Dr. George Garrison
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This interview was conducted by Dr. George Garrison with John Lee (Bird) Ellis for Dr. Garrison’s project on the History of Emmett Scott High School. Emmett Scott was the segregated high school for African-Americans, which was named after Emmett Scott, a former aide to Booker T. Washington and President Woodrow Wilson. The school opened in 1920 and closed in 1970 when full integration was implemented in Rock Hill, SC schools. In this interview, Mr. Ellis discusses his family history that includes his grandfather on his mother’s side (John Barnes) who was a slave owned by the Barnes family that is well known in Rock Hill for owning Comporium. He talks at length about what Rock Hill was like growing up and his education that started at the Rosenwald School. Mr. Ellis also discusses his experiences and recollections while attending Emmett Scott from beginning with the first grade in 1946 through 1958.
Ellis, John Lee and Emmett Scott High School, "Interview with John Lee "Bird" Ellis" (2013). Winthrop University Oral History Program. OH 709.