Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
Derrick Barnes and Gordon C. Jones
Walker Books

The barber’s shop is where transformation happens. Through tonsorial magic, boys who enter as ‘lumps of clay’ or ‘marble slabs’, are transformed. First comes a protective cape that makes you feel ‘like royalty’ allowing the wearer to contemplate the possibility of having a super-powered brain;

then with a dab of shaving cream on the forehead, a slow steady cut with the razor you become much more visible: girls take notice of your style; even your mother’s looks assures you that you’re ‘someone that matters’. And assuredly you are; as are the shop’s other clients – important and uber-stylish every one.

This is a super celebration of that boost in self esteem, that confidence amplification, that uber-cool swagger that comes upon you as you leave the safety of the barber’s shop and step forth in the knowledge that with that fresh cut you look a million dollars …

The combination of Derrick Barnes rhythmic prose and Gordon C. James’ mesmerising portraits of the splendid cast of characters is a book that needs to be in every classroom. It truly is a stunning demonstration and timely affirmation that there’s no doubt about it: ‘Black Lives Matter’.

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