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Cross / No Picture In The Paper - Brookhollow Elementary 25th Anniversary

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Cross: But I don’t worry about it because that’s the way they are. Now, this is one that you wouldn’t believe. The twenty-fifth anniversary of Brookhollow Elementary School, they called me and said would you come out and do a little speech and help us celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary. So, I did. I went out there and there was some more retired teachers. Asked them all to come and they wanted the other principal, which he was just the principal for a year at Brookhollow and he didn’t make it. After it was all over, they said well let’s get a picture for the paper. So, we took a picture. I had two white women on this side and two white women on this side. We took a picture. So, the photographer said, “Let me make sure. Let me take another one.” She took another one. So, she said, “Well, let’s just get one more.” So, I said my goodbyes and I came on home. So, the next day I got the paper because we were going to be in the paper. I read in there that Brookhollow had this twenty-year anniversary and these are the people that retired that visited and helped them celebrate and it was just four white women standing there in the paper. Now, can you believe that? This day and time, I’m nowhere on the picture. Four white women standing there and said helped celebrate Brookhollow’s anniversary and they listed their names and I’m not on the picture. They took three. Interviewer: Do you have any idea why? Cross: Well, Mary Virginia Casper was the principal. So, nothing goes on that the principal doesn’t know. I don’t know why I wasn’t on there and I see her and it’s “Hey, Mr. Cross!” and we shake hands and go on. So, I don’t know why I wasn’t on the picture. Didn’t make it. I’m saying this day and time, what’s going on? So, I never did make the paper. Just took some after I left. Interviewer: How aware were you of the lawsuit that happened that forced Lufkin to integrate? Cross: Oh, it was a court order. They resisted to the end and it was a court order that they had to integrate. Order from—I think it was William Wayne Justice that ordered the schools to integrate because they resisted to the end. That’s the reason they did—they were under a court order until I’d like to say about ten years ago because the lady that’s on there now on the school board, she’s a good friend of my oldest daughter. They were on the drill team together and all that. She cast the vote I think to—or did she? I can’t remember, but anyway, it was a court order and they were forced to integrate. So that’s what happened.

Interview Interview with Herbert Cross
Subjects Work › Discrimination at Work
Race Relations › Black-White Race Relations
Education › Elementary Education
Education › Education and Integration
Education › Teachers and Administrators
Court Cases › School Desegregation Cases
Tags Caspin, Mary Virginia
Justice, William Wayne
Lufkin ISD School Board
Lufkin ISD
Brookhollow Elementary School, Lufkin, TX
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Interview date 2016-06-20
Interview source CRBB Summer 2016
Interviewees Cross, Herbert
Interviewers May, Meredith
Duration 00:04:07
Citation "No Picture In The Paper - Brookhollow Elementary 25th Anniversary," from Herbert Cross oral history interview with Meredith May,  June 20, 2016, Lufkin, TX, Civil Rights in Black and Brown Interview Database,, accessed May 25, 2024