Featured Articles

  • Video Story Treatment: “The Barber’s Diaries”

    Video Story Treatment: “The Barber’s Diaries”

    August 10, 2012 | 3 Comments | More

    The Barber’s Diaries is the story of Charles Everett Ellis, who was a barber in Altamont, a small Illinois town during the 1920s, and the only black man in town. We believe we, as a nation, are at a historic time when such a story carries a profound message.

  • On-Location Production of “The Barber’s Diaries”

    On-Location Production of “The Barber’s Diaries”

    July 9, 2012 | 2 Comments | More

    Sisters Wilma Ellis Kazemzadeh (left and Adrienne Ellis Reeves stand on the spot where their family home once stood in the central Illinois town of Altamont. The Ellis family had lived there – the only black family in a white farming community – until the early 1930s.

  • New Ellis family memorial headstone in Altamont’s Union Cemetery

    New Ellis family memorial headstone in Altamont’s Union Cemetery

    June 6, 2012 | 1 Comment | More

    Among the wonderful group of people in central Illinois who have provided invaluable research assistance in production of The Barber’s Diaries are Lila Bowers and Cec Broeren of Altamont. They made Memorial Day 2012 particularly special.

  • Media Coverage: A Barber’s Diary

    Media Coverage: A Barber’s Diary

    August 2, 2011 | 0 Comments | More

    By Jingo! That’s what Charles Everett Ellis might have said about Sunday’s visit of several descendants to his old home town of Altamont. Ellis, who used the term “By Jingo” on a regular basis, was a fixture in downtown Altamont during the first three decades of the 20th century.

  • From The Barber’s Diaries

    From The Barber’s Diaries

    January 22, 2010 | 0 Comments | More

    Many mistakes have been made which are daily exacting their certain toll and are holding back my onward progress but with experiences gained in those years transformed into wisdom in the future I yet declare that my next forty years shall not be ineffective in service to my Maker, mankind and my own family.

Recent Articles

Media Coverage of “The Barber’s Diaries”

Media Coverage of “The Barber’s Diaries”

Black barber in Altamont focus of documentary,” writes journalist Bill Grimes for the Effingham Daily News.
His story continues …

ALTAMONT — “Forty years ago today, by Jingo. Looking back over these years have brought many revelations.

January 22, 2010 | 0 Comments More
The Inner Mind and Powerful Voice of a Visible Man

The Inner Mind and Powerful Voice of a Visible Man

This is the story of an invisible man who lived at a time of invisible people. Charles Everett Ellis was the only black man living in an all-white small town in Illinois town during a violent period of America’s history, just before the Great Depression.

January 22, 2010 | 1 Comment More
The Barber’s Diaries

The Barber’s Diaries

In a time before any thought of the Civil Rights Movement, when race riots erupted across the Midwest, many blacks fled to safety and better jobs in northern cities. One man remained with his family in the small Illinois farming town of Altamont.

January 21, 2010 | 0 Comments More
Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery

Here is a collection photos of the Ellis family in Altamont, Illinois, in the pre-Great Depression era, and today. We encourage your comments, and invite you to send your photos related to this project.

January 8, 2010 | 1 Comment More
A Story of America

A Story of America

The Barber’s Diaries is the true story of one black man’s journey in America, from the 1920s through the 1970s. A story about perseverance, commitment, family, education, and faith. Working as the sole barber in a time before the Great Depression – surrounded by racial violence in the Midwest and South – Charles Everett Ellis lived with his wife and seven children.

January 2, 2010 | 0 Comments More