The Lumbee Indians: An American Struggle

Malinda Maynor Lowery. Univ. of North Carolina, $30 (328p) ISBN 978-1-4696-4637-4
In this illuminating history, Maynor Lowery (Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South) intertwines her own family’s history with a tribal chronology of the Lumbees that features memorable and flawed historical figures involved in bootlegging, school integration, and the century-long battle for federal recognition as a sovereign nation. That quest is thwarted by rigid, unrealistic federal requirements of “pure” blood and physical characteristics—despite wide variation in physical features due to generations of interracial marriage—that don’t map onto the kinship ties of culture and community used by the Lumbees themselves, whose culture combines native and settler heritage in a distinct way. Centuries of injustice against the community receive an unflinching examination, and Lumbee resistance and illegal activities get objective analysis, especially questionable legal tactics used during the 1958 ejection of the KKK from the Lumbees’ collective land and a widespread sheriff’s department drug scandal in the 1980s. Ideal for American history buffs, this rich history explores familiar American periods of turmoil through the singular experience of the Lumbee Indian community. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/13/2018
Release date: 09/01/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 328 pages - 978-1-4696-6610-5
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