, the Reverend

D.F. Lowry tried it. They both failed. I'm thinking about trying it

in '72. It's a difficult task. I have to have a lot of support if I

decide to run, and even more support to get elected. I have to give

it serious consideration. I feel it a duty if I can do some good.

Speaking of politics, the Indians love their politics, and they fight

to keep, they play real hard. Of course, like any other minority, often

times when an election comes, the majority money comes in, and this

kind of thing is very difficult to fight. If you could keep money out

of elections onthe local level, I do feel that you could have a much

better campaign. When people need money, often times they sell them-

selves out, that is, they will vote sometimes for candidates who have

the money. Of course, this is not only true of Lumbee Indians, it's

true with blacks, and it's true among the whites, too. Even up on a

high level. As a matter of fact, the whites do more of it than anyone

else, because they have so much money and oftentimes they are tempted

by big positions that they can get with more money involved, and of

course, Itm day'ing-that human beings are human beings, in this respect,

really, all of them are about alike. Oftentimes the real pioneer, in

politics in thepolitical arena among Lumbee Indians is crucified. He





4 pwh





has to give up a lot. He has to sacrifice himself. He has to really

get out and preach for what he believes to be right, and if he's

convinced that he ought to do this, then he does it, then sometimes

his own people will crucify him. Uncle Tontos, or Red Apples will

always say, "Well, he's doing te wrong thing.Now is not the time.

This is not the time. Let's wait a while. I know he's right, but

this is not the way to do it." And you fight these battles constantly,

one after another. Changing subjects, I want to say something about

the recent paradethat was heldin Pemhbke, July the Fourth celebration.

Well, it was something more than a parade, it was wonderful, it was

grand! And there were floats with Indians, headdresses, and so forth,

and the Baltimore Indians, under the direction of Herbert Locklear,

who heads the American Indian Center in Baltimoe. Came down and sang,

gave us some dances, and there were craft shows, and so forth. But the

point I want to ake is some of my friends said to me, "Well, Adolph,

What do you think about this? Do you think it's a good thing?" I

said, "Yes, I think it's grand. It teaches Indian awareness. It helps

people with an identity. It helps to bring the boys back home from

Baltimore to and so forth, andlet them meet once again and

have a good time." One fella says, "Yes, btt our history was not a

history was not a history of We,we've always had the white

man's colony, I mean, we've always had the white man's habits and

so forth. We're descendants of John White's lost Colony. We never did

do those Indian things." I replied, "Well, I really don't know what

the Indians in the area did a couple of thousand years ago, that would

be rather difficult to say." I suppose today it's one of individual

choice. If he feels that he wants to wear headdress, fine, if he wants

to do the snake dance or the rain dance, fine. But if he wants to be





5 pwh




& white man, perhaps at this stage of the game, the best thing for

him to do is to move from Robeson County. Because as long as he's here,

even with treatment being rather good today, he's going to fight

certain obstacles. This business of an Indian feeling that, that

he has an equal opportunity here, it's rather difficult to feel this

way. It's not quite an equal opportunity as of this minute. The road's

hard, it's a difficult hill. I might also add that really the best

leadership needs to stay at home. I need to work, and I have a job

to do. And the people who have made perhaps the greatest contribution,

are those that decided to stay here and fight the battle. Oh, pioneers,

must not be overlooked, too. Men like W.L. Moore, the first principal

of Pembroke State University. And Preston Locklear, and John Dial, who

were on the original board. And many others. Special significance will

always go to Henry Barry Lowry. I, I want to make this one observation

too. I remember when I was a boy, that people who seemed to be out-

standing people anong the whites who were tk leaders, and I felt that

I was nobody and they were something, today some of those same people

are still around, and I can see Indians by the hundreds, Lumbee Indians

by many, many in the same area, and __ Pembroke, who now have

surpassed the white wants to be it. The best of the

leadership today, the best trained mind, the best from an economic

standpoint in the Pembroke community, I would have to say belong to

the Lumbees. Yet, you still have some who feel that white is white, and

the white fella feels ,"Well, I'm white, andl'm just a little bit better."

I recall somewhere around 1958 or '59, a few incidents,ghing over

to the FairmontL to a square dance, and I was in the line, and the

policeman says, "You can't go in." And I believe this has been told

once on this tape. He says, "Are you from PeTroke?" "Yes," I said.





