Lowery Quoted in Article on Race, Law, and Identity among the NC Lumbee

Cover of Lowery’s most recent monograph.

Cahoon Professor or American History, Dr. Malinda Maynor Lowery, was recently quoted in The Assembly, a digital magazine launched in 2021 that provides in-depth investigative journalism on North Carolina topics. The piece, “Who’s Your People?,” centers on North Carolina’s Lumbee Tribe and their members’ century-long fight for federal recognition. Dr. Lowery is a member of the Lumbee and author of multiple books on Lumbee history, including The Lumbee Indians: An American Struggle (UNC Press, 2018) and Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South: Race, Identity, and the Making of a Nation (UNC Press, 2010). Read an excerpt from the article in The Assembly below, along with the full piece: “Who’s Your People?

Despite their prominence in local politics, little seems to be known about the Lumbee’s diverse and mysterious origins. Tribal members trace their ancestry to Algonquin, Siouan, and Iroquoian-speaking nations indigenous to what are now the Carolinas, who were scattered and nearly exterminated by settler colonialism.

“According to Malinda Maynor Lowery, a historian at Emory University, member of the Lumbee tribe, and the author of The Lumbee Indians: An American Struggle, refugees of decimated peoples huddled together in the impenetrable Robeson County swamp, where, over time, they intermarried with English- and Gaelic-speaking settlers, as well as Black slaves and freedmen.