Another morning in the Barber Shop.

For as long as I can remember the neighborhood barber shop has been a community gathering place. People who visit for a haircut also have the benefit of the in-between talks during the hair cutting sessions. What I like to call “Barbershop Philosophy”. The rational inquiry into the principles and truths of being, nature, knowledge, conduct, etc. of course from the black perspective.



The Owner / Barber

Wouldn’t know it to look at him but this guy is filthy! As in filthy rich. Nice house owns a small real estate firm, summer house & used auto-dealership in Jamaica. They say you are a product of your environment … well he has a lil’ bit of each of the barbers, characters and customers rolled up in his personality. The owner is very nice with the clippers, to him haircutting is an art and has to be mastered like any other profession. Once you rise up from the chair you feel as if your personality has been polished. You stand a lil’ taller and speak a lil’ louder.

The Reverend

Never has any customers but prominently post his shop hours. He also runs auto-parts for Napa. {Note to Rev this sign is 10 years old}

The Homey

“Ayo! What’s up son?” Better city in America? According to Homey … not fucking likely. That’s right Homey is from NYC the transplant that cut hair out of his home for 10 years came down south to school these country ninjas in the art of barbering. Took him 3 years to get licensed but Ayo son! … He did it his way.

The First Chair

Fresh out of Clown Barber College, he ends up with the walk-ins and the small kids. He’s nice with the clippers, although I did see him patch a dude up once. {Keep practicing on those small kids}


The Coach

No one knows what he actually coaches, he has on the gear, looks the part and he just stops by in between practices (which happen to be year round). You can’t leave without hearing one of his motivational quotes. “Big B, listen my man before you go … If everything seems to be going well, you obviously do not know what the hell is going on.”

The Retiree

Yep, meet Mr. Me Too. He will not be outdone. You’ve run with the bulls in Spain? Well he’s run butt naked with the lions in the Serengeti. Forgot a little piece of the city’s history? It’s okay; he remembers the city when it was just a dirt road.

The Hustle Man

You never see him actually in the chair, but his hair is always cut. Not your average “hustler” he’s not about the illegal acts, but about anything that will make him money. He’ll shampoo your carpet if you rent the machine, pick him up and drop him off at the barber shop when he’s through. His favorite line … “I know a guy” and he will invent a word for anything*

The Player: “What’s up fam!? Man, I just lost a hubcap” {Did this ninja say hubcap? Where tha’ 22′s at playboy?}

Hustle Man: “I know a guy that can get you 4 brand new capo’s* for the cost of one.” {What the eff’ is a capo?}

The Player

This guy. Always looking in the mirror at himself before, after & during his cut. The thought bubble above his head reads …”Man I’m so attractive” He actually believes any woman would be blown away if they sat down and had a chat and got to know him.


The Soccer Dad

So busy with family stuff, I mean if he could just clone himself life would be grand. “I gotta get outta here ya’ll lil’ Nathaniel William Edward Burghardt Du Bois III has T-Ball practice and I have choir practice at the church.

The Gay Guy

You never know he’s in the shop cause his head is buried in his iPhone. I always admire what he has on, great style ~ {No Homo} & Ohhh Mmm Gee the whip! CLS5500! When he’s done & drives that thang’ *Pause* out of the parking lot all heads *Supa Pause* turn and this normally starts the discussion on cars.

The Educated Brotha’ From the Bank

Comes in on his lunch break with the same bullisht every time. “How many I got in front of me?” Like his life is much more important than ours. Hustle Man likes to eff with him.

Hustle Man: “Ayo Educated Brotha’ From the bank? You work for Bank of America right? What branch do you work at?”

Educated Brotha’ From the Bank: “I’ve told you that I work in Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities not at any of the retail branches.”

Hustle Man: “My bad, let me get a loan then?” {Shop erupts in laughter}

The Young Lady

Comes in to get her eyebrows arched and neckline shaped. I think she’s crushing on homey.



Conversations about home town heroes like Chris Leak and why none of the NFL teams picked him up. The Bobcats, The Panthers, Independence High football dominance. Everyone in the shop is a Sports Analyst giving their take. The sports conversation is generally tame but it is without fail. “Well you know he dating that white girl” … which takes us into the next discussion topic

Women / Sex / Marriage / Relationships

This topic brings out the comedians.

On Women

Physical Properties: Found in various states from virgin metal to common ore.

