Barbershop talks prepare the next generation - FOX34 Lubbock

Barbershop talks prepare the next generation

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"We're therapists, we're big brothers, we're doctors, we're all that," owner of Groomin' Lounge Ibn Gardner said.

On Sunday, the barber shop on 13th street was packed. 

Not by customers waiting to get their hair cut, but by generations of Black men, learning important life lessons, together.

Bryan Hotchkins, a higher ed Texas Tech professor and creator of "The Facade Podcast", helped put together this forum. 

"100 Black Men of West Texas, which I am a member of, a national initiative was made to do barbershop talks, all across the county."

A barbershop can be a safe place to discuss difficult topics. 

This week's focus was on "consent" representatives from LPD were there, to set the record straight. 

"To educate younger men about how to avoid the pitfalls of life," Hotchkins said. "So they can make informed decisions that are better for them. In ways that are protective. So this process is about protecting them."

"Hopefully they'll apply that in their life and teach somebody else their age that way it can spread faster because kids talk amongst kids," Gardner said. 

The importance of learning together, in a media-saturated world, was also highlighted.

"In my era, the whole community would listen to the one black radio station we had KAEZ. When I grew up, that was where we went to, learn about the black community. And in this era, there's just so many different ways, to learn knowledge that could be false," Hotchkins explained.

Although the lessons were aimed at high schoolers, Sunday's event was also a learning experience for everyone involved.

"The detective, and the chief were here, to explain certain laws to us that we didn't know about, it was one thing, I thought that consent was 18 when I was growing up, but it's dropped to 17," Gardner added.

"Sometimes the role models don't know," Hotchkins said. 

The next barbershop talk will take place next month, at 4 p.m.

The topic of discussion will be college preparedness. 

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