Interview: Thomas Henderson Briscoe

Interview completed September 11, 2014

At what age did you attend the school?
Age 6-11 years old

Where did you live when attending the school?
Forks of Ivy on the Buncombe county side, right as you cross the bridge
from Madison County.

Did you attend the school in 40’s, 50’s, 60’s?

If you attended in 60’s, talk about integration.
I attended Anderson Elementary from grade one through six. After leaving the six grade I was bused into Asheville Public Schools for the seventh grade. I attended Lucy S. Herring.

In the eighth grade I had to go to Flat Creek Elementary. My siblings and I were the only blacks at that school (4). From the eighth grade to a senior in high school I was the only black in my class.

I graduated from North Buncombe High School. I did not have any problems. Going to a school like Anderson Elementary with one teacher, and one room with grades one through sixth, I found it hard because you were not getting enough time to be taught on any given subjects.

What did you call the school at the time you attended?
Anderson Elementary School.

What grades did you attend there (1 – ?)?

About how many students were there when you attended?

Do you remember any of the teachers names?
Mrs. Bass

Did you attend this school with students from outside your local

If yes, where were the other students from?
Marshall, NC

How did you get to school (mode of transportation)?

Did you attend another school before or after this school?
If yes, where are these schools located?
– Lucy S. Herring Asheville, N.C.
– Flat Creek Elementary Flat Creek N. C.
– North Buncombe High School Weaverville, N.C.

How many classrooms were in the main building?
If more than one, how were they separated?
Anderson Elementary had one big open classroom.

How many students went to the school?
25 or more. They were regular classrooms.

What books did you have? Were they old or new?
Some were old and some new.

What would you eat for lunch?
Bring a bag lunch from home to Anderson Elementary.
The other schools had a cafeteria.

Tell us about recess. Was there a playground?
NO playground. Played tag, dodge ball, hide and seek, kick ball.

What other functions or events were held at the school?
Plays, PTA meetings, May Day.

How did you wear your hair?
Low hair cut

How was the building heated – wood, coal, etc.?

Were there electric lights and power outlets?

Were there restroom facilities? Were they inside or outside?

Was there water? From a spring or piped into building?
Piped into the building