Barbershops as confessionals, newsrooms and therapists

(K. Brent Tomer),

A YOUNG actor settles into a chair and tells the barber he is nervous: he has an audition for the part of “a strong, black man”. The barber laughs and tells him he is overqualified, but the actor is convinced that he won’t fit their notion of masculinity: he doesn’t know what the description entails. The barber asks what his father thinks. “Never really knew him” comes the reply; there were no uncles or other male role models, only his mother. “Jesus” mutters the barber. “No, not him either.” 

This is a snapshot of the humour with which “The Barbershop Chronicles” tackles hefty subjects. Written by Inua Ellams, a Nigerian-born British poet, it is a piercing examination of black masculinity as seen through a prism of barbershops in Accra, Harare, Lagos, Kampala, Johannesburg and London.  Mr Ellams once described himself as a “Muslim-Christian, Libra-Scorpio, Irish-English-Nigerian skinny, black immigrant” and so his play—perhaps unsurprisingly—is very much concerned with identity and…Continue reading

via K. Brent Tomer CFTC Barbershops as confessionals, newsrooms and therapists

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