The Barber Shop Talk: Changing the way people think

Cecilia Robinson

It was an eye-opening, mesmerizing event. The barbers’ and their clients’ topics were raw ,but spoke truth and initiated thoughts one didn’t even know he/she was capable of thinking. As much knowledge and wisdom, a young man learns through his Sunday ritual of a barber shop visit, is how much one is capable of learning at “The Barber Shop Talk”.

The event was a recreation of the foundation that started universities just like Georgia Southern. Colleagues coming together, asking pro-founding questions and talking about the important campus, societal, national and even international issues that hinder the community from moving forward as a human race.

Nehemiah McClendon, first year graduate student, calls the experience of walking through the doors like entering a “safe space”. The warmth and greetings are far from shy, people talk while others actively listen. Peers debate about their difference instead of arguing or simply suppressing. Students open up about personal testimonies that help break down the walls to talk about the things that that are normally deemed a taboo topic.

The “Barber Shop Talk” is an event that the Student African American Brotherhood created to give African-American men a place to talk, learn and share their unique experiences in life as African-American males.

The event takes the trials and tribulations of being black in a white world and hits them head on. This space to talk freely surprisingly caught the eyes of professors, faculty and woman.

McClendon feels that women brought a different perspective and gave men ideas and components of ideas to think about things that they simply didn’t even know existed. Both men and women were learning from the other’s testimonies and shortly into the hour realized they have a lot more in common than they thought.

“It gives the black community and chance to deeply understand their feelings and perspective so that we can then express our feelings and perspective to others,” Chandler Stevenson, junior multimedia film and production major, said.

The Barber Shop Talk takes place every last Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. in the Russell Union Theatre.