‘A White Man Walks into a Barbershop’ movie premieres in Meridian

Updated: Jun. 12, 2021 at 3:55 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Most people go to a barbershop to get a fresh haircut. But there’s more to the experience of just getting a haircut.

Independent filmmaker Kyle Schickner spent 8 years creating a documentary that’s filled with comedy, a lot of good times, and it even takes a look at race relations.

The sound of hair clippers is the first thing you’ll hear when you walk into a barbershop.

Hearing that sound is comfortable for many, but hearing people talk about race may not be so comfortable.

That’s why Schickner created an Independent film called ‘A White Man Walks into a Barbershop’ where he discussed race with people in the Black community.

“The topic of race has become taboo. We don’t know how to talk about it. When I was coming up, we had shown like Good Times, the Alden family, and the Jefferson’s. There were open conversations. We had James, Slye, and Marvin on the radio. Politics were talked about as well as race was talked about openly. I think from that open discussion there was a lot of progress made,” said Schickner.

Schickner’s inspiration to do this film started after the election of Barack Obama in 2008. He felt that people stop being open with conversations about race.

“At some point, we got scared and afraid. We didn’t know what to say. I think not talking about it came to the problem,” said Schickner.

Most of the movie was filmed in Meridian. Jenkins Barbershop was the shop on his list. The filmmaker said that Jenkins made an impression on him that sparked a long friendship.

“He hooked me up with a church. He said I’m coaching a football game for the boys and girls club league why don’t you come there and film. It just evolved. This man who doesn’t know me as well as doesn’t have any reason to trust me. He is opening his world and saying this is who we are,” said Schickner.

“I am a 60s baby. If anyone knows about racism as well as some of the stuff that has happened in Mississippi, it’s going to be me. I have learned a lot from my father. Dealing with Kyle, a white brother that I considered a true brother. It is time for us to come together in unity. It is not black America, it’s not white America, and it’s America,” said Kevin Lewis Sr., owner of Jenkins Barbershop.

The filmmaker decided to host the premiere of his movie at the Temple Theater in Meridian.

A portion of the proceeds from the premiere will go to help the Boys and Girls Club of East Mississippi.

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