AN ORAL HISTORY
EDDIE THOMAS SR.
This is an interview for the Civil Rights Documentation Project. The interview is with Eddie Thomas Sr.
and is taking place on June 28, 1999. The interviewer is Don Williams.
Today is June 28, and I'm in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and I'm going to talk with Mr. Eddie
Thomas about the Vicksburg civil rights movement. Now, Mr. Thomas you were telling me you had been
in this location for six years. Am I correct?
Where were you located prior?
Before I moved down here, I was at 1215 Washington Street.
(There is a brief interruption in the interview.)
So, prior to here, you were located where?
The name of this has always been the Palace Barber Shop. That's the name of the shop. But in
my first beginning, I was at 1615 Washington, then I stayed there from forty-six to seventy-seven, and I
moved. Relocated to 1215 Washington Street, and in ninety-three, I moved to 614 Clay Street, where I am
located now. I've been here ever since March. Six years in March.
So, have you ever cut any celebrity's hair over the years?
Well, I would say so, yeah. (Laughter.) I've cut quite a few celebrities that have come to me.
Can you name a few?
I would name one that was connected with us. I used to cut his hair about every time he would
come through, and that was Charles Evers. Aaron Henry. And then next door here where this Harris
Parking Garage is at now, they have leased it from the city. They built them for city parking, but now that
the casino has come here, they have leased them out to the casino, but where that garage right there is,
was the black night club owner. Tom Wince[?] owned it. The Blue Room. Have you ever heard of the
Blue Room night club?
Years ago, and I cut, like, Fats Domino and Bobby Bluebland[?] and B.B. King, and all them
fellows would come here and they would play right there, but I was up on Washington Street, but I used
to sell tickets for the shows when they would be coming to town. They had somebody coming just about
every week. Just like in the forties, and fifties, and early sixties, till they went out. The place went out of
business. That urban renewal had taken over a lot of the downtown area where there was a lot of
dilapidated houses down on Mulberry[?] Street, the next street down. And they relocated all those people
and redid the downtown area and had a lot of people that moved, you know, so, he moved to another
location. The Blue Room did. They called it the Barrel Club up on Walnut Street, but that was in the
sixties, too, right after the sixty-three, sixty-four, sixty-five civil rights movement, when we had the big
voter registration things going on. When Dr. King came to town and all the students from other states and
universities and things came down during the summer and fall and what have you. During their break,
they'd always come. When they first started coming, they called them freedom riders, you know. When