This article is written as a testament to my alertness as a barber of long-standing. I can remember when the steel workers were my big money clients. In those days men that worked in the steel plants would talk about their work. They would talk so descriptively that I could envision them at work doing their various tasks.
We are people of the land and our ancestry goes back to the African slave and manual labor in agriculture and crop production. I am sure that Barbershop Talk was exciting, inspirational and thought provoking. Even in captivity and under servitude, there was unity at the barbershop. In my time as a barber I have been exposed to many brothers and sisters who were the first Blacks to do the jobs they were doing here in Birmingham in the ’60s and ’70s. They worked at the phone company, water works, gas company, many banks, car dealerships, bus drivers and cab drivers for white cab companies. The department stores of note were all located in the downtown area at that time; as you can see I am painting a picture of Barbershop Talk as it was back in the day when all of the Black firsts in various careers were heroes and heroines in the Black community.
I thank God for allowing me to live through the first 50 years of the struggle for equality, now young folk, it’s up to you. Now I am not asking you to believe this because I said it, I am asking you to study to show your own self-approval.
By: Pete Stone