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President Lincoln's Barber

January 31, 2018

History is amazing! Especially when you find a connection from the past to the present. Today's topic relates to haircare and how barber shops of the past possibly help to influence a dynamic shift in civil rights for Black Americans.  FMS cut Barbershop serves what many men and women of all ethnicities call respect. Oftentimes, in addition to getting a fresh haircut, you gain a ton of knowledge just by waiting your turn.

 

Lets cut to the chase with some fascinating history about Lincoln. Lincoln? Yes President Abraham Lincoln. Ok, he freed the slaves and all ... but what does that have to do with barbering. But first, we'll need to dispel the whole "Freeing of the slaves" narrative in another post.

 

This post is about a man named "Florville." The photo of the man [above] is William de Fleurville aka Florville or Billy the Barber. He was the barber our nation's 16th President, Abraham Lincoln. His relationship with honest Abe possibly influenced the presidents views on issues faced by minorities during that timeframe. He opened his Barbershop in Springfield, IL in 1832 and according to historian Sam Wheeler

 

"The barbershop became known as The Palace for the way it was decorated inside and as a marketing tool to lure politicians and prominent businessmen"

 

Lincoln arrived in Springfield in 1837 and went to Fleurville to get his hair cut. The two men became friends for the next 23 years until Lincoln left Springfield for Washington. I wonder what conversations transpired and better yet the content especially as it related to his black barber. I'd bet outside of casual pleasantries, it reflected the metaphor of injustice as Lincoln looked upon the mirror after each shave.

Resources:
http://www.sj-r.com/article/20140223/news/140229694

http://sangamoncountyhistory.org/wp/?p=2233

http://kreyolicious.com/william-de-fleurville-barber-and-businessman-1807-1868/4868

 

[Inspiration]

https://thekojonnamdishow.org/shows/2014-01-02/history-black-barber-shops [AUDIO]

 

 

 

 

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