Close-knit Native American community
Jones describes Prospect, North Carolina, a small community in Robeson County. This excerpt offers a snapshot of this Native American community, which Jones describes as “clannish.”
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with James Arthur Jones, November 19, 2003. Interview U-0005. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Full Text of the Excerpt
MM: Maybe we could talk a little bit about Prospect since you were born here, grew up here, and went to school here. How would you describe the community if you were talking to somebody from outside? What would you tell them about it?
JJ: This is predominantly, almost a hundred percent—at one time it was, with the exception of two or three families—a Native American community, a very close knit community. There were a lot of family relations, family connections in this Prospect community. And it’s very deep. It goes way back to probably the eighteenth century. The land that’s in this area, most of the land in this Prospect community is land that has been inherited from our ancestors. It’s just been passed down, passed down, passed down from generation to generation. Not a lot of selling lands, especially to outsiders.
It’s kind of clannish if you’ll allow me to us that word. We sometimes refer to it facetiously as a little Indian reservation. We like to kind of keep it that way. We’ve got our prejudice feelings you know, not really deeply imbedded, but we get along. We’ve gotten along, and we’re hard working, dedicated people from the farming aspects and move up the ladder on the educational level. We have no qualms about that, and we feel like the kids, the students, every one has made progress from about as long as I can remember, and I was born here eighty some years ago, right here. Lived in this community. In fact I’ve lived in this spot where we are talking right now since 19—oh, I was eight years old probably when I moved here. That was in 1930. I’ve been living in this same spot since 1930.