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The Lumbee IndiansAn American Struggle$
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Malinda Maynor Lowery

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469646374

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469646374.001.0001

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Integration or Disintegration

Integration or Disintegration

Civil Rights and Red Power

(p.128) Chapter Five Integration or Disintegration
The Lumbee Indians

Malinda Maynor Lowery

University of North Carolina Press

For Robeson County Indians, choosing the tribal name “Lumbee” for themselves was a monumental act of self-determination. The “Lumbee” bill in 1956 granted the Robeson County a form of official, yet limited, federal acknowledgement. In Robeson County, World War II sparked exposure, awareness, and change. At its zenith as an Indian place in the 1950s, the town of Pembroke was remarkable in the otherwise biracial South as its Indian residents continuously found new ways to make the place more their own. Some Indians opposed school integration because it meant sacrificing their distinct independence, control over their identity, and the primary institution—the schools—that had sustained the recognition of that identity for a century. Indians expressed pride in their heritage through their actions and words. With the court case Maynor v. Morton, Tuscaroras defied the federal government’s insistence that they were not deserving of federal recognition. The legal victory against double voting showed that Indians would not be silenced at the ballot box. Rebuilding the Old Main heritage building at Pembroke State College, creating Lumbee Homecoming, and opening Lumbee Guaranty Bank showed that Indians would continue asserting control over their own affairs and celebrating themselves.

Keywords:   Robeson County, Lumbee, Tuscarora, Schools, Integration, Maynor v. Morton, Autonomy, Recognition, Identity

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