Kaheri's Economic Portfolio
Interview With John Minor
John D Minor: Barbershop Owner and Former Photographer
As a part of The Siblings Together USA
Young Photojournalists' Summer Camp, we are assigned to
interview the community we live in to get a good grasp of what
the Park Morton/Georgia Avenue community is like.
We walk into John D Minor's barbershop, “CJ's” to interview him about the community and his business. He owns his own barbershop on Georgia Avenue. He is very friendly about letting us interview him, even while cutting a customer's hair. He tells us his story, answers questions directly and very matter of fact, and still continues to cut hair. His own hair was trimmed into a shape up with salt and pepper color to it with a mustache. He wore thick framed glasses, white tee, apron, and a chain around his neck and wrist.
He is 71, a barber, and a photographer. He is originally from Washington DC and has lived in this area for about sixty seven years. When asked why he chose this area for his business, he said, “ I lived in the neighborhood for about sixteen years and because when I was looking for a spot, it was available. Barbering is a neighborood business, so I decided to start from home. No place better than to start with the people you know.”
His barbershop receives a diverse clientele.“I have clients that range from politicians to ex-felons. I cut the council man's hair, celebrities, and basketball players.”
Before becoming a barber, he worked for the government. Even though he knew that he wanted to be a barber. He was a part of a summer job program with Robert Kennedy, (John F. Kennedy's brother) and was the first to leave the program with a job. “I got into the government, I didn't chose that profession because I wanted to be creative. I went to college for commercial advertisment.” He goes on to say, “The youth today have more opportunities to succeed and they need to take advantage of them. When I was coming up, usually we had to have our parents finance our dreams and they didn't have the money. So we had to stop, get employed, and try to survive. I'm 71, I got to my dreams of being a barber and a photographer later in life...[Youth today] have more opportunities to fulfil their dreams.
“I think the youth are more advanced than the kids when I was coming up and are exposed to more, so they need to take advantage while their young. In photography, I was lucky enough to be a part of the Chris Brown tour last year. If I was a younger person, it wouldve been a better experience for me, I was an older guy. ”
Even late in his life, he still has dreams to fulfil. He wants to get deeper into photography, capture landscapes as well as portraits, and expand his portfolio. John D. Minor proves to keep pursuing your dreams, no matter how big, or how long they take.
Written by: Kaheri Gyenyame Edited by: J Money and Amani Gyenyame