ALVIN IRBY, FOUNDER OF “BARBERSHOP BOOKS”
The neighborhood Barbershop has always been a place where men, young and old can go to get away from life struggles or to talk about them all while leaving looking “FRESH!” Sort of like a Black “Mens Club” if you will. Here enters “BarbershopBooks!” A community based program that uses the Barbershop as a comfortable place for young boys to read and study.
While waiting for his cut Harlem comedian and former teacher Alvin Irby noticed one of students waiting. Knowing the kid had problems with reading he figured this would be a perfect time to work on his literary skills.
“There are young Black boys who never see a Black male reading. The work that we’re doing is to provide young Black boys with early positive reading experience in a culturally meaningful place. Using a “male centered” place like Barbershop helps create a black male reading model” – Alvin Irby