Saying Goodbye to Mr. McKoy
Mr. McKoy was our neighborhood Barber. He was the man we can all thank for Pop's s-curl phase, as well as his perfect fro seamlessly connected to his mutton chop sideburns thereafter. He was the Cosmetologist that cut my mom's hair super short and chic in the early seventies for her first trip to Europe - encouraging her to always try new things and travel often. He was my big brother's barber, greeting him every visit "Man with the plan"! He was the stylist that gave me curls during a rather interesting time in my youth where my tomboy had taken over, but school pictures had arrived. Thank you, Mr. Mckoy. He was a good friend, role model, and mentor in and around our community.
As we identify the need for places like this, we can look around and see them disappearing every day. Barber's are black men's Therapist, think about it: he sits in this chair once a week, feels the security to share his life with the trusted party, and leaves looking and feeling better - it's transformational. These spaces are key components in our communities - meeting places where stories are passed down, and lessons are learned.
For every Neighborhood Barber out there, carrying the torch forward - providing confidence beyond the physical - thank you for your commitment to our community.
This piece is dedicated to the life and work of Mr. Donald McKoy, may you rest in power.