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Lisa R. Withers: Community Knowledge in North Carolina - African Americans in the Old North State

Derrick Green in Front of DeLuxe Barbershop

Derrick Green in Front of DeLuxe Barbershop. Courtesy Lisa R. Withers

Inside of DeLuxe Barbershop

Inside DeLuxe Barbershop. Courtesy Lisa R. Withers

The Negro Motorist Green Book listed places where African Americans could receive services while traveling during the Jim Crow era. The publication included categories such as hotels, restaurants, gas stations, and barbershops.

Durham's DeLuxe Barbershop was listed in the Green Book from 1950-1952. The barbershop and its original owner, Sterlin Holt, Sr., are examples of the people and places across the state who held prominent roles within the community in addition to assisting travelers.

Archival Seedling Lisa R. Withers is connecting with descendants of North Carolina Green Book proprietors to build a collection of memories and historical materials about the legacy of some of the places listed in the Green Book. Her first oral history was with Derrick Green, the current owner of DeLuxe Barbershop.

Read more about the history of DeLuxe Barbershop and Durham's historic Hayti district here.

Listen to Derrick Green talk about DeLuxe Barbershop and its legacy. This is an excerpt from Lisa Withers's oral history interview with Mr. Green. Courtesy Lisa R. Withers

Derrick Green Clip: Details and Audio Transcription

Listen to Lisa R. Withers's reflections on her research process and her advice for researchers and archivists wanting to do community-based work. 

"Mr. Holt's barbershop was not only a place where famous individuals stopped for a haircut and camaraderie while traveling through Durham. It was also a local gathering place where Mr. Holt mentored and shaped young people while providing haircuts. Mr. Holt's lessons, stories about the barbershop, and the legacy of the Hayti community were passed on to Mr. Green, who is now sharing them with the younger generation among his current clientele and researchers documenting African American local history in North Carolina."

- Lisa R. Withers