At this point, most of us know the Thanksgiving story about the Pilgrims and the Indians happily indulging in a joint feast is a vast oversimplification of what actually happened. But how many of us still have an idea of Native people that’s stuck in the past? “People didn’t believe that I was Native because I was from North Carolina,” Lumbee Indian Malinda Maynor Lowery says. “The only thing they learned about Indians in school, maybe, was that we were removed from the Southeast.”
In this first episode of Gravy, meet a tribe of Indians who are very much still in the Southeast—and whose food reflects a distinct hybrid of Southern and Native history. The Lumbee’s story is one that spans centuries, and includes new windows into periods you may think you know—like the Jim Crow era. Plus something you’ll be eager to eat: the collard sandwich.
If you want more after that, check out these oral histories of the Lumbee community, done by the SFA’s Sara Wood.
You might also want to read Malinda Maynor Lowery’s book “Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South.”
And, if you’re dying to make your own collard sandwich, you can find a recipe for that and much more in Gloria Barton Gates’ “The Scuffletown Cookbook.”