Barber Shop Show

Coming to you live from Carter's Barbershop in Chicago's North Lawndale neighborhood, The Barber Shop Show brings you a weekly dose of real talk, straight from the shop floor. No punches are pulled and no topic is considered off-topic.

The show is hosted by WBEZ's Richard Steele (and produced by Ayana Contreras). It is produced in collaboration with The Chicago Reporter.

The Barber Shop Show airs every Friday at 12pm CST on Vocalo.org, 90.7 FM, and 89.5 FM.

The show also rebroadcasts on Saturdays at Noon on Vocalo, and on Vocalo's sister station,
WBEZ 91.5 FM on Sundays at 3pm.

The Barber Shop Show is brought to you thanks to the generous support of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the McCormick Foundation.
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On this installment of Barber Shop Show, guest host Natalie Moore got an update on the Large Lots program. The program makes city-owned vacant lots available to neighboring homeowners for only a dollar. The second application round is open to homeowners in Chicago’s East Garfield Park neighborhood until August 4th. largelots.org

We were be joined by:
• Tina Harbin, President of the Yale Harvard Homeowners Association
• Demond Drummer, Tech Organizer at Teamwork Englewood

We also heard about a group called Black Girls Jump that’s working to preserve the art of double dutch jump rope. They even jumped for us live in the barber shop.
For that we were joined by:
Ayana Haaruun, Syreeta House, and Asmahan.

The Barber Shop Show airs on Fridays and Saturdays at Noon on 90.7FM and 89.5FM. You can also stream live at vocalo.org. The show also broadcasts on Sundays at 3pm on WBEZ.

The Chicago Reporter’s Rosalie Chan checked out “Funky Turns 40” at The DuSable Museum of African American History. The Barber Shop Show featured co-curators Pamela Thomas and Loreen Williamson earlier this month.

This week’s Barber Shop Show was our July Mid-Month Mash-Up (our monthly news roundup). Host Richard Steele was joined by:

• Lynette Holloway of The Root
• Salim Muwakkil, Commentator and Host on WVON Radio
• Political Strategist Delmarie Cobb

We discuss the upcoming Chicago mayoral race, staggering new employment numbers, the closing of the last public high school in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago, and many other news stories from the last couple of weeks.

The Barber Shop Show airs on Fridays and Saturdays at Noon on 90.7FM and 89.5FM. You can also stream live at vocalo.org. The show also broadcasts on Sundays at 3pm on WBEZ.

On this week’s Barber Shop Show, show, host Richard Steele was joined by Loreen Williamson and Pamela Thomas, co-curators of a new exhibition at the DuSable Museum called Funky Turns 40.

The exhibit celebrates the 40th anniversary of popular 1970s Saturday morning cartoons that featured positive Black characters for the first time in television history. Characters like Fat Albert empowered a generation of children, while showcasing a multicultural appeal.

We were also joined by Miguel Renteria, an alum of Free Spirit Media, a youth media program that builds media making skills for youth of color. We heard some recent work from youth who participate in the program, and we also discussed the importance of positive media portrayals to youth.

The Barber Shop Show airs on Fridays and Saturdays at Noon on 90.7FM and 89.5FM. We also air a rebroadcast on Sundays at 3pm on WBEZ 91.5fm

On this week’s Barber Shop Show, we revisited uniquely American stories.
We heard the music and stories of the legendary Chicago Bluesman Howlin Wolf from Rick Stone, Oscar “Joose” Brown, Jr. and Billy Branch.
Then, we heard about U.S. Deportations to the dangerous Mexican border town of Matamoros from The Chicago Reporter’s Maria Zamudio.

We also hit the streets to ask people about their unique American Dreams.

The Barber Shop Show airs on Fridays and Saturdays at Noon on 90.7FM and 89.5FM. We also air a rebroadcast on Sundays at 3pm on WBEZ 91.5fm

On this installment of the Barber Shop Show, we heard the stories of two men who have survived the horrors of Heroin addiction. Now, they are on the road to recovery.
We were joined by:
• Journalist Bill Healy, who helped host Richard Steele gather the stories
as well as
• Pamela Rodriguez and George Williams of Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities, or TASC
They talked about new treatment options and the changing landscape of drug treatment legislation.

