Barbershop Talks Reach the Soul of the Matter

By Lynn Jones-Turpin – The barbershop has traditionally been the safe place for black men to have personal masculine conversations on their day to day activities while receiving and giving practical advise. Barbershop culture in the Black community “is built on conversation and trust between and among the customers and of course, a trust between the barbers and barbershop clients,”  says James Raven, who used to accompany his father every Saturday to the barbershop when he was growing up on the Eastside.

Raven was among the weekly attendee’s to the legendary Washington Estates Barbershop which has been open for over 50 years. During his last visit he had the opportunity to hear local activist and author Rodney Hurst who shared his bout with prostate cancer. The discussion is a component of the Protalks series designed to take prostate cancer awareness to the urban community.  Barbershop customer Sheldon Natalac Davis expressed that both his parents have cancer.  And although he had yet to be tested, his visit revealed his next goal was to immediately get tested and peruse the information and pamphlets provided to customers for review. “Even if we just reach one life, the mission has been accomplished,” said organizer Lynn Jones-Turpin.


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