The morning hours before the hustle and bustle of the day commences is the perfect time to pause and enjoy a sense ofrenewal and vitality. On the morning of December 7, 2006, Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes eachtook a digital photo of everyday objects randomly arranged on their kitchen tables and, unbeknownst to one another, uploaded them to the website Flickr. Noticing a remarkable similarity between their images, they agreed to documenttheir mornings by posting one photo to a shared blog every weekday for a year. Their site, 3191 (http: //3191.visualblogging.com)named after the distance in miles between their homes in Portland, Maine, and Portland, Oregonquickly acquired a worldwide following of devotees fascinated by the magical coincidences and pictorial synchronicity of their photographic pairings.A Year of Mornings collects 236 imagesalways taken before 10 am without discussion between the two womenfrom this uniquely 21st-century artistic collaboration. The intimacy of these photographsdiscarded clothing, a view of a snowy day from the window, a tableclothcombined with their striking similarities in color and composition defies the reality of their long-distance collaboration. While clearly kindred spirits, the two women have met in person only once. Their friendship is maintained solely online, sustained by a shared love for moments of serenity, solitude, and peacefulness. The annotated photographs in A Year of Mornings radiate an aura of sweetness and lightthe promise of a new day.
"A stirring work . . . images meet text to convey a most handsome portrait of Black barbering in America as a revered cultural practice. Honest, intelligent, poignant--You Next is brilliant from cover to cover." --Maurice Wallace, Rutgers University
An intimate photographic exploration of the ways Black barber shops operate as sites for the cultivation of Black male identity and wellnessGrowing up, getting a haircut was a weekly event Antonio M. Johnson looked forward to more than anything. There in that tilted chair surrounded by members of his community and totems of a shared experience, Johnson felt safe--felt like anything was possible. Barber shops are more than places simply to get a cut. They are where Black men can speak and receive feedback about who we are, who we want to be, and what we believe to be true about the world around us. The interpretation of the barber shop as community center falls short of capturing what they really are for so many Black men: sanctuaries in a hostile land. You Next is an intimate photographic exploration of Black barber shops in major US cities--Gary, Indiana; Washington DC; New York City; Oakland; Atlanta; Los Angeles; Detroit; New Orleans; Montgomery; Memphis, and Johnson's hometown of Philadelphia.
These photos, interviews, and essays tell the full story of the Black barber shop in America.