Later, Richard was joined by Alex Levesque and Delbert Davis of the Automotive Mentoring Group. The Automotive Mentoring Group helps former gang members get on the road to a different kind of recovery. They learn to fix up classic cars, and also learn the soft skills they need to turn their life around.

The Barber Shop Show airs on Fridays and Saturdays at Noon on 90.7FM and 89.5FM. We also air a rebroadcast on Sundays at 3pm on WBEZ 91.5fm.

On this week’s episode of The Barber Shop Show, host Richard Steele talks to Theresa Davis, vocalist and one-time member of The Emotions. She talks about being in the Chicago soul scene.

We were also joined by LaToya Cross, a freelance journalist and Vocalo Storytelling Workshop graduate. She shared her final project from the workshop and talked about millennials who overwork, at the cost of their own health.

The Barber Shop Show airs on Fridays and Saturdays at Noon on 90.7FM and 89.5FM. We also air a rebroadcast on Sundays at 3pm on WBEZ 91.5fm.

Every month, we check-in with our favorite local journalists and bloggers. We get their perspectives on the recent local and national news headlines that caught their attention. They tell us what they thought was the good news, as well as the bad news.
Usually, after that they tell us about those moments that made them go WTF!?! But on this Father’s Day weekend, we’ also talked about the bonds between father and son professional athletes.

We were joined by:
• Managing Editor at Hoy Chicago, Fernando Diaz
• Hermene Hartman editor and publisher of N’digo, and
• Kenny McReynolds, Sports Director for WWME-TV & WCIU-TV

The Barber Shop Show airs every Friday at 12pm CST on Vocalo.org, 90.7 FM, and 89.5 FM.
The show also rebroadcasts on Saturdays at Noon on Vocalo, and on Vocalo’s sister station,
WBEZ 91.5 FM on Sundays at 3pm.

On last week’s Barber Shop Show, we were joined by The Chicago Reporter’s Angela Caputo. We discussed the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, or the NSP. The NSP has provided funding for rehabbing distressed properties. We also talked about how those funds were distributed. Kevin Jackson of the Chicago Rehab Network was also with us at the shop.

Angela brought up the example of Pullman. The Pullman District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It also has had a lot of properties that were rehabbed with funds from the NSP. She suggested that rehab money went to Pullman versus nearby Roseland because Pullman is an “up and coming neighborhood”.

We’ve received listener feedback requesting more context regarding what’s happening in Pullman. So here’s some links.

residential development in Pullman:

Curbed Chicago, Oct. 28, 2013
"Three Pullman Rehabs List on Same Block for Less Than $100K"

Curbed Chicago, Dec. 15, 2011
"City Initiative Seeks to Buy and Restore Forlorn Pullman Homes

commercial development in Pullman:

Curbed Chicago, Mar. 5, 2014
"Behold! Renderings Of Method’s New Pullman Factory"

Crain’s Chicago Business, Nov. 14th 2012
"Panel approves TIF for Pullman project next to Walmart Supercenter"


The Barber Shop Show airs on Fridays and Saturdays at Noon on Vocalo 90.7FM and 89.5FM. We also air a rebroadcast on Sundays at 3pm on WBEZ 91.5FM

According to Angela Caputo’s recent blogpost on the Chicago Reporter’s website, Chicago “has collected 169 million dollars to address the vacant properties left in the wake of the foreclosure crisis.
But her report goes on to uncover that “the city spent money on buildings with luxury finishes in gentrifying areas while distressed properties in some of the city’s hardest hit neighborhoods were left to languish.”
This week Angela Caputo, investigative journalist at the Chicago Reporter, joined us at the shop. We were also joined by:
• Kevin Jackson, Executive Director of the Chicago Rehab Network , and
• Ghian Foreman, the executive director of Chicago’s Greater Southwest Development Corporation.
They also talked about the impact of just one vacant property on a block, as well as how community engagement can tip the scales in the right direction.

Speaking of community engagement, we also heard from Al Rider, who gave us an update on Pastor Corey Brooks’ Brothers on the Block community mentorship initiative.

Lastly, NPR’s David Schaper joined us to talk about a story that he recently covered about community engagement in Englewood. While talking to a community organizer on her porch in the middle of the afternoon, a shooting took place just down the street. They witnessed the whole thing.

The Barber Shop Show airs on Fridays and Saturdays at Noon on 90.7FM and 89.5FM. We also air a rebroadcast on Sundays at 3pm on WBEZ 91.5fm