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Please note: Guided tours are temporarily on hiatus. 

Save the date: September 13, 2024 2nd Annual Uplift Awards

Photo courtesy: The Tuscaloosa News

Stop 6: First Black Legislator – Shandy Jones 2328 6th Street

Born a slave in 1816 and emancipated as a young child, Shandy Wesley Jones was a successful barber who bought land with his savings. He pushed for blacks to move to Liberia in the antebellum period but emerged later as a leader of the local black community and started Tuscaloosa’s first black Methodist church (now Hunter Chapel AME Zion) and black school. He was Tuscaloosa’s first elected black representative to the State House (1868-1870), and he hoped that his son could enter the University of Alabama.

Hunted during Reconstruction by the Ku Klux Klan, Jones fled to Mobile in 1876, where he pastored the Little Zion AME Zion Church. ShandyJones died there in 1886 and was buried in Magnolia Cemetery. Jones was recognized in 2009 by the city of Tuscaloosa as the first black elected official from Tuscaloosa County to serve in the Capitol. 

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