Things Aren't Always What You Think They Are
our team’s assignment is to hit the street and document the businesses
Central Avenue between Vineyard and Southern. As Kim and I are walking
strip mall I spy a quaint little barber shop with the red, white, and
twirly thing outside. I look
inside, very unobtrusively and from a distance.
There are five black people seated on a bench against the wall:
teenage girls, a woman and her son and a young man.
Of the four barber seats, little boys occupy two. A tall
man is working on the hair of one and the other boy is seemingly
apprehensively for his turn.
am trying to decide if I should ask to speak to the owner. I am not
whether they would be receptive, after all I am not black and I don’t
like I am from South Phoenix. A man comes walking out and I get up the
ask him if he is the owner. He says
no and asks me why I want to know. I
explain that I am a student at ASU West and that my friend and I are
people about all the recent changes in South Phoenix. He asks me if I’d
to talk to the owner’s daughter and I say, “I think so, but why don’t
go ask if she would be okay with that first?”
He saunters away confident that she would speak with me.
minutes he motions me back past the waiting people, the two little boys
handsome barber. He introduces me to a young woman and she shares with
feelings on the changes and how she feels South Phoenix will be
asked if I could take some pictures and she said okay.
At that moment her father, the owner, came in and they became
whispering back and forth. I could
see him looking very suspiciously at my camera, notepad and me - - Who
What is she doing here? I quickly
introduced myself and explained what I was doing and would he mind
terribly if I
took some photographs. He
acquiesced quite graciously and I stepped back to frame some shots. The
quite small and it was hard to get pictures without the customers. I was afraid to ask if they’d mind, after all
I am not
black and I felt as if I was intruding. But
I did ask and the teenage girls giggled and said okay. The mother and
okay, and the young man, he asked me to take his picture.
Sam and Samantha Davis were very kind, receptive and open,
and I learned that, maybe after all, it doesn’t matter to South
that I am not black.