So I am half Lumbee
Or, at least I was raised being told I was such. My mom was Lumbee, and raised me always saying that I was native, but I never really got any of the culture or traditions from her. We lived away from the area where most Lumbee hail from.
But the more I research, the more I see questions about if the Lumbee are even a real native people, and the DNA evidence seems to point pretty clearly to our people really being the descendants of mixed race people who claimed native status to avoid the persecution that free blacks received in the south.
So, all in all, I really don't know what I am. I know I am half Filipino, as my dad hails from the Philippines, but the rest? I was raised being told I was half Lumbee, but like I said really with no ties to the traditions or cultures. Growing up in a southern mill town I was not really accepted by the blacks, who rejected me, nor by the whites- until I got I hit puberty and the white boys wanted to date me. So from age 12 up I was mostly integrated with white culture.
I know when I have mentioned I was Lumbee to any members of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee I got a much less than warm response, with more than one calling me a "fake". I know when people want to discriminate I become black to them. I know when an employer wants diversity then I am the Indian they show off.
So who knows...
I guess my race is a lot like the rest of me- so muddled up and mixed nobody knows what is going on.
Any other Lumbee on here? What is everyones take on the issue of the Lumbee being a true native people or not?
My native American heritage is farther back - into the early 19th century. Specifically - Cherokee tribe via my father's mother.
My father's father's heritage was Seminole and black - but he never 'owned it' - as HIS grandmother was indeed Seminole - but a slave at the end of the Civil War.
Different times then. Any reason why your mother's family moved away from the tribe? I know the Lumbee are pretty concentrated in North Carolina . . . I'm assuming you grew up further South in Seminole/Cherokee territory?
Mostly in Gastonia NC- an all textile mill town just west of Charlotte. West of Lumbee territory. I guess it would have been Cherokee land way back, but no trace remained then. Home of the famous Loray Mill Strike if you are familiar.
My mom was working in Wilmigton and met my dad when he was stationed there in the Navy. I was born there, but my dad was discharged from the Navy while I was still an infant and they moved to Gastonia looking for work in the mills.
I have only fleeting memories of my grandparents, as they had my mom when they were in their 40's and died very early in my childhood, and she really didn't keep up with any other family ties. She never told me why, but I always got a vibe there was some kind of bad blood or scandal that kept her from wanting to go back.
Perhaps reaching out to the Lumbee tribe? Directly? Maybe they can peel back the layers of the onion a bit. If your mother grew up on the reservation - they might have some info for you.
I may keep doing my research here then take a week in January and go down and visit.
But there is actually no Lumbee reservation. Part of the interesting history I am learning.