...engaging and discerning culture, as a way of life...

March 01, 2008

Barbershop - 6

This film uses the location of a local barbershop in Chicago to allow for dialogue among the community of African-American's that work and surround it to talk about issues closest to them: family, dreams, and race in America. Because the film needs a plot to be successful at the box-office, an the ATM next store is stolen, and a shady businessman offers to buy the barbershop from Calvin (Ice Cube). In the end the community comes together and Calvin begins to understand the value of the local over the global. The film ends with a great quote by Eddie (Cedric the Entertainer) about how the narrative of making a living (money and fame) has replaced the narrative of making a life (valuing family and community). Rather than playing to stereotypes, the film uses the conflict within the Black community to show that it is internally diverse and should not be understood as a monolithic culture.

See, in my day, a barber was more than just somebody who sit around in a FUBU shirt with his drawers hanging all out. In my day, a barber was a counselor. He was a fashion expert. A style coach. Pimp. Just general all-around hustler. But the problem with y'all cats today, is that you got no skill. No sense of history. And then, with a straight face, got the nerve to want to be somebody. Want somebody to respect you. But it takes respect to get respect. Understand? See, I'm old. But, Lord willing, I'd be spared the sight of seeing everything that we worked for flushed down the drain by someone who don't know no better or care.

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