6 pwh




"Are you Indian?" I replied, "Yes." "Well, you can't go in." This

goes to show that it's not always the looks, that it's just a name,

it's a state of mind that people have. It's a state of mind that

needs rejuvenating, it's a state of mind that needs some training.

It's a state of mind that needs to get rid of prejudice. It's a

state of mind that needs some Christianity. It's a state of mind

that needs many things. In spite of all the difficulty involved,

I think today, 1971, July 15, the Lumbee Indians can say that we,

we are doing rather good. We have Thomas Oxendine, who is

head of the, who is director of Public Relations of the BIA in

Washington, D.C. Or we have Sehierbach who is director of American

Indian Education in Washington, D.C. Or we have Thomas Oxen---or

we have Brantley Blue, who is the first Indian ever to sit on the

Indian Claims Commission. And Pernell Sweat in Washington, D.C.,

who has a good position, who works with Adult Basic Education. I

find that Lumbees, if given an opportunity, will succeed the hard

workers. They, if they have the the zeal they seem to be

far better than the average to fight obstacles. Prior to World War

II, no...prior to World War I, very few of the people had ever been

away. Perhaps less than a dozen had married into the white race, and

coming of World War II, many, many dozens married into the white

race, and today in some families, all of them are married into the

white race.

[New recording....July 19, 1971]

This is July 19, 1971, Adolph Dial speaking. I want to report a word

or two about the school breaking. What we would call school closing,

but in this area, we, they were known as school brehkings. This was at

the last day of school, commencement exercise,lots of hot dog stands,





7 pwh




ice cream, and so forth, and people looked forward, they would drop

the mule and plow, they would drop their work to come to the school

breaking. And oftentimes, it was, it was a big time, and lots of

fights, lots of taking place, sometimes a killing, some-

times someone cut with a knife, and this goes to show there was

not very little to do, as far as social get-together. Too,when they

would have what we call a pond Lots of people would take

their family, and go down to the pond, catch fish, cook fish, and a

few drunks would be around, a few fights would take place, oncd

again showing that there was very little to do. Woodsawings too

was a get-together. People would meet and saw wood, several families

would gather and bring their saws, and sharpen them up, and during

the day, the logs would be prepared, that is, trees cut and on the

ground, ready to saw, and that night, women would have a big feed

for the boys and they would go out and cut wood for two or three

hours, enough to do the whole year, and then come in and eat

chicken and cake, and have a good time. It was a case of it

was really cooperative effort...





Full Text

PAGE 1

JR fl N Sci( I f3 e D .3 .2 ~' '(p LUM 233A P, H '1, de."'--' MONOLOGUE: Adolph. Dial with. Miscellaneous Commentary DATE: July 15, 1971 D: Mr. John L. Carter is now gone. One story h.e told me early in the day, we didn't put on tape, was that one family who wanted to enter the Blue School at one time in the Burnt Swamp Community, there was some question about blood, so rather than let them enter the school they closed the school down for a year. At th.is time and of course for many years, the late 19th. century, and also in tiie 2OtIL century, the Indian people, many of them were very particular about just who entered the schools, for the simple reason that they at one time felt that they had to fight hard not to be swallowed up in the Black community, that is, in this period from 1835 to 1887, and working so hard to get their own schools going in 1887, of course there were subscription schools prior to that time. Some academies, but working hard to ~t their schools going, after 1887, they wanted to make sure that they stayed as pure Indian as possible. As a matter of fact, it was in the 192O 1 s that one group of people moved into the area, and coming from out of state, which involved a lawsuit, and at th.is particular time, a forced school systemwas established, known as the Independence. Also, the state of NortILCarolina ---pwh established, or by legislation passed a law creating a legislative committee, or as someone called it, a genealogical co1IID1ittee, who would decide on all families, who would enter any of the Indian schools in Robeson County. In other words, if there was a question of blood, the case migh.t wind up before this committee., and the members of th.is committee were appointed by once the governor appointed tfi.e members

