Lumbee students protest busing out of county

On this day in 1960: Denied admission to white Dunn High School, seven Lumbee Indian students, along with several parents, stage a sit-in and are charged with trespassing.

A few N.C. counties operate separate school systems for whites, blacks and Indians. But Harnett County has no high school for Indians and instead buses them to East Carolina Indian Institute in Sampson County, a daily round-trip of 70 miles.

When it becomes clear that the Lumbees’ protest has failed, the American Friends Service Committee arranges for 11 of them to live with families and attend high schools in Raleigh, Greensboro and High Point.

Among contributors to their expense fund: Eleanor Roosevelt.

The next fall the Harnett County school board gives in and admits Lumbees to Dunn High.


One thought on “Lumbee students protest busing out of county”

  1. Mr. Powell,
    I think the students would be called Coharie today instead of Lumbee, and at some point might have been called Croatan, or earlier, some other historical tribe local to the community or region. These students were bused to East Carolina Indian (High) School, formerly known as the Seven County Indian School, New Bethel School, etc.
    Thanks for sharing this moment in NC Indian history.

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