James Thomas Bridgeforth was educated in Giles County, Tennessee and at A&I State College. In the early 1900's he became interested in securing a county school for black children living outside the corporation and was the price mover in organizing the Broadview School. He served as principal there from 1900 to 1925 and at Pulaski High School from 1925 to 1936. When the Board of Education erected a new school for all the black high school students in the county, they honored Mr. Bridgeforth by naming it after him. He continued as principal there until 1952.
Bridgeforth helped organize the Tennessee State Association of Teachers in Colored Schools and served as its fifth president. He was also chairman of the Principal's Department and a member of many important committees on local and state levels. He taught summer school at A&I State College for several years. He was also a minister of the Giles County A.M.E. Church.