PAGE 2

2 pwh of this committee, every replacement for committee members were named by the committee itself. It was somewhat a perpetual committee, and this committee operated for many years, oh., perhaps from somewhere around the '2O's, th.elate '2O's, I will check tliis out later, up until the Brown Decision 1954. After the Bro'W'll Dec:ts!.on, in 1954, I never dd'.d hear of the committee anymore. The committee seemed to die a natural death in its own way. Now that the. scli.ools are integrated, we find the present lawsuit of course, the. Indians have a suit in federal court. They claim that they are not really concerned too much with the schools being integrated, bu: they are concerned about the gerrymanderingof the lines. They did get a dirty deal, on the lines of say, Red Springs, the boundary lines of Red Springs City Schools, which comes right up to Oxendine School-\s campus. This, they felt, was very unfair. It's another example of minority groups always fighting an uphill battle, and often times losing. You might say the same situation, as of this date, it's true with. getting candidates selected from the Indian race. Now, I have a brother, Herman Dial, who is a county commissioner, but he was elected from the Pembroke -Maxton district, and this is a predominantly Indian district. A quite a few blacks in the district also. Now, it is true that no no Lumbee Indian as of today, has ever won a county election if in competition with a white candidate. This give.s,thi~ gbes an example of difficulty invmlved in getting Indians elected. Today I met with Mr. ______ Hammonds, a black man from Washington, D.C., who came down to inspect our project. Our project was, is known as Lumbee Indian Caucus. This is a project funded by the Commission on Race and Religion of the United Methodist Church. We are funded in the amount of $20,000.00. We don't have the money yet, but he saidthat it would he here no later

PAGE 3

3 pwh than;September the first, in the amount of $20,000.00, for voter registration and civic education. We would.hope that out of this, would come the thing of candidates, not candidates, but people, learning about the candidates, knowing about government, making up t~ir own minds, and voting their own conviction. It is not at all the purpose of the Lumbee Indian Caucus, to try to dictate to anyone. But we would like to see the principles of democracy involved. We would like to see Lumbee Indians have an opportunity, example, we have never sent a Lumbee Indian to the North. Carolina House. Mr. Weldon Lowry rried it once, and before Mr. Weldon Lowry, the Reverend D.F. Lowry tried it. They both failed. I'm thinking about trying it in '72. It's a difficult task. I have to have a lot of support if I decide to run, and even more support to get elected. I nave to give it serious consideration. I feel it a duty if I can do some. good. Speaking of politics, the Indians love their politics, and they fight to keep, they play real hard. Of course, like any other :minority, often times when an election comes, the majority money comes in, and this kind of thing is very difficult to fight. If you could keep money out of elections on the local level, I do feel that you could have. a much better campaign. When people need money, often times they sell them selves out, th.at is, they will vote sometinls for candidates who have the money. Of course, this is not only true of Lumbee Indians, it's true with blacks, and it's true among the whites, too. Even up on a high level. As a matter of fact, the whites do more of it than anyone else, because they have so much money and oftentimes they are tempted by big positions that they can get with. more money involved, and of course, I'm saying~fhat human beings are. human beings, in tlii.s respect, re.ally, all of them are about alike. Oftentimes the real pioneer, in politics in thep:>litical arena among Lumbee Indians is crucified. He

PAGE 4

4 has to give up a lot. He has to sacrifice himself. He has to really get out and preach for what he believes to be right, and if he's convinced that he ought to do this, then he does it, then sometimes his own people will crucify him. Uncle Tontos, or Red Apples will always say, ''Well, he's doing 'Ile. wrong thing.Now is not the time. This is not the time. Let's wait a while. I know he's right, but pwh this is not the way to do it." And you fight these battles constantly, one after another. Changing subjects, I want to saysomet4ng about the recent parade that was heldin Pemhoke, July the Fourth celebration. Well, it was something more than a parade, it was wonderful, it was grand! And there were floats with Indians, headdresses, and so forth, and the Baltimore Indians, under the directim of Herbert Locllear, who heads the American Indian Center in Bal timo:e. Crone down and sang, gave us some dances, and there were craft shows, and so forth. But the point I want to nak.e is some of my friends said to me, "Well, Adolph, What do you think about this? Do you think it's a good thing?" I said, ''Yes, I think it's grand. It teaches Indian awareness. It helps people with an identity. It helps to bring the boys back home from Bal ti.more to _____ and so forth, andlet them meet once aga::tn and have a good time." One fella says, "Yes, but our history was not a history was not a history of _____ We,we 've always had the wiiite man's colony, I mean, we.'ve always had the white man's habits and so forth. We're descendants of John White's lost Colony. We never did do those Indian things." I replied, ''Well, I really don't know what the Indians in the area did a couple of thousand years ago, that would be rather difficult to say. 11 I suppose today it's one of individual choice. If he feels that he wants to wear headdress, fine, if he wants to do the snake dance or the rain dance, fine. But if he wants to be

