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Road To Recognition: LUMBEES Learn From Travails Of Texas Tribe - HISTORY

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Author Topic: Road To Recognition: LUMBEES Learn From Travails Of Texas Tribe - HISTORY  (Read 5069 times)
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« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2009, 06:33:06 pm »

Ku Klux Klan conflict

During the 1950s, the Ku Klux Klan sought to wage a campaign of terror in the American South to suppress growing activism of the Civil Rights Movement. The Klan primarily targeted African Americans.

In 1957, after adoption of the Lumbee Act, Klan Wizard James W. "Catfish" Cole of South Carolina began a campaign of harassment against the newly christened "Lumbees," claiming they were "mongrels" and "half-breeds" who had overstepped their place in the segregated Jim Crow South.

A group of Klansmen burned a cross on the lawn of a Lumbee woman in the town of St. Pauls, North Carolina because she was dating a white man. For two weeks, the Ku Klux Klan continued to attack the Lumbee community by burning crosses while Cole planned a massive Klan rally to be held on January 18, 1958, near the town of Maxton, North Carolina. Cole predicted that 5,000 rallying Klansmen would remind the Lumbee of "their place." Cole's rhetorical attacks against the Lumbee and the plan to hold a Klan rally within the Lumbee homeland provoked so much anger that the Lumbee decided to confront the Klan.

Celebrated today in Robeson County as the "Battle of Hayes Pond," or "the Klan Rout," the resulting confrontation made national news.

Over 500 armed Lumbees overwhelmed and scattered 50 Klansmen (not the planned 5,000).

Before Cole had a chance to begin the Klan rally, the Lumbee suddenly appeared, fanned out across
the highway, encircled the Klansmen, and opened fire. Four Klansmen were wounded in the first volley none seriously while the remaining Klansmen panicked and fled.

Cole reportedly escaped through a nearby swamp but was later apprehended, charged, and convicted for inciting to riot. He served a sentence of two years.

The Lumbee celebrated the victory by burning the Klan regalia and dancing around the flames, making native whooping noise.
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