When we think about a barbershop in the African American community, many things comes to mind. For me, the barbershop has always been a place where young boys can be influenced by young men. Another way that I see the modern day "black barbershop" is metaphoric to CNN. Meaning, any and everything that's happening in the world (as it pertains to black America) will be talked about. But the most important thing that the shop offers is life lessons and advice that young boys can use as they mature.
These traditions are still prevalent at Rennies Barbershop located on Akron's west side at 677 W. Exchange st. Owner and master barber John "JT" Thompson is and has been a staple in the community grooming and educating young men one cut at a time. While I was in the chair getting groomed myself, a teen aged boy hollered across the shop "I made the honor roll this semester"!!! JT replied if you can show me your report card then you'll get a free haircut. The teenager pulled out his smart phone and showed a digital copy of his report card. And just like that, the young man received a free hair-cut on the house.
That's what JT is all about. Community building is paramount for this BMe leader. As JT puts it, BMe is an organization that promotes and uplift black men doing positive things in their communities. And JT and his barbershop (Rennies) are know stranger to doing positive things on a consistent basics. Like for the past few years during the holiday season, JT kicks off his Coats For Cuts campaign. Last year he bought 60 coats himself in-conjunction with the other donated coats. This year he said that he is taking it to the next level by purchasing 250 coats to give away. With that being said I urge anyone with a gently used coat or even a brand new coat to bring it down to 677 W. Exchange st and donate it for a good cause and a great "free" hair cut. Call (330) 283-8864 for more information. Until the next time, have some fun and get something done.