Conversation at the Goode Looks Barber Shop in Houston, Texas, was definitely not your typical barbershop talk today. There were no recaps of Monday Night Football, no analysis of the Allen Iverson trade, not even discussion about the cute girl who just walked out the door.
Today, it was all about politics.
“Politics is all we’ve talked about today,” says barber, Darren Scott, 42. “Everyone is interested in it. We’re all trying to figure out how it’s going to go down. We’re hoping for a change in the White House.”
Scott, who admits to never having seen anything like this, is also using the opportunity to ensure that everyone that sits in his chair has voted. He says most of them did-early. “I ask every one of them, and they say they voted,” he says. “You have a lot of people that voted early to get it out of the way.”
And for many it’s now a waiting game. “They are worried about the Republicans taking the election,” Scott says. “They’re wondering if this thing will be played out fairly. We’re restless. We’re hearing things about the machines, so we just want it to over.”
Scott’s colleague, barber William Muhammad, 38, says he’s proud to see the discussion in the shop taken to a higher level. “It’s a beautiful thing because it causes our people to deal with deeper issues,” Muhammad says. “It has raised the conscious level to where they’re inspired to not just be grateful that a Black man has the opportunity to sit at the head of the table, but it also sends a message that we can follow in his footsteps. We can all be Barack Obamas.”
Scott is also trying to get his clients to change their mind-set.
“Yeah, it’s a proud moment, but I’m telling them to quit saying we’re going to have the first Black president. It’s a change for everybody. Obama’s going to be the president for everybody.”