Adding the finishing touches to tomorrow’s blog post but here’s a little snippet of what’s to come..
My first experience with a black barber shop was out of necessity. After having the bright idea of wanting to sport a Mohawk I quickly realized that this wasn’t something I could pull off on my own. I shared my plan with Alvin who recommended I go visit his barber, he gave me the number and I called. So one Friday afternoon I rolled over to the shop on Cobb Parkway, I pulled up and all seemed normal. I walk around and this uneasy feeling set in, I thought nothing of it and whipped open the door. This is when I realized that I wasn’t in my run of the mill Super Cuts or Sports Clips, this was in fact a full on black barber shop. My heart immediately started racing and I realized that every single person (10-15 black men) in that barber shop was starring directly at me. Not only was everyone staring at me, but I distinctly remember hearing at least 2 pairs of clippers turn off when I walked in. One of the most uncomfortable situations I’ve ever been in. Standing in the door one of the older guys says to me “umm can we help you?” My response was but a whisper and went something along the lines of “um, well, can I have a Mohawk please.” I stood waiting for a response, any response. Finally one guy said take a seat and we’ll be right with you. I was in!
I sat watching a rerun of Sanford and Son waiting my turn. Finally I was offered a chair and I sprang to my feet, wanting to get my Mohawk and get a move on. Things started off on a rough note, I hadn’t done my Mohawk homework, I was unprepared and didn’t know what type. I navigated through it and we were off and running. My past haircuts usually involved some small talk, what do you do? Where you from? Not this one. The guy cutting my hair was talking to one of his buddies and they started talking sports, specifically the upcoming football season. I saw my opening to contribute and show that I wasn’t a scrawny white kid that didn’t know sh!t. They were talking about the keys to the team best player etc etc so I pipe up and say “Matt Ryan is the best player on that team, he does well, Falcons do well” Yes Mitch, point out that the preppy white quarterback is the best player on the team that Michael Vick just single handily ruined. No sooner did the words leave my mouth did I regret saying them. Much to my relief everyone agreed that Matty Ice was the key. After that it was smooth sailing, a few jokes, a bit of sports talk and I was done. Of course I didn’t have cash so they had to run my card, which left me standing there even longer. I made sure to leave around a 95% tip and me and my Mohawk left, quickly.
All in all it was rollercoaster of emotion, but I can now say I’ve been to an official black barber and am a better man for it.