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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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They Can Kill Me, but They Can’t Eat Me

They Can Kill Me, but They Can’t Eat Me

The Drug War

(p.166) Chapter Six They Can Kill Me, but They Can’t Eat Me
The Lumbee Indians

Malinda Maynor Lowery

University of North Carolina Press

In the 1980s, some Indians in Robeson County began to fill the economic gap by participating in the black-market economy with illegal drugs. Death and injustice followed: Indians were arrested for violent and drug crimes at disproportionate levels compared to whites and blacks, in part because Lumbee kinship networks extended to information networks that facilitated the process of investigating and convicting criminals. Police corruption was rampant, and members of the police department, including Sheriff Hubert Stone, were suspected of involvement with the drug trade. Several murder and suspicious death investigations were mishandled or quickly open-and-shut, such as the fatal shooting of Jimmy Earl Cummings by Deputy Kevin Stone, Hubert’s son; the murder of activist-turned-district-judge-candidate Julian Pierce; and the murder of James Jordan, Michael Jordan’s father, whose death brought national attention to Robeson County. The fight against corruption in Robeson County made a sense of unity possible. Whites, blacks, and Indians began to organize and work together more consistently on issues of concern to everyone. More Indians and blacks ran for elected office and won. The national spotlight provided by the drug war also propelled the Lumbees to reignite their campaign for federal recognition and self-determination.

Keywords:   Drug War, Robeson County, cocaine, corruption, murder, drug trade, Lumbee, police, Sheriff Hubert Stone

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