The Barbershop

May 5, 2013

Producer Charles Monroe-Kane interviewed artist and barber Faisal Abdu'Allah in Madison, WI, at the Atwood Family Barber Shop.



I am a (white) mother who takes my (brown) boys to Terry for haircuts. I was very nervous the first time I went in, but it wasn't because of skin color. I know that the barbershop is "man land," and a female presence might not be welcomed. It certainly isn't as raucous when I step into the shop. I join in the sports chat when I can, and that seems to be fine with everyone there. I have not had an experience where customers made us feel unwelcome. Terry has been absolutely fantastic with the boys, and he treats me simply like a human being. For that, I am grateful. As a family with brown kids and white parents, sometimes we don't seem to fit in anywhere. We don't come to the barbershop for culture or to invade a black man's space. We come there because Terry is a great guy and a great barber.