You Next: Reflections In Black Barbershops, By Antonio Johnson

by | Sep 17, 2020

In 2018, Antonio Johnson toured the United States to photograph black barbershops across the country for You Next: Reflections in Black Barbershops. The book contains a combination of black and white photography and essays from black writers.

 

Image credit: Antonio Johnson

 

“There’s something about a fresh haircut that can change a black man’s outlook on the world, change his outlook on himself. The experience extends beyond just the cut but to the environment of the barber shop.”

 

Image credit: Antonio Johnson

 

Johnson launched the book through a Kickstarter campaign, which explores the reasons behind its creation: ““You Next” will highlight the role of black barbers as stewards of these spaces who literally have a hand in shaping identity and maintaining barbershops as physical sites for community, thought, and expression.”

 

Image credit: Antonio Johnson

 

“The interpretation of the barber shop as community center falls short of capturing what they really are for so many black men: sanctuaries in a hostile land.”

 

Image credit: Antonio Johnson

 

As well as the published book, Johnson is launching the You Next Mural Project, which he hopes will “force public interaction and thought”, and “encourage investment in barbershops by exposing the beauty they hold to wider audiences”. You Next: Reflections in Black Barbershops, is available to buy on Amazon and Barnes + Noble; the photography featured in the book is also available to buy here.

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