Walking into a room, Magic catches one’s attention right away. There is an easy confidence in the way the he carries himself, which is even more pronounced when he interacts with his brothers and elders at the tribal center. His charisma further extends into the memories and stories he shares on being born and growing up in Sampson County within such a tight knit community. Magic has spent his entire life in Sampson County, and considers the entire tribe to be an extended family of his. His friends are his brothers, and the older members are all his grandfathers and grandmothers who guide and support him. Magic is also a drummer, and his passion for drumming is further enhanced by the connection it offers him with his tribe and the traditions it entails. Magic is married and has small children of his own, and hopes that one day they will be able to experience the river the way tribal elders have enjoyed it inn their day. He hopes that one day he can combine his love for music and the Coharie River to create a sensory experience like no other.
On Growing up Coharie
“[The elders] always want you to do better than what they’ve done and growing up in this community all the American Indian people have stayed right here through [route] 421. They knew the troubles and the consequences that they had to bear back when schools weren’t integrated and things like that. So when I’m out of the community I try to think about what my elders would say or what people older than me would say. This community betters you all the way around and you have to deal with the bad like any community.”
On Being Coharie
“What I would like for the people to know about the Coharie people that we are one, we are just like any other American Indian tribe around here, we do still exist.”
“You’re walking in two worlds. You’re walking in the American Indian world and you walk in the normal way of life with normal people. So you always need to keep your culture alive and you need everyone around you to play their part, and American Indian people need their culture as much as they need the real world.”
“…whether how big or how small American Indian people are still here. Their culture is still pretty much alive, they still have their traditional ways and ceremonial ways…”
”And we believe in all the traditional ways and everything that a drum is healing and that the drum knows what’s best when it’s time.”
On The River
“[The creek] it’s life and it’s memories and it brings the community together and giving new outlooks and different takes on life because you can go there to get away from the world. Once you go down the creek or the river as they call it that’s your time to yourself, you’re getting away from the world. Maybe for instance like you’ve seen today once you get on there there’s nothing else once you get deep out there you can’t hear the cars on the road or none of that it’s just you and that river.”
“We got in there [to the river] and we started cleaning up we started cleaning up we started cleaning up, we get to this one section of the river and there’s a lot of logs and stuff we’re having to pull and pull to the side of the bank. And my buddy says ‘hey man I got a new song’…so we started singing on the river and we had Mr. Phillip had one of his friends at the waterways from around here in Sampson county and he was with us and he had already kayaked on down some and he said he knew it was good three two miles away from us and hear could hear – the music was traveling on the river. He was two three miles away from us and he could hears us through there. He said he could everything he said it gave him chills. And I think that’s one of my most favorite times I believe just all of us sitting there singing. I have one just laying down on the river he was singing and the rest of us were picking up logs and singing at the same time.”
“Once you get into it there is hardly any life around it just because where the beavers have took trees and different things like that. You kill a lot of life because birds stay in trees and every animal is connected to that creek/river in one way and then if you got one animal that is predominantly plentiful in there you don’t have as many animals as you once was or that once used to be there. So I like I said, it’s all pretty when you go through there but once you get into it and you get behind it you can see certain spots that they’re dead in.”
“So it’s life again it’s life to us again. It’s given the elders memories, they’ll come and say I remember those days, I can’t now but I remember those days when I used to get out there and fish and the redfin and all that were popular and having to bring home the little fish at night where they went and fished in and having a good supper. So it’s life to the Coharie people and I think we give life to the creek and to the river just because we need the river and the creek just as much as it needs us to survive.”
On the Future
“It’s memories to have for myself and something new for my children to see – because my children are at a young age right now – something for them to go out and see and know that once their uncle Brad or the people they see every Sunday used to sing or used to travel up that river up and down and now they can do the same thing. So like I said it’s life and it’s memories and it brings the community together and giving new outlooks and different takes on life because you can go there to get away from the world.