A Story of America

The Barber's DiariesThe Barber’s Diaries – The inspiration for creative programming and curriculum development, celebrating the achievements of remarkable “ordinary” citizens who have embodied the fabric and spirit 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. They were the only black family in an all-white town. As the town barber, Ellis was a valuable yet low-paid asset in the white community.

Ellis cut the hair and shaved the faces of businessmen, traveling salesmen and farmers as he had done since the age of 15. He worked silently while they talked, about crops, the weather, community events, politics, and, no doubt, about race issues. In order to survive, he never openly expressed his thoughts. He was an invisible “necessity” to the whites.

Charles Everett EllisIn 1927, at age 40, Ellis made the decision to bring purpose to each day of his life, and to express his voice in a different way. He began writing a diary. At the same time, Ellis chose a path of higher education, to become a self-taught scholar and intellectual by reading every book he could acquire.

In his diaries, Ellis wrote about his quest for knowledge, faith, about his family, and the challenges of the world around him. On issues of racial tension, he wrote of teaching his family where to hide and how to walk through the town, without being noticed.

He would write for the remainder of his life. When he passed away in 1971 at the age of 84, his diaries contained more than 2,650 pages in six volumes spanning world events, his family, civil rights, and his own philosophical journey. In the diaries of Charles Everett Ellis, one sees and feels an American life that inspires the heart, encourages the soul and embodies the human spirit.

In the greater vision, The Barber’s Diaries is a catalyst for storytelling, sharing, and discovery of many other lives within the black American culture that have never been heard. The diaries are a platform to learn about, study and be inspired by the “real” stories of extra “ordinary” people who have helped to enrich and shape a nation.

We encourage involvement to help make this project a reality, a celebration of diversity and of humanity that will reach out to embrace us all. The recent discovery of this literary treasure is the foundation for a comprehensive program of television content, educational curriculum, and limitless online opportunities for sharing and discussion.

To learn more about becoming involved in The Barber’s Diaries, contact Michael Wunsch, CEO, Outpost Worldwide (mike@outpostworldwide.com) or David Henderson, Executive Producer (david@davidhenderson.com). We are seeking co-production partners in the corporate, television and educational markets to participate in this important project. This is a series with significant merit and value. Today, is it timely and highly relevant to America’s new direction.

© 2009 The Barber’s Diaries

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