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Old 06-27-2006, 06:25 PM   #1
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Strike at the Wind! Season Opens

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PRESS RELEASE
For Release: June 27, 2006
Contact: Kay Oxendine, Malinda Maynor Lowery, 910-521-0835 (producers)

Greta Lint 336-626-0527 (publicity)

http://www.strikeatthewind.com

CUTLINE/PHOTO ATTACHED: Native Lumbee Indian Carol Oxendine, has performed with “Strike at the Wind!” since 1988. The outdoor drama is performed on Friday and Saturday nights July 1-August 26 in Pembroke.

“Strike at the Wind!” Tells Story Omitted from History Books

Pembroke, NC – Here’s a little known fact that most North Carolina history books didn’t record. Prior to 1835, Native Americans could legally cast their vote during elections. However, when the North Carolina Constitution was revised in 1835, it stripped the American Indians who lived in North Carolina of their voting rights and labeled them “free persons of color.” Native Americans had no more legal voice in government. It wasn’t until 1875 that the state’s constitution was changed.

During those 40 years, conflicts arose. People were killed. Land was stolen. During the Civil War, the Confederacy enslaved Indians, causing more grief, heartache and pain. Their freedom was gone.

On March 3, 1865, the Home Guard, a crooked state militia of sorts, kidnapped and murdered Henry Berry Lowery’s brother and father. Lowery had been a ringleader fighting to protect his Indian people and poor blacks and whites from the onslaught of injustices that occurred throughout the war and as it was ending.

He is often described as an 18th century Robin Hood, a fearless renegade who loved his people, his community and Rhoda, who eventually became his wife. But wickedness surrounded his life, so much that the Home Guard ripped him away from his bride on their wedding day.

This is a true story that happened along the black waters of the Lumbee River in Robeson County, North Carolina. The tale of the Lumbee Indians has been told for 30 years in the outdoor musical, “Strike at the Wind!”

Performances are held each Friday and Saturday at the newly renovated Adolph L. Dial Amphitheater from July 1 – August 26.

The story of Henry Berry Lowery runs deep in the hearts and minds of people in Robeson County. So it’s easy for the actors and actresses to convey the angst, fear and resentment so prominent in the lines.

Playwright Dr. Randolph Umberger captured those feelings when he penned, “Forever believing that the night is not the end! Forever keeping faith that love is the second discovery of fire; and that out of hate grows regret; out of regret, despair; and that out of despair returns the faith that we are not alone. That the tyrant himself shall be chained within; and it shall be told even to the heavens themselves, that no man walks in darkness who has seen the face of freedom – and that no man lives in vain who seeks the truth.”

A narrator shares those poignant words at the onset of the play, setting the tone to tell a story historians have overlooked.

Composer and entertainer Willie French Lowery is a Lumbee Indian who was so moved by the script that he wrote the musical score and the songs that are performed throughout the show.

Lowery once traveled with the likes of the Allman Brothers, Linda Ronstadt, The Turtles and many other world renowned musicians. He has many of his own stories to tell, but the one that brought him back home was the love of family, so deeply portrayed in “Strike at the Wind!”

It’s that sense of family that made Henry Berry Lowery fight to overcome injustices imposed by the political climate in North Carolina in the mid-late 1800s.

And as with any family, there is a good deal of humor along the way. Henry and his friends can sometimes only laugh at the ridiculous Home Guard and laws.

The audience laughs too.

Admission to the play is $10 for adults ages 18-61, $6 for seniors age 62+ and children ages 6-17; children under 6 years old are free. Group rates are available. Season passes are $25 for adults and $15 for children and seniors. The show begins at 8:30 p.m. with a musical pre-show starting at 8 p.m. Performances last 2 ˝ hours with an intermission. Cushions for the seats, food and beverages are available.

The amphitheater is handicapped accessible.

The Adolph L. Dial Amphitheater is located at the North Carolina Indian Cultural Center near the town of Pembroke, just off US Hwy. 74 near I-95 Exit 17 in Lumberton.

For more information or to register for group rates, call 910-521-0835 or log onto www.strikeatthewind.com.

###

Greta Anita Lint Tourism Writing & Consulting Services

"Build it and they will come," - but only if you promote it!

[email protected] 336-626-0527 336-963-1102
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