National Black Barber Shop Appreciation Day is celebrated every year on May 1. It is a day to appreciate the importance of barber shops for black people. The 19th and 20th centuries were a dark period for the black people in America. The constant harassment, public humiliation, and discrimination made life a hardship for most black people in America. Slavery was abolished but the scars of chains are still visible and both sides remember how it used to be. Tensions were a common sight and it took some eminent personalities like Martin Luther King Jr. to fight against the discrimination and bring an end to the dark ages. Let us see how barber shops became important for black people during these hard days.
History of National Black Barber Shop Appreciation Day
Barbering is one of the most ancient occupations on our planet. We can trace back the barbers as back as the Egyptian civilization. We all know barbers did not precede these professions. But these trades were a necessity and unavoidable for any civilization. But grooming can be done personally and during the ancient age, it is a wonder that an occupation developed in the barbering trade.
Until the 19th century, barbers did not just mean cutting hair and grooming. They were also responsible for a wide range of tasks like teeth extraction, branding slaves, tattooing, cutting our gallstones, and many others. As medical science advanced, these professions demanded a much more sophisticated person.
The U.S. was a place where racism was at its peak after abolishing slavery. Society was discriminative towards black people. Going out in the open was always a risk and you could be arrested for something you don’t know about. Gathering together was also a risk that most black people avoided. This is when the institutions of barber shops became a savior for the community. Black barbers started opening barber shops and these shops provided a safe place for black people to gather together. They got a safe place to be free inside the walls of the barber shops. The institutions created a free space and became a symbol of the freedom of black people.
National Black Barber Shop Appreciation Day timeline
Egyptians start to use instruments made from oyster shells or sharpened flint for the first barbering services.
Truefitt & Hill, the oldest and still operational barber shop in the world, begins its operation.
William Johnson, widely accepted as the first recorded free black barber, is born.
Madam Gardonia, the first female black barber, is born.
National Black Barber Shop Appreciation Day FAQs
Why are barber shops important in the black community?
When the laws tried to create separation between white and black people, barber shops became one of the few places where blacks could escape discrimination and humiliation.
What is the purpose of a barber shop?
In modern-day, a barber shop is a place where people go to get their hair cut and styled.
What percent of barbers are black?
25.7% of barbers are black and represent the second most common race in the occupation.
National Black Barber Shop Appreciation Day Activities
Visit a black barber shop
Is it time for a haircut? Make sure you visit a black barber shop during this time.
Style your hair
Create a unique style that compliments curly hair. Make sure you do this from a black barber shop.
Create a party for black barbers
Invite random black barbers for a party. Show them your appreciation.
5 Facts About Barbers That You Should Know
The earliest barbers
Priests and medicine men are the earliest recorded examples of barbers in Egypt.
Barbers in the U.S.
There are around 14,880 barbers in the United States.
Black barbers in the U.S.
25.7% of barbers in the U.S. are from the black community.
The oldest barber shop
Truefitt & Hill is the oldest barber shop in the world.
An old profession
Barbering is one of the oldest professions in the world.
Why We Love National Black Barber Shop Appreciation Day
A day to show appreciation
This is a day to show our appreciation towards black barber shops. We love when special days are designed to appreciate the underappreciated communities of people.
We understand the significance
Black barber shops are historically significant to black people. We love it when a day enables people to understand the significance of others.
Business for black barbers
Naturally, people will visit a black barber shop on this day. It can help generate income and the business will flourish.
National Black Barber Shop Appreciation Day dates