Cuttin' Up by Craig Marberry
Wit and Wisdom From Black Barber Shops

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In Crowns and The Spirit of Harlem, journalist Craig Marberry took oral history to a new level. Here, in Cuttin’ Up, he presents more pitch-perfect portraits so good you’ll feel like you’re eavesdropping. Cuttin’ Up celebrates the laid-back fellowship of men in a barber shop, the place, as Marberry writes, “where we go to be among ourselves, to be ourselves, to unmask.”

Crisscrossing the country from Detroit to Orlando, Brooklyn to Houston, Marberry listened in on conversations that covered everything from reminiscences about the first haircut---a sometimes comic rite of passage---to spirited exchanges about women, to serious lessons in black history and current events. His collection of the wit and wisdom of patrons and barbers---including the small but scrappy subset of women barbers and the father of a very famous celebrity---brings together an irresistible and often touching chorus of voices.

Marberry has created a book that sings with the handsome beauty of the oral tradition that is the cornerstone of the black barber shop experience.

A portion of the proceeds from this book support the Maya Angelou Research Center on Minority Health at Wake Forest University.

About Craig Marberry

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CRAIG MARBERRY conducted the interviews and wrote the essays that appear in Spirit of Harlem. A former television reporter who has written articles for the Washington Post, Essence, and the Harlem-based newspaper the Amsterdam News, he is the owner of Info Video, an award-winning video production company. MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM is the photographer of Spirit of Harlem. He is the owner of Michael Cunningham Photography, whose clients include Coca-Cola USA and the Sara Lee Corporation, and his photographs have been featured in the New York Times, Ebony, and other national publications.
Published May 10, 2005 by Doubleday. 192 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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BC Books

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The name of Charles Randolph-Wright’s new play, at the Pasadena Playhouse (Pasadena, California) through April 15, is inherited from its source material, Craig Marberry’s book of first-person stories about the role of barbershops, barbers, and even hairstyles in Black America.

Mar 24 2007 | Read Full Review of Cuttin' Up: Wit and Wisdom Fr...

Creative Loafing

Thrice-married Andre has cut hair across the country, and thus can pass along barbershop stories from coast to coast, such as defying the AIDS scare by cutting a gay man's hair in early 1980s San Francisco.

Apr 25 2007 | Read Full Review of Cuttin' Up: Wit and Wisdom Fr...


Commissioned from a treatise by "Crowns" author Craig Marberry is "Cuttin' Up," an equally affectionate piece about the prominent role played by barbershops in the lives of black males.

Nov 14 2005 | Read Full Review of Cuttin' Up: Wit and Wisdom Fr...


Just as Regina Taylor's "Crowns" celebrated the plumage and indomitability of African-American women, "Cuttin' Up" gives equal time to the men whose world centers on the urban barbershop.

Mar 18 2007 | Read Full Review of Cuttin' Up: Wit and Wisdom Fr...

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