SCSS Director Visits Civil Rights Landmark with Task Force

Dr. Giggie speaking with Ms. Phyllis Linton and Mr. Danny Steele, owner of Van Hoose Funeral Home and board member of the Tuscaloosa Civil Rights Task Force.

Dr. John Giggie and officials from the Tuscaloosa Civil Rights Task Force visited with family members of Rev. T. W. Linton, who passed away last May, at Linton’s former barbershop. Linton was one of the organizers of the 1963 “Bloody Tuesday” march from First African Baptist Church to the newly-opened Tuscaloosa County Courthouse to protest the buildings segregated drinking fountains.

The Tuscaloosa Civil Rights Task Force is exploring the purchase of Rev. Linton’s barbershop, which played a key role in the city’s Civil Rights history, and making it into a civil rights memorial and learning space. Linton’s barbershop is where Autherine Lucy, the first Black student enrolled at UA, took refuge from a mob in 1956.  It was also where children fled when police sacked First African Baptist Church in June 1963, sending 34 demonstrators to the hospital and 94 to jail. Rev. Linton called US Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King from the barbershop while events unfolded.