Now through Jan. 31, 2014, visitors to the campus of Southern University at Shreveport can explore one of the most unique history lessons I’ve ever seen, an exhibit of photographs entitled “Have Faith…Yours Truly: Celebrating Pearrie’s House of Style.” The exhibit consists of about 30 photographs of regional and national civil rights leaders, accompanied by text that documents each person’s contribution to the civil rights movement in Shreveport and beyond. The unusual thing about these photos is that each subject is photographed while having their hair cut at Pearrie’s House of Style, a barbershop located in Shreveport’s Allendale neighborhood. All of the photos were taken by GL and Burnestine Pearrie, proprietors of Pearrie’s House of Style. As an introductory placard that opens the exhibit reads, “They are documented candidly – not at a moment of picketing or marching, but just being.”
Reading about community leaders like Pete Harris (restaurateur and business leader), Dr. C.O. Simpkins (“the Father of the Civil Rights Movement in North Louisiana”) and Rev. Herman Farr (whose efforts forced the desegregation of Shreveport’s Strand Theatre) is incredibly interesting, and is made more entertaining by the charmingly candid photographs. Alongside the photos of civil rights leaders receiving haircuts, you can also see a small collection of photos documenting the many famous entertainers who stopped in at Pearrie’s House of Style, including James Brown, B.B. King, Little Richard, Junior Parker and Bo Diddley.
Educational, enlightening and fun to explore, the “Have Faith…Yours Truly” exhibit documents Shreveport history through a uniquely personal lens.
Photography Note: All photos used in this post were taken for the purpose of promoting the exhibit. All photos in the exhibit are used courtesy of GL and Burnestine Pearrie.
Southern University at Shreveport is located at 3050 Dr. Martin Luther King Drive in Shreveport. The library is located in the center of campus (follow the directional signs). For library hours of operation, visit their website. Admission is free.