City of Tuscaloosa Holds Renaming Ceremony for Maxie Thomas Way
January 12, 2024
The City of Tuscaloosa held a street renaming for Maxie Thomas Way on Friday, January 12 at 8 a.m. at Hunter Chapel AME Zion Church.
Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox, Councilor Matthew Wilson and Danny Steele spoke during the ceremony.
"Maxie Thomas marched for something greater than himself," said Mayor Walt Maddox. "He went against the darkness and found light, and went against hostility and found hope. He decided his life was going to be about changing Tuscaloosa for the better."
The street, formerly known as 11th St., is now Maxie Thomas Way.
"Our City is better, our community is better, because we have a Maxie Thomas," said Councilor Matthew Wilson. "You and your wife are so unwavering, extending morals, justice and quality of all people."
Tuscaloosa native Maxie Thomas is a Civil Rights activist with a lifelong commitment to working to ensure that all citizens have equal opportunity in our community. Thomas made history on June 9, 1964; a day that would come to be known as “Bloody Tuesday” in Tuscaloosa. On that day, Mr. Thomas joined a peaceful march led by Reverend T. Y. Rogers to protest the segregated restrooms and drinking fountains at the new Tuscaloosa County Courthouse. As the marchers started their journey, they were brutally attacked by a mob of citizens and law enforcement officers, and Thomas was critically injured.
After Bloody Tuesday, Thomas continued to spend his life dedicated to changing Tuscaloosa for the better. It is for his courage and contributions that the City Council voted to rename 11th St. to Maxie Thomas Way.
"I call Maxie Thomas my hero because he's made a change here in Tuscaloosa," said Danny Steele.