Lumbee by grace: landmarks in Lumbee identity

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Lumbee by grace: landmarks in Lumbee identity. Videocassette. 29.20 minutes. Pembroke, NC: Museum of the Native American Resource Center, Mass Communications Dept., and Media Integration Project, UNC-Pembroke, 2002. Remastered as DVD, 2007. Key source


This video provides a clear, heartfelt, and authentic discussion of four key themes in Lumbee identity. The commentary is enhanced by historical and contemporary photographs, Lumbee music, contemporary video footage, and artwork by Lumbee artists. Following a concise introduction, there are segments on four major aspects of Lumbee identity: home and family; the land and the river; education and Old Main; and religion and spirituality. Within these segments, remarks are made by the following: Becky Goins Levine, Lumbee public information assistant; Mike Jones, Lumbee architect; Harvey Godwin, Lumbee businessman; Ragen Jones, Lumbee student; Barbara Braveboy-Locklear, Lumbee writer; and Charles D. Locklear, Lumbee pastor.

Here are a few samples of observations made in the discussions:

  • The land is part of us, and we are part of it.”
  • Churches and schools, homeplaces, rivers and swamps are landmarks of our identity.
  • Children are raised to be honest, do what’s right, be part of the community, respect their home and the homes of neighbors, and maintain relationships.
  • Lumbee people see grandparents, aunts, and uncles nearly every day. People that others consider members of the extended family are considered immediate family in Lumbee culture.
  • Members of a Lumbee family will frequently live on the family property or have adjoining pieces of property.
  • The Lumbee River is the staff that supports the people and identifies them.
  • When Lumbees talk about “home,” they talk about Pembroke, Robeson County, and the Lumbee River.
  • Although they may move away for reasons related to education or work, Lumbee people are usually planning when they’ll be able to move back home.
  • The land/Robeson County represents where Lumbee ancestors are buried, where the culture developed, and where Lumbee history unfolded.
  • Old Main and UNC-Pembroke represent where the Lumbee got their start as far as progressing as a people. They remind the Lumbee of the struggles of their grandfathers.
  • Christianity is the major force in the Lumbee community, although some Lumbee people have other forms of spirituality (such as pow-wows) in addition to church.
  • For some Lumbee people, such as Harvey Godwin, seeing the red-tailed hawk is a spiritual experience.
  • Church has historically been the centerpiece of the Lumbee community, a catalyst providing a place and time for fellowship.
  • Barbara Braveboy-Locklear remarks: “We have kept our hands on our work and our eyes on the Lord.”
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The videocassette is no longer available. Purchase the DVD from the Museum of the Native American Resource Center for $16.01 + $3.00 shipping (if being mailed) plus 7% NC sales tax. See <>