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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Robert Lee Mangum, November 18, 2003. Interview U-0008. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Tuscaroras break off from Lumbees

In this excerpt, Mangum tries to describe why the Tuscarora movement broke away from the Lumbee tribe. To Mangum, the Tuscaroras felt that the Lumbees were too accommodating, and in the eager mood of the late 1960s, wanted to act quickly for change. Mangum himself does not have a strong connection to the Tuscarora movement.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Robert Lee Mangum, November 18, 2003. Interview U-0008. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

But in terms of what you’re saying, why were people in opposition to each other? Well, as you know, the identity issue, the Lumbee identity issue is long standing. From the very time of the naming of the Native American people of Robeson Lumbees back in ‘54 or so, along in there, it’s been controversial as you know. Many Native Americans say, “No. No. That’s just a given name.” So Tuscarora was a historic name. I don’t know the history of the Tuscarora movement, but I do know that there has been a lack of unanimity in the support of the Lumbee name over the years. That much I know. As there begins to come energy for change there are people that perhaps were feeling that the Lumbee community was more accommodating than challenging the systems. Accommodating to rather than altering and challenging the system. As authentic Indian people with an authentic Indian name, maybe we can make a difference that nobody else has made. Then with that identification and with national movement and relationships to national energies—and I don’t know, I’m just speculating, such as AIM—there came this feeling that we can make a difference that the others are not making, and that we can get it done since they’re not getting it done. These late ‘60s were times when people were having their hopes raised because of the Civil Rights Movement and all that was happening for ethnic people. And perhaps many of the people in the Tuscarora movement felt like, “We’re the ones that are going to deliver the change, and we’ll do it our way,” and, “We can’t wait on these other guys.” I don’t know. You see, I’m at a loss because I was not dealing integrally with the Tuscarora movement, but just dealing with the symptoms of the consequences at times of the Tuscarora movement, but one of my best friends identifies with the Tuscarora movement right now here in the county. He’s very sincere. He’s a wonderful Christian gentleman, and wonderful man. And there are others, but this one I particularly know about.