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New area newspaper focuses on community

By Hannah Simpson
Around the Town Editor

Photo by Hannah Simpson
Theta Xi Fraternity members Josh Fields, Dylan Newman and Ryan O’Connor read Native Visions Magazine and The Pembroke Eagle while they relax between classes.

A new weekly newspaper began its circulation Jan. 2, with a focus on the area of Pembroke and the history of the Lumbee people.

The Pembroke Eagle will “concentrate its efforts on promoting local culture and history, as well as addressing issues affecting area residents,” according to an article on the history of area newspapers in its Jan. 9 issue.

The Eagle is the second publication owned and edited by James V. Locklear, a Red Springs native.

Locklear began Native Visions Magazine, a free monthly publication that is published for all American Indians, in June 2006. It is circulated through the counties of Robeson, Hoke, Cumberland and Scotland.

Both publications are distributed on the UNCP campus.

“The eagle has always been a part of the native community,” Locklear said of his reason for his newspaper’s name. Locklear said the eagle represents strength and integrity, two traits that he hopes the community will recognize in his publications.

By Hannah Simpson
Native Visions Magazine Editor James Locklear began circulation of his new newspaper, The Pembroke Eagle, on Jan. 2.

Locklear, 41, attended UNCP in journalism in 1992 and credits his career to former Pine Needle adviser Dr. Max Courson.

Dr. Courson was encouraging, Locklear said, and taught him a passion for the newspaper.

Locklear worked as sports editor for The Pine Needle while taking classes.

In 1993, Locklear began working for the Red Springs Citizen, earning the position of editor from 1995-98, at the age of 28.

Locklear had been hesitant to take the position at first, he confided, because his goal had been to move to New York City and become a sports writer for baseball: more specifically, his favorite team, the New York Yankees.

“It was overwhelming to think about,” Locklear said. At the time he was struggling between the editor position and a job as a sports writer at The Fayetteville Observer.

Locklear said his editorial experience, coupled with his journalism classes, were a powerful combination of practice and theory.

It was this experience that changed his direction from big-time sports to his community and history of his people.

Locklear said he would like to help students become more involved with his newspaper, magazine and the community, as the students at UNCP are very much a part of the surrounding area.

I worked at The Fayetteville Observer with graduates from Pennsylvania State and Chapel Hill, Locklear said.

It’s important to remember that education from a large institution isn’t necessary to get a good job, he continued, citing his experience at UNCP as being encouraging.

Locklear said he hopes The Pembroke Eagle will be used by the community as a resource.

Locklear also plans on opening a museum that is inclusive of the Lumbee history and heritage in downtown Pembroke.

Other cultures teach cultural pride and heritage, Locklear said. Such a lesson is not taught in public schools and is especially lacking in younger generations, he said.

“We’ve really got to take it upon ourselves if we want to do this,” he said.

The museum will be located at 109 W. Third St., with plans to begin creating the museum in early spring.

According to Native Visions Magazine, the new museum will take visitors through Lumbee history from the 17th century to today.
The Pembroke Eagle and Native Visions Magazine will be located in the front of the museum.

Locklear also worked as the publisher and editor of the Robeson Journal in Lumberton and as a correspondent for WTVD News channel 11 in Durham.

Locklear has two daughters and lives with his wife in Prospect.

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The University of North Carolina at Pembroke The print edition of The Pine Needle
is published 14 times a year
during the fall and spring semesters.

Updated: Wednesday, January 30, 2008
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