1001 Black Men–#148

The high top fade is back. At first, I thought it was just a fluke. Back in August, I saw a kid on Clay street rocking a Gumby. Then, around Christmas week, I saw a middle school-aged boy with a sharp-as-a-tack 3-inch flattop. Since then, it’s seemed as though the ’90s have exploded in all the Black barbershops of Oakland. Not a week goes by when I don’t see someone–never over the age of 20, it seems–with a haircut that takes me right back to the decade of Bel Biv Devoe and Boyz II Men. I saw the young brother in this drawing a couple days ago, as I was driving down Broadway during the Oakland Tech lunch rush, that time of day when the entire population of the school exits the building and small groups of teens head toward the nearby fast food establishments. He was sporting a uniquely modified fade of loose twists cut into a Gumby slant. When I spotted him, it was still the month of February, and it seems appropriate that I close out Black history month with this reminder of the ways that the history of Black style is kept alive in the personal grooming and style habits of each new generation of African American youth.


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