Wednesday, July 1, 2009

#67. Bad Experience at The Barbershop

Black people have three great cultural routines in their everyday lives's: church; eating fried chicken with the family; and the trip to the barbershop.

For many Black children, their fondest memories of childhood come from their initial visit to the barbershop to have their hair trimmed, straightened, jheri curl or rowed. Black hair is much different than any other racial groups hair on the planet, and for this reason special attention is placed on selecting and finding the proper stylist, as this relationship could be a lifelong affair.

Black people stress out about their hair so much, an entire website has been created to discuss and rate various stylists in cities throughout the United States and to point Black people in the direction of the top barbershops.

One website devoted to Black hair, writes:
"African hair is made of the same “stuff” as non-African hair. The difference lies in the way those components are put together or the structure of our hair. The structure of our hair can cause it to be more prone to breakage and dryness. Because of this, black hair care needs are different from those for other types of hair. Our hair can have up to twice the amount of “cuticle” or outer layer. Our hair is kinkier which makes it more difficult for the oil secreted from our scalps to reach the ends of the hair."
Black people care so much about hair that two movies have been made glorifying the vocation of the barber: Barbershop and Barbershop 2. In both movies Cedric the Entertainer play Eddie, the elderly and wise hair artisan, who departs this pearl of wisdom on those who loiter around his barbershop:
"See, in my day, a barber was more than just somebody who sit around in a FUBU shirt with his drawers hanging all out. In my day, a barber was a counselor. He was a fashion expert. A style coach. Pimp. Just general all-around hustler. But the problem with y'all cats today, is that you got no skill. No sense of history. And then, with a straight face, got the nerve to want to be somebody. Want somebody to respect you. But it takes respect to get respect. Understand? See, I'm old. But, Lord willing, I'd be spared the sight of seeing everything that we worked for flushed down the drain by someone who don't know no better or care."
White people may have golf courses to discuss the various problems of their lives, but Black people enjoy the neighborhood barbershop as the venue to trade gossip. It is not only a forum to talk about the problems of life, but the place to bestow wisdom to from one generation of Black men to the next.

Thus, when Black people have a bad experience at the Barbershop an entire month can be ruined. Or, in the case of Marcus T. Bailey, 10 to 15 years. Mr. Bailey was having his haired put into cornrows or braided and he had the unfortunate vexing problem of having to partake in a business deal during the corning procedure.

Mr. Bailey was arrested when:
"...he stepped out of a South Side barbershop to conduct an apparent drug deal, police said ...Marcus T. Bailey, 25, was actually being sought on a parole warrant when authorities arrived at 952 Washington Avenue and found him in a car with two other people and about 21 grams of crack cocaine, said Evansville Police Department Spokesman Steve Green. Bailey was apparently having his hair braided inside when he stepped out, Green said... According to the affidavit, Lawrence and Blue both told investigators Bailey told them to come to the barber shop "if they wanted to buy crack cocaine."
Black people have three things that are vital to their physical and mental well-being and when they are deprived of these things, problems do arise. Church, fried chicken with the family and a good haircut a good man do make in the Black community. When, as Mr. Bailey found, you are denied one of these critical triumvirates of Black happiness, chaos ensues.

Stuff Black People Don't Like includes a bad experience at the barbershop, for having a bad hair when your Black is one of the worst things our ebony friends endure.

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