By Cory Mcginnis
The barbershop has a flavor of its own and good conversations are always at the top of the menu. When you're there, you can talk about anything. No subject is off limits.
It's a place that draws people from all walks of life…corrections officers, the so called “thug”, music lovers, teachers, lawyers, doctors, and even reporters.
With so much crime making headlines, lately, the conversation at my barbershop has focused on the issue of crime and how to protect our kids from violence.
“Blocker Barbershop,” said Tony Blocker.
Tony Blocker is the owner of Blocker Barbershop. He has been working in the conversational cutting business for the past 20 years and, during that time, he's seen the good and the bad.
Despite warnings of danger on the local streets from men like him, many young black men have not listened, and in turn, destroyed their lives and the lives of countless others.
But, as Blocker puts it…”It starts at home. It's a sad situation and how we get started…I don't know.”
You may remember a few of these recent stories…
On January 5th, investigators say Emanuel Jordan shot his wife, Tia Jordan, with a hunting rifle before turning the gun on himself.
Catherine Denise Gibson, 26, is accused of fatally stabbing her longtime boyfriend.
Doniel Hicks was shot and killed at River Glen Apartments the Saturday before Martin Luther King, Jr. day.
And, 16-year-old Royal King was shot to death in his car in front of a teen dance club, Magic City.
“They have these shows on here called 'Almost Get Away With It'… you've seen that one?” “Yes,” I answered. “Now see, these jokers go out here, think they can actually get away with it,” Blocker said. “Alot of them are people pleasers, trying to fit in. They’re overcome by this thing called peer pressure. A lot of times, peer pressure ain't nothing but an excuse for doing what you want to do.”
And, with so many opinions in a barbershop, everybody seems to have an answer…
“The solution is that it starts at home,” said Blocker.
“Everything starts at the house, from when they small, you know, you got to teach them respect, because that's what the youth is missing, right now, they're missing respect…and you if you ain't got no respect, you aint got nothing…” said Drego, at Unisex Barbershop.
The conversation and clippers carry a tune of their own, one is guarded, the other is not…a free for all, anything-goes, rapid-fire of opinions…will maybe one day bridge the gap between know-it-all-teens and seen-it-all adults.
Blocker Barbershop, like any barbershop, allows customers to do what they do best…talk. It’s like a town hall meeting of the minds…men coming together for a conversation with a cut.