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Barber Side Chats: Barbers Express Their Thoughts on the State of Our Union
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Barber Side Chats: Barbers Express Their Thoughts on the State of Our Union
GettyImages /&nbsp;<br /> <a data-close-and-redirect="true" data-ol-has-click-handler="" data-search-type="photographer" href="https://www.gettyimages.ca/search/photographer?family=editorial&amp;photographer=Ira+L.+Black+-+Corbis" rel="nofollow">Ira L. Black - Corbis</a>&nbsp;/&nbsp;Contributor

Barber Side Chats: Barbers Express Their Thoughts on the State of Our Union

Tyrik+Jackson

Introduction

The fight for racial equality must be heard.?Amplify?is our series devoted to elevating black voices and brands, spotlighting issues, and taking action.


By Daniel Lee Hue


Within the past two weeks in American history the ugly underbelly of passive racism has been exposed. Race relations in America have come to a head, spawning the ultimate takeaway that progress is still possible. What started with the public execution of George Floyd has spurred a civil rights movement. Today, this moment in civil rights has become larger than the crime it has incited.

RELATED:?How to Help the Black Lives Matter Cause Through Donations, Education and Policy Reform

Given these events since George Floyd’s death, it was imperative I reach out to leaders of barbershops (which have always been a source of strength for Black communities), on the state of our union. Connecting with these community advocates has turned out to be an impactful survey; gauging the temperature at the local level with cross-country insights into the attitudes of Blacks towards civil justice.

Here’s what they had to say when reflecting on the last two weeks...

Larry+Wilson

Larry Wilson

Founding Member and Co-owner of Levels Barbershop in Harlem, NY @levelsbarbershop

“The last 10 days for me has been a range of emotions related to the death of George Floyd. I’ve felt anger and rage that another innocent Black person has been killed at the hand of police brutality! I’ve also felt a sense of hope at the worldwide outpouring of support and protest for justice for Mr. Floyd. I’m hopeful his death and many others before him, will not be in vain.”?

Khane+Kutzwell

Khane Kutzwell

Of Camera Ready Kutz Inc. in Brooklyn, NY @khanekutzwell

“The last 10 days have been soul-stirring. I wish I took a picture of the thousands of people marching down Utica Ave here in Crown Heights, Brooklyn the other day. I was in my car trying to get across the road before traffic would get blocked, but the scene was amazing, peaceful, unified and strong. My fear of the police has increased. I find myself in fear of catching their attention in any way in case they find a reason to stop me… Even a ‘hello’ from them does not bring me ease. The way white women clutch their purses when passing a Black man is how I feel passing police, but clutching my life. The last 10 days for my shop have been busy with interviews and support from organizations and individuals that want to show solidarity with Black-owned businesses. Even Yelp has reached out offering to put a ‘Black Owned’ stamp on my profile. People and organizations are being more diligent and aware of highlighting and spending money with Black owned businesses.”

Sam+Glickman%2C+Sr.

Sam Glickman, Sr.

Founder of Privado Grooming in Atlanta, GA @privado_by_sam

“Privilege is only relevant for those who don’t have it but desire it. Our focus shouldn’t always be about equality and the lack of opportunity within our own communities. Can we employ and do we wish to be employed by our own?“

John+Osayomi

John Osayomi

Celebrity Barber in New York, NY @ibeenafrican

“I want the world to know that people of African descent in America are struggling and damaged. What is sad is most of us in America don’t know the degree to which we are damaged. I want the world to know that what’s happened to our people isn’t shown on television. It isn’t reported in news or articles. There are many places in the world that believe our people are living great, happy and rich lives. We are truly suffering in our communities. Foods, pharmacies, low level teachers and schools, liquor stores, crimes, and drugs are purposely implemented in our communities. In other countries, people also know where they’re from. That is a blessing... We, in America (African Americans), don’t know where we’re truly from.”? ?

Darrl+%28Dee%29+Robert+Jr.

Darrl (Dee) Robert Jr.

Of Team Hairbenders in New Orleans, LA @therealhairbender

“I’ve been using my social media platform to express my mental anguish in regards to the protest and calls for justice on behalf of our brothers and sisters who have been gunned down in recent days. I’ve always been a person that recognizes the inequality and systematic oppression that we endure on a day to day basis. It’s a conversation I have with my wife and peers continually. I participated in the Black Men in America by Ashley Lorraine and just last year helped create a powerful video that was inspired by Common’s and John Legend’s ‘Glory’ with local artists in reference to the New Orleans slave trade and all of the losses we were taking by those who flashed a badge and were issued glocks as their sidearms. I thank Supa Nova Keya, Daniel Heartless, Mary No Jane, T-Ray The Violinist, Nine Lynzelle, and Captivating Images for coming together and collectively using their talents to express their frustrations for being Black in America.”

Vernon+Scott

Vernon Scott

Master Barber in Brooklyn, NY?@byvernonscott

“Ways to get involved starts at home. Stop being racist, stand against racism, vote, and protest. Use your voice in all capacities for the equal rights of all human beings regardless of ethnicity.“

Joshua+Hopkins

Joshua Hopkins

Of ShakeTheBarber Studio in Houston, TX?@ShakeTheBarber

“Black Lives Matter isn't just an organization, it's a movement to highlight and change the injustices we endure on an everyday basis. I've shown my solidarity by protesting and making my voice heard while supporting several black-owned businesses. It won't stop there; I will continue to mentor young black boys in a world?that's not necessarily made for them to succeed.?I will offer assistance for voter registration and provide rides to the polls as well.?I will continue to strive to be a voice for positive change locally, advancing racial and economic justice throughout the community.?This moment in our lives is pivotal, especially while we have the attention of the world. The black community has suffered far too long.”

“Most don't understand the hurt, anger, pain, and rage that has built up over?centuries.?Black people are constantly treated differently by law enforcement and the justice system. Enough is enough.”

xxfseo.com