Chemical Properties: Most powerful money reducing agent known to man.

Common Uses: Very effective cleaning agent.

Hazards: Illegal to possess more than one, although several can be maintained at different locations as long as specimens do not come into direct contact with each other.


No arguments or heated discussions here, faith is respected in the shop, where the conversation lives is the “service” of the church and the role it plays in the community concerning; drugs, homelessness, outreach and youth services. Always surprised at how well folk know the Bible or Qur’an. The interpretation is where it gets lost. The most revisited topic tithing; if you should at all, what the bible says, ten percent before or after taxes? {Never ending debate. I’ve been going there for 10 years & this never gets old to us.}


Currently “we on that” Health Care debate. Always on topic … What’s missing from the debate, which has the better philosophy and is Michelle & Barack breaking in every room in the White House.


The Charlotte International Auto Show was last week and “we on that” Porsche Panamera

This list is not even close to half of the characters, personalities and topics discussed in the Barbershop. I didn’t mention the fish fry lady or the bootleg music and dvd hustlers. They are out there in yo’ shop!

Who are some of the characters at your shop & what they be philosophizing bout’?

Check out this video directed by Nelson George A Barber’s Tale

Resist vs. Don’t Resist


Resist: "You got to Love God enough to resist what isn’t of God. Resist means to say something about it. To say No. To stand without compromising yourself, without compromising your integrity. To Love God enough means to be God’s friend, to be like a child. To go to battle as a warrior! Heart battle. Out of love, never out of pride."

Don’t Resist: "To wait and see. To never answer an unwise person, to never try to bring correction on a hurt, tormented, or angry fellow, peer, stranger, co-worker. It means to stay and do your best, even to give your other cheek…ouch! All with the expectation of letting the matter where it is, no where your pride want to go. Guts to be humble and recognize that we all are humans, the Supernatural is God in us…if we let Him."

Always inspiring ...

This post was taken from Peeling the orange's Blog on Wordpress ... one of my new favorites!

Photo Credit: "God-Ego" by Fred Eerdekens

I Voted for the Black Guy

The day after the Municipal Elections I just so happened to need a fresh cut so I made my way to the Barbershop. I anticipated lively interchange on the typical shop talk, on Twitter I give it the hash-tag #barbershopphilosphy. This has reached the top trending spot several times. Politics, Religion, Sports and Sex (not necessarily in that order)

On Religion

The topic centered on churches in the community who are here to serve themselves and those who are here to serve the lord. The conversation also focused on serving the homeless vs creating opportunity for the homeless. But the title of this post is "I voted for the black guy" … let's move on.

On Sex

There was a guy selling Viagra pills for $25 bucks a pop No pun Intended.

On Sports

Yankees in seven. Kobe vs Lebron. The Bobcats & The Panthers. This one's for North Carolina! C'mon and raise up Take your shirt off, twist it 'round yo head Spin it like a helicopter North Carolina go on and raise up!

On Politics

Okay, here is where the conversation got heated. It started with a simple question of "Did you vote?" Who knew three words could spark such a heated debate. For those of you not knowing the local mayoral race saw an African-American, Negro, Black Man (Anthony Foxx) run against a Caucasian, White Man (John Lassiter) The Governor's seat was open due to the decision by Mayor Pat McCrory, a Republican, not to seek re-election. Anthony Foxx, a member of the City Council, won the election by a slim margin, becoming the first Democrat elected to lead the city since Harvey Gantt was re-elected in 1985.

Issues with the Black Community:

The debate was not really about race but it was? Huh?? "I voted for Foxx because he was student council President at West Meck." "I voted because he is a democrat." "I would have voted for him because he's black." These statement were not polled by me nor or these any of my answers. I was just an innocent observer. The one Black Republican questioned them … What was Anthony's platform? What are the issues that concern you?

Issues with the White Community:

The debate was not really about race but it was? Huh?? "Ok-now the Dems ☚ Translation(Blacks)have complete control…No one to blame but themselves from this point on." "Charlotte just screwed up and at a time when the city is going down the tubes."

I can't answer for anyone else and what is important for me may not be as important for anyone else. (But it should cause' I'm right 99.9% of the time) I voted for the black guy not because of race but because of the issues that were important to me. I have no doubt that John Lassiter was capable of running this city, the two were dead even on issues they just had different views on how to achieve them.