The relationship between Black men and their barbers is spoken of often, but never lacking in relevance. Art Williams has been my barber for over a decade. He is a father, a husband, a coach, and a good listen. I met Art at Reggie's on MLK, when I first moved to Portland. I sacrificed my hairline to science and took a risk on Art when the brother that cut my hair the first time I came in the shop was not present. When you move someplace new you have to take risks and extend trust to make connections. In that time I grew my dreads back twice and have had several permutations of my beard, but one barber. He has always come through when I really needed a cut and has kept a brother optimistic about the state of my hairline. (I don't need to come home just yet!) I recorded this interview at the end of the summer of 2015, prior to football season and few months after the birth of his second child. As you will hear in the tape we met in a closed but not quiet space not far from Champions, the shop in which he is part owner. I plan to update our conversation when our schedules align in the near future. Take the best part for yourself and always comment with respect if you wish to add on.
Peace and thank you to Mike, Nick, Omar, Byron, Chris, Born, Nate and all the barbers I may have missed who kept a brother sharp at one time or another. Your work is appreciated! Peace