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14 GIFs That Perfectly Depict Oakland's Black Barber Shops

"A cut is a cut, but the social aspect is almost more important than the hair."

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Photographer Brandon Tauszik's new documentary project Tapered Throne uses GIFs to share the sights and stories of black barber shops in Oakland, California.

This work is ultimately about identity. As we've seen in recent events, America is still deeply conflicted in regard to upholding a socially constructed, fossilized identity towards black men. In Oakland, these barbers are doing their part to foster and nurture that identity, to strengthen it with love and support. It's a proud ritual which they perform with a mindset of service at heart. There is a deep love for Oakland and its culture that comes through in how open these spaces really are. Come get a cut, or come and just be. Reflect, absorb, contribute to the conversation.

"This is one of the necessities that's hands-on. You can't get no haircut on the internet. Here we call people by name." —Dave

"You can come here in this mothafucka and be who you really are. Because out there in society, you can't be too black out there." —Yay


"When I moved to Oakland, I wanted to know who had the best reputation of serving in the black community. When I come here I learn about what's going on in the area, and I learn about who's doing what." —Don


"A cut is a cut, but the social aspect is almost more important than the hair. You never know what someone's going through in their life." —Charles


"Everybody comes to Oakland to get their haircut. It's just a 'get it like you live' type attitude, that's the demeanor we carry out here." —Beanie Man


"You get two or three generations coming in here sometimes. I just crack up how they come and say, 'Hey, you used to cut my hair when I was a little fella!' I say, 'Yeah, maybe.'" —Kenneth