African American Barbershops and Health Literacy

SIRC Community Engagement & Outreach Core Demonstration Project

Principal Investigator: Olga I. Davis

Funding: National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, center grant award P20 MD002316 NIMHD (2012-2017)

This exploration study will conduct focus groups and interviews and will use Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) to develop partnerships with barbershops and salons. The goal is to identify the most appropriate and effective avenues to:  (1) increase health literacy of African Americans about cardiovascular disease and the importance of blood pressure screening, referral, and follow-up; (2) engage Black barbers and cosmetologists in becoming CVD Health Advocates through training in the use of blood pressure screening, reporting, and follow-up techniques that increase discourse about the treatment and control of high blood pressure between Black barbershop owners and their male clients; and, (3) identify the cultural risk and protective factors which influence the health promoting behaviors of African American males, especially with regard to CVD.

Related articles:

Davis, O.I. (in press). Barbershop cuisine: African American foodways and narratives of health in the Black barbershop. International Journal of Men’s Health.

Davis, O.I. (2011).  (Re)framing health literacy: Transforming the culture of health in the Black barbershop.  The Western Journal of Black Studies, 35(3), 176-186.