A safe place to discuss Black masculinity within the Afro-Caribbean community.
Barbershop Talk Series: Locked up, Getting Out & STAYING OUT!
On Friday, November 19th, 2021, The Barbershop Talks series hosted a two-hour Zoom-casted/in-person (limited guests) event at local barbershops in Winnipeg, Toronto and Ottawa. READ MORE...
To create an inclusive space for Black men & youth to share ideas and learn from each other.
Launched in 2018, the first Barber Shop Talk series was scheduled for two hours but ran for three.
Our small team of talented and passionate professionals & community members are dedicated to the empowerment of Black youth.
The first Barbershop Talks was held on Feb. 28, 2018, in a local Ottawa barbershop called The Rite Cut. It was scheduled for two hours but ran for three.
In these informal meetings, participants are encouraged to openly discuss Black masculinity and critical issues that affect Black men and boys in Canada. Besides stimulating conversations, the idea is to brainstorm about solutions to some of the significant stresses Black men and boys face.
The first talks held in Ottawa primarily dealt with unpacking how we define Blackness. It was an insightful discussion about the depth and complexity of the label Blackness and Black as people within the Black community were expressing what the label means to them.
There were many interpretations of Blackness. Understanding the complexities of Blackness helps to dispel the commonly held misconception that any Black individual is representative of all Black people and all Black histories or all Black stereotypes.
Based on the positive response, francophone communities were invited to the second discussion, which took place on July 11 2018 simultaneously in three cities: Ottawa, Montréal and Toronto. Although it is likely that some of these conversations already occur in small interpersonal, informal or accidental spaces, we wanted to host a formal discussion with the community. Both francophone and anglophone attendees of the July events said they experienced similar racially charged microaggressions in Canada. Common among those experiences was the feeling that Black Canadian men and boys were associated with negative stereotypes that demonized their existence.
We feel it is important to focus on issues facing Canadian Black men because there are many misconceptions that racial discrimination does not exist in Canada.
Why hold them at barbershops?
The organizers chose barbershops because they felt they were important institutions. Many Black men have a special relationship with their barbers. This unique connection has resulted in a series of events called the Barbershop Talks, where the “neighbourhood barbershop” is used to create a safe space for Black community members to meet.
One participant said his barber was his “therapist, coach and his everything.” He also mentioned that going to visit his barber for a haircut on a regular basis helped build his identity as a “Black man” and as he got older “it was a necessity” for him to visit his barber.
Check out past Barber Shop Talks on our Youtube Channel.
During this session, Dr. Tamari Kitossa and Dr. Charles Simon-Aaron) provided critical analysis on the notion and myth of absent Black fathers.
This event that emphasized the importance of connecting with the elders of the Black community and learning from the experiences they share with us.