For decades the Black barbershop has been regarded as a sanctuary of sorts for African American men to discuss everything from sports to politics to relationship advice. A few months back the team at MetroMorphosis began a series of barbershop talks to converse with Black men in Baton Rouge around serious topics in a safe, non-judgmental and honest environment. These talks have become an exciting way to engage Black men and boys in Baton Rouge around subjects pertaining to community transformation and have provided a space for the sharing of progressive thoughts and strategic planning. Currently the talks are held in five barbershops around Baton Rouge with 10 facilitators that guide these conversations. Following the Urban Congress philosophy of “Moment Or Movement”, these dialogues accentuate the idea the difference between a moment and a movement is sacrifice.
(Barbershop Talk at Webb’s Barbershop on Eddie Robinson St.)
MetroMorphosis’ Engagement and Impact Catalyst, Michael “AV” Mitchell, sat down with participating barbers to get their assessment on the series as well as their thoughts on honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. See their commentary below and be sure to invite the African American men in your life to join us for the next batch of conversations happening citywide on Monday, February 18th at 6pm
Reflections From The Shop
(on the value and effectiveness of the Barbershop Talks)
Barbershop Talks group like minded men in a think group which personally I think should happen every day. Men have to take back the role as leaders and protector. Not in a macho ego sense but in the sense of being the constructive head of the village.– Kirk Boutte of Phantasy Styles on Florida Blvd.
Having barbershop talks is another way of visiting a therapist where you can vent, discuss and be yourself.when there can be a designated place where you can feel comfortable and speak your mind can be very effective by knowing you have somewhere to go and there are no judgment.-
Eugene Rico Williams III of KLIPPER HEADZ BARBERSHOP 8520 Scotland Ave.
(on the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.)
It’s all about history. Everyone needs to know their history and the important of what took place. We need to know what our ancestors endured for us to live the lives we live today. If you do not know history, it has been proven that it will repeat itself. Therefore, we must continually remind our youth, community and peers about our past. We have to make sure this never happens again.- Jeffery LaCour, Sr. of Webb’s Barbershop
(on the value of the MLK Day of Service)
We should always ensure that we as a community do the best we can when it comes to MLK Day of Service. The service that we do is a way to transform Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and teachings into community service that helps solve social problems. That service may meet a tangible need, such as fixing up a school, a playground, a community space or senior center, or it may meet a need of the spirit, such as building a sense of community or mutual responsibility.- Mike Crawford of Phantasy Styles Barbershop
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