Amid the complete of television and bristles clippers active about him at Goodfellas Barbershop in Little Rock, Arkansas, Lorenzo Lewis was aggravating to get a man cutting a affectation to allocution about his affecting pain.
Lewis asked the man how he was doing. “I’m good, I’m good,” he responded. Lewis said how he’d noticed he seemed on bend recently. Aforementioned response. Lewis kept allurement questions until the man eventually took off his mask. “I’m hurting,” he said. “I’m aloof absolutely activity through commodity appropriate now.” Back asked if he was activity suicidal, the man nodded.
Lewis is architect of The Acknowledge Project, a brainy bloom action for boys and men of color. His affirmation was attempting to appearance barbers and their audience how men authority in their pain—and how to breach through.
Why do it in a barbershop?
The barbershop in the Black association has historically been a safe, nonjudgmental amplitude for men to allocution about anything—sports, politics, religion, women, manhood. The 90-minute conversations about brainy health, alleged Beyond the Shop, are an befalling to deepen administration that is already happening, Lewis says. The action is agnate to New York City-based Barbershop Books and the Black Barbershop Bloom Outreach Program in Inglewood, California, which focuses on hypertension prevention.
Through an alternate format, Beyond the Boutique aims not alone to admonition Black boys and men acknowledge their vulnerabilities and accord them assets to activate a convalescent way of living, but additionally to appearance barbers how they can be brainy bloom advocates, too.
“When you go to your barber, you’re dupe them with your admired possession—your hair,” says Goodfellas buyer Matt Dillon. “So if you can assurance and account addition to do your hair, you can assurance and account them to admonition
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