Black History Month Profile: First Coast Barber Henry McCullough

Duval Barber Henry McCullough

By David Wright – When you hear of Black History month, it’s usually about individuals who have passed away leaving books or movies depicting their legacy. To allot recognition for the individuals who made significant changes in the civil rights movement, the usual suspects: Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Malcolm X and Medgar Evers are immortalized in the history books. Growing up in New Jersey, we learned about the Black Panther party, Huey Newton and others involved in the 1960’s Black revolution.

This article celebrates the talents of an entrepreneur who is making history as a business owner in the African American Community.  Henry McCullough has been cutting hair at the same barbershop for over 30 years.  He started cutting hair at the age of 11, “I got tired of my mother giving me a bald headed haircut, known as a ‘Kabbalist’ haircut,” smiled McCullough.  Born and raised in Jacksonville, he honed his skills from attending Southside’s Shear Finesse Beauty Academy. A graduate of Paxon High School, McCullough became known as the class barber, cutting hair for his peers, friends and family members.  To give back to the Duval community, McCullough is now on the cosmetology front line teaching young men how to have a lucrative career as a barber. “I had an opportunity to speak to an exceptional group of guys for career day at Ed White High School. Sharing my story with them about overcoming adversity and how being passionate about my craft was the way that I did it. You can have a career/trade now and not wait for college.”

During my recent haircut, my admiration for his craft was confirmed as I looked over to my right and McCullough is cutting the hair of local National Association for the Advancement of Colored people (NAACP) chapter President Isaiah Rumlin.  Now that’s Black History!

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