Black Barbershops & Salons: A Neighborhood Oasis

Online film screening Wednesday May 26, 2021, 7-9pm EST. Early production preview of a new film by director Rudy Hypolite and discussion to follow

Free and open to all. Presented by Harvard Anti-Black Racism Film Series. Register to attend here: (We’re just excited and sharing with our community!)

Gentrification and the COVID-19 pandemic are only two of the most pressing challenges threatening the historic, community oasis of Black barbershops and hair salons in demographically changing Boston. Humorous, serious and spirited discussions take place in these multi-purpose establishments, which have served as the lifeblood of Black communities over decades.

This feature-length documentary film, directed and produced by Boston independent filmmaker Rudy Hypolite, maker of This Ain’t Normal, explores the microcosm of black barbershops and hair salons in the demographically changing Boston neighborhoods of Roxbury and Jamaica Plain and the suburban town of Stoughton, MA. It juxtaposes the shops’ immensely important role in their communities with the dynamic, economic changes that are redefining the nature of those communities. Through a cinema verité filming approach, the film delves into interpersonal relationships as well as broader social issues affecting the shops and their patrons.

Post Screening Panel:

  • Rudy Hypolite, Director
  • Erinn Pearson: CC co-founder and owner of Simply Erinn Unisex Hair Salon
  • Robin Reed (MD, MBA): CC Faculty, Strategic Planning Committee Member
  • Dorla White-Simpson (MA): CC Community Leadership Committee, Strategic Planning Committee
  • Maurice “Mo” Chatelier, Owner of Chatees Barbershop in Stoughton
  • James Jette, patron of Chatees Barbershop
  • Latoshi “Cookie” Johnson, Owner of Cookie’s Hair Creations in Roxbury
  • Spenser Wayne Steele, barber and son of owner of O’Aces Barbershop in Roxbury
  • Coach Dennis Wilson, Co-Producer