My name is Jessica Markey Locklear. I was born and raised in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. I am a citizen of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and my family comes from the Union Chapel Indian community. After graduating from high school in 2014, I made the decision to attend the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, where I majored in History and American Indian Studies. I graduated from UNC Pembroke in 2017 and returned to Philadelphia in 2018 to pursue a masters degree in history at Temple University.
My grandmother left Robeson County and moved to Philadelphia when she was 19 years old and our family has been here ever since. Growing up, our family made regular trips to Robeson County, oftentimes for Lumbee Homecoming, spending time with family and cousins. Though I did not grow up in Robeson County, I have always felt a strong connection to the place and the people. Because of my personal experiences, I have been inspired to pursue a graduate degree in history. I have made Lumbee history my focus not only because I seek answers to questions I have about myself, but to seek a deeper understanding of the history of the United States.