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'Cuttin' Up': Barber Shop Wit and Wisdom

by Ed Gordon
Jun 15, 2006

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Barber shops have long been a gathering place for the African-American community — a place where patrons freely balance sharp personal style with cutting-edge debate over today's hottest issues.

The black barbershop has long been a kind of open forum for social commentary, a freedom celebrated recently in the film Barbershop featuring Cedric the Entertainer. It's long been seen as a place where patrons can "talk straight" without fear of repercussions.

The book Cuttin' Up: Wit and Wisdom from Black Barber Shops by Craig Marberry celebrates that world. Marberry weaves photos and interviews conducted in and near barbershops across the United States.

Marberry, who also wrote the book Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats, talks to Ed Gordon about his inspiration for writing his latest book.

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