Archivists Study Barbershop's Civil Rights Artifacts

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Archivists and volunteers will quickly start combing by way of many years of artifacts from a Tuscaloosa barbershop central to town’s civil rights historical past with the purpose of figuring out which items within the huge assortment needs to be included in a future museum.

Rev. Thomas Linton died in 2020 however earlier than his dying he collected a big array of historic gadgets comparable to newspaper clippings or artifacts associated to the civil rights struggle in addition to different supplies comparable to dozens of spittoons, a group of shaving mugs and three wood hand-crank telephones, the Tuscaloosa Information reported.

Subsequent week, archivists and volunteers from the Tuscaloosa Civil Rights Historical past and Reconciliation Basis will begin combing by way of the gathering. The staff will make a list and catalogue of the treasure trove.

Tim Lewis is the muse’s co-president. He’s coordinating the preservation effort and has introduced in individuals who have expertise in preservation work. Tom Wilson, who’s retired from the College of Alabama libraries and Invoice Bomar, government director of the College of Alabama museums are each a part of the trouble in addition to Ph.D. college students and different volunteers.

“We’re simply beginning the method of going by way of, to stock what’s within the containers,” Lewis advised the newspaper, “to tag, label, take footage, and put collectively a database.”

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Throughout the battle for civil rights, the barbershop was usually a gathering place for individuals concerned within the battle. Autherine Lucy, who turned the primary Black pupil on the College of Alabama, went to the store to scrub up after racists threw meals and rubbish on her. On June 9, 1964 activists protesting a segregated courthouse ducked into the store as opponents attacked them exterior. Linton was in touch with U.S. Legal professional Basic Robert F. Kennedy to rearrange hospital care and bail cash for these crushed and arrested.

One of many artifacts gathered from the barbershop is the receipt from the ballot tax Linton paid to vote in 1954. Ballot taxes have been one of many many ways in which segregationists used to attempt to hold Black individuals from voting. Linton framed his receipt and hung it on the wall.

The archival work was initially going to be finished on the barbershop however after mould and a leaky roof have been found officers determined to collect the supplies and convey them to a separate location.

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