Instagram
2   132
12   133
16   642
30   227
91   1024

Follow on Instagram

Black Heritage Books: The History of Black Salons and Barbershops

Black Heritage Books: The History of Black Salons and Barbershops
Taylor, David Alan, 1951- (Collaborator) McDowell, Rev. Louis (Depicted) Dailey, Roger (Depicted) Cooper, Martha (Photographer)

There are so many fond memories of visiting who owned hair salons and barbershops. From the smell of hair products to the jokes of the men in my family, there is something special about experiencing these community and heritage institutions. Looking to explore the history of black hair salons and barbershops? Check out these books below to add to your library collection.

Be sure to share images of your favorite childhood salon or barbershop experiences with us on social media using the hashtag #blacksouthernbelle

Black Heritage Books: The History of Black Salons and Barbershops

Beauty Shop Politics: African American Women’s Activism in the Beauty Industry (Women in American History)

Looking through the lens of black business history, Beauty Shop Politics shows how black beauticians in the Jim Crow era parlayed their economic independence and access to a public community space into platforms for activism. Tiffany M. Gill argues that the beauty industry played a crucial role in the creation of the modern black female identity and that the seemingly frivolous space of a beauty salon actually has stimulated social, political, and economic change.

From the founding of the National Negro Business League in 1900 and onward, African Americans have embraced the entrepreneurial spirit by starting their own businesses, but black women’s forays into the business world were overshadowed by those of black men. With a broad scope that encompasses the role of gossip in salons, ethnic beauty products, and the social meanings of African American hair textures, Gill shows how African American beauty entrepreneurs built and sustained a vibrant culture of activism in beauty salons and schools. Enhanced by lucid portrayals of black beauticians and drawing on archival research and oral histories, Beauty Shop Politics conveys the everyday operations and rich culture of black beauty salons as well as their role in building community.

Cutting Along the Color Line: Black Barbers and Barber Shops in America

Today, black-owned barber shops play a central role in African American public life. The intimacy of commercial grooming encourages both confidentiality and camaraderie, which make the barber shop an important gathering place for African American men to talk freely. But for many years preceding and even after the Civil War, black barbers endured a measure of social stigma for perpetuating inequality: though the profession offered economic mobility to black entrepreneurs, black barbers were obliged by custom to serve an exclusively white clientele. Quincy T. Mills traces the lineage from these nineteenth-century barbers to the bustling enterprises of today, demonstrating that the livelihood offered by the service economy was crucial to the development of a black commercial sphere and the barber shop as a democratic social space.

Cutting Along the Color Line chronicles the cultural history of black barber shops as businesses and civic institutions. Through several generations of barbers, Mills examines the transition from slavery to freedom in the nineteenth century, the early twentieth-century expansion of black consumerism, and the challenges of professionalization, licensing laws, and competition from white barbers. He finds that the profession played a significant though complicated role in twentieth-century racial politics: while the services of shaving and grooming were instrumental in the creation of socially acceptable black masculinity, barbering permitted the financial independence to maintain public spaces that fostered civil rights politics. This sweeping, engaging history of an iconic cultural establishment shows that black entrepreneurship was intimately linked to the struggle for equality.

Cuttin’ Up: Wit and Wisdom From Black Barber Shops 

In Crowns and The Spirit of Harlem, journalist Craig Marberry took oral history to a new level. Here, in Cuttin’ Up, he presents more pitch-perfect portraits so good you’ll feel like you’re eavesdropping. Cuttin’ Up celebrates the laid-back fellowship of men in a barber shop, the place, as Marberry writes, “where we go to be among ourselves, to be ourselves, to unmask.” 

Crisscrossing the country from Detroit to Orlando, Brooklyn to Houston, Marberry listened in on conversations that covered everything from reminiscences about the first haircut—a sometimes comic rite of passage—to spirited exchanges about women, to serious lessons in black history and current events. His collection of the wit and wisdom of patrons and barbers—including the small but scrappy subset of women barbers and the father of a very famous celebrity—brings together an irresistible and often touching chorus of voices. 

Marberry has created a book that sings with the handsome beauty of the oral tradition that is the cornerstone of the black barber shop experience.

A portion of the proceeds from this book support the Maya Angelou Research Center on Minority Health at Wake Forest University.

Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America

Two world wars, the Civil Rights movement, and a Jheri curl later, Blacks in America continue to have a complex and convoluted relationship with their hair. From the antebellum practice of shaving the head in an attempt to pass as a “free” person to the 1998 uproar over a White third-grade teacher’s reading of the book Nappy Hair, the issues surrounding African American hair continue to linger as we enter the twenty-first century.

Hair Story is a historical and anecdotal exploration of Black Americans’ tangled hair roots. A chronological look at the culture and politics behind the ever-changing state of Black hair from fifteenth-century Africa to the present-day United States, it ties the personal to the political and the popular.

