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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

An Afro-Native Robin Hood

I've developed a fascination with Afro-Natives and have been looking for more material about them. Please see my June reviews for "Is There a Place for Afro-Natives?" and my July reviews for "A Dissertation on Afro-Native Literature". I found The Southeastern Indians Since The Removal Era edited by anthropologist Walter L. Williams on the bibliography of Crossing Waters.

Here are my comments about one of the articles:

"The North Carolina Lumbees From Assimilation to Revitalization" by W. McKee Evans was the article that caught my attention.  I learned from this article  that toward the end of the Civil War, Henry Berry Lowry organized a Robin Hood type band of outlaws that was largely composed of Afro-Lumbees.  The band also contained Union soldiers who'd escaped from Confederate POW camps, runaway slaves and deserters from the Confederate army.  They stole food  from rich planters to distribute to people who were starving.  For a brief You Tube documentary about the Lowry Band view The Real Robin Hood .   Evans says in his article that controversy over the Lowry Band caused terrible divisions in the local Republican party.  A footnote revealed that Evans wrote a book on this subject called To Die Game which I am currently reading.  This seemed like a dramatic historical narrative that would make perfect fodder for a novel or a movie.  There is an unpublished play about Lowry called Strike At The Wind which was performed annually in North Carolina from 1976-2007 when the theatre group ran out of funds.

See the following  web pages for further information about Strike At The Wind:

Historical Background of Strike At The Wind 

Review of Strike at the Wind

 Audio on Strike at the Wind

Photos From Strike At The Wind Performances 

Strike at the Wind on You Tube

   I wish that the text of the play was available in some format.  I'd love to read it.    There is likely to be more about Henry Berry Lowry on The Masked Persona's Reviews in the future.  Discovering a historical Robin Hood figure is a joy to me.



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