By Katie Colaneri.
Leroy Robinson Jr. owns a barbershop in West Philadelphia. He’s been doing this work for 40 years — and he says the trade runs in the family.
“My father’s a barber, my brother is a barber and here I am,” he says.
His favorite part of the job is talking to his customers about, well, nearly everything.
“Right now, the political thing is on the horizon,” Robinson says, “But the biggest thing right now is Villanova.”
Robinson is part of a project trying to get barbers like him to focus less on local NCAA champions and more on the “political thing” in this election year.
The project, called Sharp Insight, is the brainchild of Duerwood Beale, a rapper-turned-local nonprofit director. Beale has been doing outreach work in barbershops for about 20 years, sharing information about STD testing and registering people to vote. Beale says barbershops, which have been called the “black men’s country club,” are the ideal place to reach men of color of all ages, backgrounds and beliefs.