Michiel Perry

Michiel is a Black Southern Belle living a lowcountry life. I love all things fashion, home decor and southern! When I am not running around doing fun stuff for Black Southern Belle, I live in antique stores and have a minor obsession with historic homes 🙂

More Posts

6

Comments

comments

Follow:
Michiel Perry

Michiel is a Black Southern Belle living a lowcountry life. I love all things fashion, home decor and southern! When I am not running around doing fun stuff for Black Southern Belle, I live in antique stores and have a minor obsession with historic homes :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Instagram
2   132
12   133
16   642
30   227
91   1024

Follow on Instagram

Shop Our Favorites!
LEROY CAMPBELL CAREFREE HAND SIGNED AFRICAN AMERICAN ART
Black/Gold Ceramic Planter
Drew Rose Designs Ceramic Woven Trim Planter
Nadia Striped Highball Glass
Ombre Taper Candle Set
Victoria Tasseled Pendant By Anthropologie in Blackk
Set Of 4 5×15 Galaxy Luxe Metallic Placemats
Woven Bamboo Placemats, Set of 4 By Anthropologie in Blue Size SET OF 4
La Double J – Set Of Two Scalloped Cotton-blend Placemats – Cream
Butterscotch Blankees
50″” Warwick 3-Door Accent Media Cabinet Fawn Brown – Threshold
35″” x 35″” Juneteenth by Synthia Saint James Canvas Art Print – Masterpiece Art Gallery
Yaheetech Set of 2 Weave Arm Chair Mid-Century Metal Dining Chair Y-Shaped Backrest Hemp Seat, Black
Sweet Jojo Designs Pink, Green and White 84-inch Window Treatment Curtain Panel Pair for Olivia Collection – 42 x 84
Jani Sara Green and Pink Flatweave Rug – 5′ x 8′
‘Beyonce’ Graphic Art Print on Wrapped Canvas Size: 18″ H x 26″ W x 1.5″ D
A Tale of Two Cities Throw Pillow
HBCU’s Canvas Print
Quilted Patchwork Cotton Throw Blanket – Indigo Blue Shibori Dye Indian Decorative Super Soft & Warm Blanket for Sofa and Couch 50 x 60 Inches
Woven Wicker Rattan Wall Decor, Round Seagrass Boho Kitchen Decor, Minimalist Rattan Chargers & Placemats for Dining Table & Wall Art, Rattan Wall Decorative Basket
Mud Pie Rattan Serving Utensils
ColorBird Stripe Tassel Tablecloth Cotton Linen Dust-Proof Table Cover for Kitchen Dinning Tabletop Decoration (Rectangle/Oblong, 55 x 120Inch, Blue)
carol&frank Josie Indigo Pillow
Finnhomy Sideboard Buffet Cabinet, Kitchen Storage Cabinet with Rattan Decorated Doors
Kouboo 1110141 Manhattan 2-Tier Console, Natural Rattan End Table, Brown
A Different World (TV) 11 x 17 TV Poster – Style A
(27×40) Eve’s Bayou Movie Samuel L Jackson Lynn Whitfield Original Poster Print
Yes. Jesus Loves Me (Religious) – Katherine Roundtree 16×20 Black Framed
Dancing in The Living Room (Girls) – Katherine Roundtree 24×32 Black Framed – African American Black Art Print Wall Decor Poster
The Goodbye Kiss (Buffalo Soldier) – Katherine Roundtree 24×32 Black Framed – African American Black Art Print Wall Decor Poster
‘Inspirations’ Note Cards by Jonathan Green
‘Southern Imagery’ Notecards by Jonathan Green
Amanti Art Funeral Procession Framed Art Print
Willow Row Multi Colored Ceramic Coastal Decorative Jar – Set of 2
Stratton Home Reddish Brown Tulum Woven Lantern Stand
Safavieh Noely Coastal Writing Desk
Estaugh Ikat Black/Gray Indoor / Outdoor Area Rug Union Rustic Rug Size: Rectangle 8′ x 11′
Set of 4 Natalya Ikat Stripe Placemats Gray – Ballard Designs
Unique Loom Greek Key Machine-Made Rug
Alfred Greek Key Ottoman Dakota Fields Color: Lilac
Suzanne Kasler Greek Key Sham – Ballard Designs
Doric Upholstered Wingback Arm Chair Red Barrel Studio Body Fabric: Skylar Antique Blue
Slowtide Beach Towel
Goddesses by Synthia SAINT JAMES Canvas Wall Art 3 Piece
Whitewash Wood Draped Bead 4 Light Chandelier by World Market
3pc Taper Candle Holder Set Gold – Threshold
Screen-Door Nightstand – Black – Nate Berkus
Brass Wall Frame – 14″” x 18″” Matted for 8″” x 10″” Photo – Room Essentials, Gold
Solid Bathroom Wastebasket White – Opalhouse
5qt Cast Iron Casserole Dish Cream – Hearth & Hand with Magnolia, White
Minsmere Caned Accent Table Natural Brown – Opalhouse
227 – TV SHOW 80’S CLASSIC SHOW PRINT, GIFT FOR BEST FRIEND, FOR MOM, HOME DECOR, BLACK ART POP ART, FEMINIST
Shop Now

Click to Shop!

Shares
• powered by chloédigital