Thomas Linton

Tuscaloosa-based civil rights pioneer and longtime barber Rev. Thomas Linton passed away Thursday.

The Greene County native began cutting hair in 1951 and was instrumental in Tuscaloosa’s civil right’s movement.

His Tuscaloosa barber shop,<a href=”https://www.visittuscaloosa.com/a-one-and-only-perspective-lintons-barbershop/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”> Howard’s and Linton’s Barber and Beauty Shop</a> at 1311 T.Y. Rogers Jr. Ave., was a spot where ministers gathered to plan nonviolent protests. He led mass meetings at First African Baptist Church, and encouraged the city’s white leaders to hire black cashiers for the first time in stores across the city.

Linton’s barber shop is the 18th and final stop along the Tuscaloosa Civil Rights Trail.

“I’ve known Thomas Linton since the early ’60s,” said former Tuscaloosa City Council President Harrison Taylor. “He was a giant in my eyesight, and a legend in the civil rights movement.”

Linton made Tuscaloosa a bigger and better place to live, Taylor said.

“We’re all hurting for a great man like Rev. Linton. And I don’t use the word ‘great’ lightly. I mean it. He was an outstanding man. He was one of the first pastors in Tuscaloosa to join in with (First African Baptist Rev. T.Y. Rogers Jr.) in the civil rights movement.”

Linton was 88 years old.


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