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Barber Shop Theology: Integration of the Mind

As I have reflected on those days growing up in the barber shop, it has been fun to romanticize the experience; the wide-eyed wonder of being a boy privileged to hang out in the town “man-cave” has taken me to very vivid recollections. Heck, I’ve managed to charm myself. However, I’m not particularly comfortable or proud of some parts.

This day I reflect on barbershop conversations exactly 45 years ago this month.

History note – June 11, 1966 – Police arrest 22 of about 200 protesters picketing Doe Doe Recreation Park, a private, segregated amusement park with a swimming pool in Lawton.

One of the most wonderful places I went to as a boy was Doe Doe Park.  The swimming pool was huge. It had swings, and a tower and multiple diving boards. In 1966 this place was pristine, especially in comparison to all the dirty cow ponds, shallow creeks and muddy lakes most of us were accustomed to. There were no swimming pools in Apache.

I remember Doe Doe Park fondly. I remember that it was for white only. Sadly, that didn’t bother me; it was the world as I knew it.

Doe Doe Park Pool, Lawton

In the barber shop men talked about the “Negroes trying to swim with the whites.” I remember one person referring to some “uppity coloreds causing trouble down at Doe Doe Park.” Apparently some “Northerners” were involved, whatever that meant; I pictured arrogant and rude people. It seemed to me that these were not good people. Now where did I get that idea as a ten year old? Continue reading Barber Shop Theology: Integration of the Mind