About this Course & the Lumbee and Tuscarora Community
Sometimes history comes alive best “up-close” and “personal.” We identify and even become more invested in people, places, and things by actually getting a true sense of how and why they are important – and to whom. The Lumbee and Tuscarora people are kin but identify themselves differently for political and historical reasons. No member of the Robeson County Indian community was called “Lumbee” before 1953, and so it is not really accurate to call the totality of our history “Lumbee.” Yet instructor Malinda Lowery has called the course—and this website—”Lumbee” to help make the subject more readily identifiable to outsiders. But the site and the course features voices from Tuscaroras as well. And we know that while none of our ancestors called themselves Lumbee, some did call themselves Tuscarora. Yet that does not change the fact that after the late 1940s many accepted the name Lumbee as a designation for themselves and, by default, for their ancestors as well. (For more on the complexities of respecting all of our ancestors and their labels, see here).
A primary goal for our Lumbee History Course was to creatively and interactively uproot students from an academic setting and make them in many ways uncomfortable with trying to understand their topics from the characteristically narrow research perspective. We hope that this digital, interactive way of exploring history opens up to ways of knowing Lumbee history. The community’s history in Robeson and adjoining counties has a living importance to the Lumbee Indians that is unmistakable.
The site is a reflection of our work in class and is not endorsed by any tribal entity, nor does it represent the views of any organization or group. We are on a learning adventure together to explore the myriad resources available about the Lumbees, and to create some new resources of our own.
The course syllabus is here: HIST234syllabus2013
We have many people to thank for guidance and assistance; this list is just the start.
From the Lumbee and Tuscarora homelands: Jefferson Currie II, Pura Fe, Corey Lowery, Clint Lowery, Mary Ann Jacobs, Jeff Maynor, Waltz Maynor, James Arthur Jones, and every one of the 290+ members of our Facebook group (Lumbee History Photo Identification Project)!
At UNC and beyond: Clyde Ellis, Josephine Humphreys, Amy Locklear Hertel of the American Indian Center, Pam Lach of the Carolina Digital Humanities Institute, Matt Turi of the Southern Historical Collection, Vaughn Booker of ITS, Bob Henshaw and Gina Platz of the Center for Faculty Excellence, and Leslie Parkins of APPLES.
There are so many others, soon to be named, who have contributed to this effort. Thank you all.