I SEE U

I SEE U, Episode 69: Black Men On The Cutting Edge

Houston entrepreneur, Ken Hicks, reveals his challenges and triumphs as he, along with his clients and customers candidly discuss the power of support, connectivity and mental healing when experiencing the culture of Black barbershops.

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Top Left - Barber, Derrick Williams Bottom Left - I SEEU Editor Johnmitchell Goode, barbershop customers Dr. Wade and another barbershop client Middle Photo - Ken's Kutting Shoppe Owner, Ken Hicks. Top Right- Ken Hicks and Derrick Williams Bottom Right - Ken Hicks and Texas Coach Lovie Smith

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For decades, barbershops have served as special places for people of color. The barber plays a major role in not only providing hair care services, but for many Black men, in particular, this person is responsible for how their customers are viewed and seen by society. Notions of identity, appearance and character are often assessed, evaluated, measured—even stereotyped by the way a Black man's hair is styled or fashioned. But what happens when haircutting suites and brick-and-mortar barbershops become safe havens? These establishments bring a unique sense of energy and refuge where Black men turn to for comfort, networking, career insight, health advice and gossip – a destination where they can discuss anything, from sports to politics—and not have to worry about being discriminated against or humiliated. Join us as Host Eddie Robinson takes I SEE U away from the broadcast studio and into Ken's Kutting Shoppe – a Black-owned barbershop and hair salon located near NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. The owner, Ken Hicks, as well as one of his employees, Derrick Williams, share their stories of overcoming obstacles and a deadly pandemic all while transforming the lives of Black men (and their hair) for nearly 30 years.

 

 

This article is part of the I SEE U with Eddie Robinson podcast

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Eddie Robinson

Eddie Robinson

Executive Producer & Host, I SEE U

A native of Mississippi, Eddie started his radio career as a 10th grader, working as a music jock for a 100,000-Watt (Pop) FM station and a Country AM station simultaneously. While Mississippi Governor Ray Mabus had nominated him for the U.S. Naval Academy in 1991, Eddie had an extreme passion...

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