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Malinda Maynor Lowery Reincarnates Her Revolutionary Lumbee Ancestor

Waltz Maynor

As we work to gain perspective during this crisis, we may find ourselves searching our personal and collective memories for precedents, stories or myths that might restore the ground under our feet. What is the relationship between collective memory and identity? 

Fairy tales like the American Dream and the Lost Cause emerge from selective memory, excluding Native and Black communities from history-making authority. Malinda Maynor Lowery wishes to recover the shunned layers of our history and reincorporate heroes of the past into our present moment. Host Frank Stasio joins Lowery on a hypothetical reincarnation of her rebel ancestor for the present moment. Using science fiction and oral history, they explore the importance of community vision to transform a crisis into revolution.

Henry Berry Lowrie is a mythical figure among the Lumbee people. In the wake of the Civil War, he and his associates waged an eight year guerilla war against white supremacists in government and the business community. He stands as the prototype of rebellion —  robbing the wealthy farmers to feed the poor. But, if alive today, would Lowrie abide by tribal elders’ stay-at-home orders? 

Credit North Carolina Museum of History
A Lumbee family in the early 20th century

About the interviewee:
Malinda Maynor Lowery is the director of the Center for the Study of the American South and a professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, she is the award-winning author of “The Lumbee Indians: An American Struggle” and “Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South: Race, Identity, and the Making of a Nation.”

Note: This program originally aired April 22, 2020.

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Grant Holub-Moorman coordinates events and North Carolina outreach for WUNC, including a monthly trivia night. He is a founding member of Embodied and a former producer for The State of Things.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.