PAGE 5

5 pwh a white man, perhaps at this stage of the game, the best thing for him to do is to move from Roueson County. Because as long as he's here, even with treatment being rather good today, he's going to fight certain obstacles. This business of an Indian feeling that, that he has an equal cpportunity here, it's rather difficult to feel this way. It's not quite an equal opportunity as of this minute. The road's hard, it's a difficult hill. I might also add that really the best leadership needs to stay at home. I need to work, and I have a job to do. And the people who have made perhaps the. greatest contribution, are those that decided to stay here and fi'gh:t the battle. Oh, pioneers, must not be overlooked, too. Men like W.L. Moore, the. first principal of Pembroke State University. And Preston Locklear, and John Dial, who were on the original board. And many others. Speiial significance will always go to Henry Barry Lowry. I, I want to make this one observation too. I remember when I was a boy, that people who seemed to. be out standing people anong the whites who were th. leaders, and I felt that I was nobody and they were something, today some of those same people are still around, and I can see Indians by the hundreds, Lumbee Indians by many, many in the same area, and _______ Pembroke, who now have surpassed the white ________ wants to be it. The best of the leadership today, the best trained mind, the best from an economic standpoint in the Pembroke connnunity, I would have to say belong to the Lumbees. Yet, you still have some who feel that white is wliite, and the white fella feels , "Well, I'm white, andI 1 m just a little bit better." I recall somewhere around 1958 or 1 59, a few incidents,gming over to the FairmontL to a square dance, and I was in the line, and the policeman says, ''You can't go in." And I believe this has been told once on this tape. He says, "Are you from Pemroke?" "Yes," I said.

PAGE 6

6 pwh "Are you Indian?" I replied, "Yes." "Well, you can 1 t go in." This goes to sh.ow th.at it's not always th.e looks, th.at it's just a name, it's a state of mind that people have. It's a state of mind th.at needs rejuvenating, it's a state of mind th.at needs some training. It's a state of mind that needs to get rid of prejudice. It's a state of mind th.at needs some Christianity. It's a state of mind that needs many things. In spite of all the difficulty involved, I think today, 1971, July 15, the Lumbee Indians can say that we, _____ we are doing rather good. We have Thomas Oxendine, who is head of the, who is director of Public Relations of the BIA in Washington, D.C. Or we have Sehierbach who is director of Nnerican Indian Education in Washington, D.C. Or we h.ave Thomas Oxen---or we have Brantley Blue, who is the first Indian ever to sit on the Indian Claims Commission. And Pernell Sweat in Washington, D.C., who has a good position, who works with Adult Basic Educat:l..on. I find that Lumbees, if given an opportunity, will succeed the h.ard workers. They, if they have the the zeal they seem to be --far better than the average to fight obstacles. Prior to World War II, no prior to World War I, very few of the people h.ad ever been away. Perhaps less than a dozen had married into the white race, and coming of World War II, many, many dozens married into the white race, and today in some families, all of them are married into the white race. [New recording July 19, 1971] This is July 19, 1971, Adolph Dial speaking. I want to repo~t a word or tWQ about the school breakings. What we would call school closing, but in this area, we, they were known as school break.ings. This was at the last day of sch.ool, commencement exercise,lots of hot dog stands,

PAGE 7

7 pwh ice cream, and so forth, and people looked forward, they would drop the mule and plow, they would drop their work to come to the school breaking .And oftentimes, it was, it was a big time, and lots of fights, lots of taking place, sometimes a killing, some------times someone cut with a knife, and this goes to show there was not very little to do, as far as social get-together. Too,when they would have what we call a pond ______ Lots of people would take their family, and go down to the pond, catch fish, cook fish, and a few drunks would be aro'llll.d, a few fights would take place, once again showing that there was very little to do. Woodsawings too was a get-together. People would meet and saw wood, several families would gather and bring their saws, and sharpen them up, and during the day, the logs would be prepared, that is, tre.e.s cut and on the ground, ready to saw, and that night, women would have a big feed far the boys and they would go out and cut wood for two or three hours, enough to do the whole year, and then come in and eat chicken and cake, and have a good time. It was a case of, it was really cooperative effort