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African American Newspapers Forum

Re: Barbershop Clientele Discussion

Sorry, it is from the Cleveland Gazette, Nov 19, 1898. I'll do better in the new year! :D

I find these types of things very interesting, and it is a fact that some black barbers were faced with the issue of discriminating against their own in cases where it was mandated by the white populace. And as you say, part of their decision making process could well be the number of heads needed to make a living. Sandusky had 295 blacks in 1900, and it is safe to say that roughly half of them were male.

According to the census, there is a black and white Albert Williams, neither of which is a barber. Although it would be intriguing to think it may be the white one, I am leaning heavily towards the AA one. The Gazette seems to make it a point in the social columns to indicate when they are referencing someone who is not black. The black Williams appears to be in the outlying area of town in 1900 but is in it in 1910. The white Williams is in the city in 1900 but is not found in 1910. Emery Jenkins is in the city census of London in 1900 as a barber.

The use of "equal rights" in front of the word barber shop leads me to believe that AA's are having issues getting serviced at the existing area establishments based on their race and are attempting to rectify the situation. I'd like to hear the interpretation of others. I knew this would pique your interest Arlene. :)

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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