The Lumbee Indians

An American Struggle

By Malinda Maynor Lowery

328 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 5 maps, notes, index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-6610-5
    Published: August 2021
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-4638-1
    Published: August 2018
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-4282-4
    Published: August 2018

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Jamestown, the Lost Colony of Roanoke, and Plymouth Rock are central to America's mythic origin stories. Then, we are told, the main characters--the "friendly" Native Americans who met the settlers--disappeared. But the history of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina demands that we tell a different story. As the largest tribe east of the Mississippi and one of the largest in the country, the Lumbees have survived in their original homelands, maintaining a distinct identity as Indians in a biracial South. In this passionately written, sweeping work of history, Malinda Maynor Lowery narrates the Lumbees' extraordinary story as never before. The Lumbees' journey as a people sheds new light on America's defining moments, from the first encounters with Europeans to the present day. How and why did the Lumbees both fight to establish the United States and resist the encroachments of its government? How have they not just survived, but thrived, through Civil War, Jim Crow, the civil rights movement, and the war on drugs, to ultimately establish their own constitutional government in the twenty-first century? Their fight for full federal acknowledgment continues to this day, while the Lumbee people's struggle for justice and self-determination continues to transform our view of the American experience. Readers of this book will never see Native American history the same way.

About the Author

Malinda Maynor Lowery (Lumbee) is Cahoon Family Professor in American History at Emory College. She is the author of Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South.
For more information about Malinda Maynor Lowery, visit the Author Page.


“An extremely valuable work for anyone interested in race, human rights, or Native American studies.”--Library Journal

“Ideal for American history buffs, this rich history explores familiar American periods of turmoil through the singular experience of the Lumbee Indian community.”--Publishers Weekly

“An excellent historical account of the many struggles Lumbee people experience, while remaining a proud people determined to retain their identity as Indians.”--Western Historical Quarterly

“A fascinating monograph that provides a case study of the Lumbees, a self-identified Native American nation bound by kinship and place for hundreds of years. . . . Contributes to the fields of American history, American studies, Native American studies, and critical race and ethnic studies.”--Journal of Southern History

“This book is Maynor Lowery’s ode to the Lumbee people and her reconciliation of what it means to be American and Lumbee concurrently. She contends that the two do not exist in contradistinction to each other, nor do they exist copacetically. She writes in a way that is accessible to the reader, palatable for non-Natives, and her book is a decidedly and incontrovertibly Lumbee work by and for Lumbee people.”--American Indian Quarterly

“A riveting and all-encompassing history of the Lumbees, the largest tribe east of the Mississippi River. . . . Lowery’s book appeals to a wide audience, both general and scholarly. Chapter intersections called ‘Interludes’ enhance her well-written and well-researched narrative. . . . Lowery’s readers become thoroughly engaged in the story of why she is ‘Proud to be a Lumbee.’”--The Journal of Southern Religion