To the Editor,
In a couple of weeks it will be time for the Lumbee Homecoming. It is one time a year when everyone sets aside their squabbles and come together to just be themselves.
In between the homecomings of last two years our county, our country and the Lumbee Tribe have lost many people who made a positive impact on the lives of the people. From the man who made “Lumbee” a household name, Dr. Randolph (Ranny) Umberger, to Rev. Julian and Florence Ransom. Rev. Julian created the character of the leader in “Strike at the Wind!” and was the peacekeeper, counselor and friend to so many. Ms. Florence trained and chaperoned not only those who wore the crown of Miss Lumbee, but also Miss UNCP. The Rev. Simeon Cummings was truly a faithful member of the community. Mrs. Mable Oxendine played piano in so many churches around here.
But the man who put the phrase in his song “Proud to be a Lumbee,” Willie French Lowery, also left us. Lowery never looked at the color of a child’s skin when he would go out to the schools to sing. He always insisted each child be proud of who they are. Ray Littleturtle will always be a legend around here. If it wasn’t for him we would have never known what a pow wow is.
I would love to see a sense of unity and love this year at the Lumbee Homecoming. It is truly one of the biggest reunions in the country. I hope we take time to remember those who have gone on, those who are left behind and most of all everyone be proud of who they are.
Vinita “Cookie” Maynor Clark