Resource: Henry Hampton Collection: Interview of Eliza Briggs and Harry Briggs, Sr.

By: Eliza and Harry Briggs, Sr., Henry Hampton Collection

October 25, 1985

Henry Hampton Collection: Washington University in St. Louis

This interview was done for Henry Hampton's Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years (1954-1965). Eliza and Harry Briggs, husband and wife, sued the school board in Clarendon County, South Carolina, along with several other families. The case that followed, Briggs v. Eliot (1954), sought to give students traveling by bus everyday fair treatment. Although Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP assisted the Briggs family in their case, the court ruled in favor of the school board and the board continued to deny buses to black children living in different communities. Both Eliza and Harry lost their jobs and eventually they moved the family out of South Carolina.

Briggs v. Eliot, along with four other lawsuits, combined to form Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark decision by the the United States Supreme Court finding that segregation in public schools is unconstitutional. In the interview both Mr. and Mrs. Briggs discuss their the conditions in black and white schools in South Carolina, their involvement in the Brown case and the consequences of their involvement.;cc=eop;rgn=main;view=text;idno=bri0015.0318.013