In Crowns and The Spirit of Harlem, journalist Craig Marberry took oral history to a new level. Here, in Cuttin’ Up, he presents more pitch-perfect portraits so good you’ll feel like you’re eavesdropping. Cuttin’ Up celebrates the laid-back fellowship of men in a barber shop, the place, as Marberry writes, “where we go to be among ourselves, to be ourselves, to unmask.”
Crisscrossing the country from Detroit to Orlando, Brooklyn to Houston, Marberry listened in on conversations that covered everything from reminiscences about the first haircut—a sometimes comic rite of passage—to spirited exchanges about women, to serious lessons in black history and current events. His collection of the wit and wisdom of patrons and barbers—including the small but scrappy subset of women barbers and the father of a very famous celebrity—brings together an irresistible and often touching chorus of voices.
Marberry has created a book that sings with the handsome beauty of the oral tradition that is the cornerstone of the black barber shop experience.
A portion of the proceeds from this book support the Maya Angelou Research Center on Minority Health at Wake Forest University.