Barbershop Talk with the Fellas
Emmitt Williams

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It’s been a mystery where black students go to get their hair cut on campus. Let’s be honest: although the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point offers a quality education, it is not the ideal place for black hairstyling.

However, UWSP does a great job supplying resources to make diverse groups feel at home as much as possible. In spite of differences from home, a few black students on campus aspire to stay connected to their culture. Staying groomed or getting a haircut a few times a month comes as practiced as any other ritual.

Freshman Maurice Nicholson rated a 9 (on a scale of 1 through 10) for how important it is to get his haircut.

“I get my haircut as often as every two weeks, and as far as importance from one to ten, I would say about a nine. I’m all about appearance,” Nicholson said.

Nathan Pasha, a sophomore Interior Architecture major, rated it a six or seven. His freshmen experience was a bit different from Nicholson’s.

“When I was a freshman, I used to think to myself, ‘I’m going to have to go without a haircut.’ I used to wait weeks until I went back to Milwaukee,” Pasha said.
Now both Nicholson and Pasha get their haircuts on a consistent basis by Micah Little, a sophomore Communications major.

Little talked about the differences between the priority level of getting his haircut in Stevens Point versus getting his haircut in Milwaukee.

“Coming from Milwaukee, you kind of had to keep a haircut. It mattered more there. When I first got here, I really didn’t care much,” Little said.
When transitioning from freshman year to sophomore year, Little mentioned how keeping up his appearance had become more important even in Stevens Point. As a barber, he realized that he is a walking advertisement for student customers.

“Now that I’m getting older, I want to go for a more professional look, especially since I am a barber.   I have to be a model for myself, along with whoever else I cut,” Little said.

Little rated a seven or eight for the level of importance when it came to keeping himself groomed. He mentioned that it’s not always the hair on his head but sometimes just keeping his face clean.

“Sometimes it’s just a matter of keeping my face from looking scruffy,” Little said.

However, it’s not just the haircut alone that makes it a memorable experience. It’s the music and the barbershop talk that comes along with it.
Nicholson listed his barbershop playlist and commented on how all barbershops are different.

“You can go ASAP, then Childish Gambino. You can go Kendrick Lamar or Kanye West if that’s your type of artist, each barbershop has it’s own experience. Some like Chief Keefe or somebody lyrical like Lupe,” said Nicholson.

However, music is just one of the many popular barbershop topics that may lead to a tangent about anything.

“I have heard everything from scandals to the President of the United States, all the way to Oprah, all the way to LeBron James to Michael Jordan.  You never know it goes far,” Nicholson said.

Micah chimed in as he cut Nicholson’s hair in his dorm room.

“Barbershop talk is kind of like talking to the guys.  It’s been guys I never talked to before on a personal level who come in here and tell me about their relationship problems in this room,” Little said.

Micah’s room has become the barbershop on campus. His prices are reasonable, and he has been cutting hair out of necessity since his senior year in high school. Whenever he didn’t get in contact with his barber twenty-four hours in advance, his barber refused to cut his hair. Now he’s constantly on the call and has helped many students on campus stay connected to their culture.

Brionte Ross, a sophomore Economy major and Little’s roommate, enjoys the benefit of being roommates with the barber on campus.
“Since he’s my roommate, its super convenient,” Ross said.

Now that mystery has been solved. One question remains: where do the females within the black culture do to stay groomed?
That’s a different article.