Article Published By: Chris Tazewell
A place where you can gather, connect, learn, and feel a sense of belonging. For many of us, it’s a sacred space with lively debates, comedy, and genuine fellowship. The barbershop is a safe haven for black men. Your class, education, or career don’t matter in the ‘shop. Everyone is on equal ground and has a voice. They have given black men something they were unlikely to get elsewhere: a place to be themselves without judgment.
Throughout the years, the barbershop has been a cornerstone in the black community. Provided meeting locations to activist groups in the ’70s and ‘80s, encouraging young kids to read, and even hosting back-to-school events providing free haircuts and school supplies. The barbershop also presented one of the first possibilities for black men to step out and be entrepreneurs. Creating economic opportunities for underrepresented groups and increasing the circulation of dollars within the black community.
Yet barbers provide more than just a clean cut. In a lot of ways, they turn into our therapist, life coach, and offer great advice and perspective. Trust is built and we’re able to let our guard down and talk freely about who we are, who we want to be, and what we believe to be true about the world around us. The barbershop is a transformative experience... Just think, have you ever seen anyone leave the barbershop in a mood worse than when they walked in?
When you sit in that chair you are the focal point. Their attentiveness to creating a masterpiece with each cut specialized to their client’s style. When you look in the mirror after a fresh fade, you can’t help but smile. As Deion Sanders would say “ If you look good, you feel good. You feel good, you play good...” The energy is contagious, you walk out of the shop confident and ready to take on the world!
The Barbershop is a rite of passage for every boy growing up. Barber Shops continue to demonstrate their unique contribution to the community and that they are part of black culture and history. When you’re in that chair the struggles of the world fade away for a few moments. The next time you go to the shop, take a second to enjoy the experience and make sure to thank your barber… they do have the fate of your hairline in their hands!
Article submitted by Chris Tazewell (Writer/Editor - TheProudBlackBrand)