Honoring Black History: An inside look at local black-owned barbershops

Black History Month

Over the years, barbers in the Concho Valley have impacted a large variety of customers in many positive ways

SAN ANGELO, Texas – Barbershops in the African-American community, in particular, have served as a cultural staple dating back to the 19th century when most black-owned shops serviced white men. Over the years, barbers in the Concho Valley have impacted a large variety of customers in many positive ways.

“I’ve been here long enough to see kids grow up into adults, as I’ve been cutting them,” Local class A barber Te’Jawn Crowder said. “Every walk of life, going through every experience in life, I end up being the one that they come to in order to get fresh with a good haircut.”

History has shown that the industry has had its ups and downs, but it’s also demonstrated that barbershops can thrive in even the darkest of times in the US since it always has the ability to make a man feel good.

“Cutting hair is just not a job, it’s kind of a cultural way of life,” Fresh Cuts Barbershop owner Carl Haynes expressed. “Some people  need to just talk, and they need somebody to listen. It’s not always about a haircut.”

Last spring, the coronavirus pandemic took a toll on the barbershop business. As time passed, several barbers adjusted by providing mobile services to many customers until businesses eventually reopened.

“I’ve always done mobile service,” Crowder stated. “The older people in nursing homes and stuff like that, I will go inside and cut their hair so it’s nothing new to me. At the same time, when it’s on a broader scale it has to put me in a position to be able to still perform.”

Things may have changed here and there, in order to adapt to the ever-evolving landscape of America, but the foundation for the barbershop has remained the same.

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