On Sept. 12, more than 100 people gathered outside the Church Street Barber Shop at 1905 Church St. to celebrate the dedication of that section of Church Street between Dodge Avenue and Brown Avenue with the honorary name “Samuel Johnson Way.” For the last 47 years, Mr. Johnson has operated the Church Street Barber Shop, which has always been full of conversation. The festive mood of the dedication that was attended by former Mayor Lorraine Morton, Alderman Delores Holmes (5th Ward), Alderman Peter Briathwaite (2nd Ward), and many other community leaders and friends is a testament to the significant role Mr. Johnson played in the neighborhood.
Located across the street from Evanston Township High School, the barber shop has kept its doors open to students, helping them with homework after school, and providing many with free haircuts. At the dedication, many people referred to Mr. Johnson as a “mentor” to youth and someone who encouraged youth in both sports and academics. The resolution adopted by City Council states that Mr. Johnson served as a barber, a community activist, a mentor, and a pillar of the Evanston business community.