It's no secret that the black male community struggles with the idea of collaboration and genuine support for one another. Unfortunately, this stems from a deeper place. Many black men grow up not trusting anyone or are always fending for themselves.
This constant struggle to support one another is something that needs to be addressed on a very broad platform.
Not many men are comfortable talking about this struggle or even know where to begin. That is why HBO Sports' new show "The Shop" is so momentous to the black community. "The Shop" is a collaboration between HBO Sports, Lebron James and Maverick Carter's "Uninterrupted" and gives the guests the real barbershop experience.
For anyone who doesn't know, barbershops and hair salons are the meccas of the black community. If you want good conversation, to practice your joanin', or simply have a good time on the weekends, these are the places to be. In "The Shop," they discuss the importance of the barbershop and even explain it to their Caucasian counterparts.
The best part is, they bring women in to join the fun too.
This is the moment I knew I would love the show.
There is an unexplainable power when a group of influential individuals come together outside of their different industry lanes and really sit down to have a genuine conversation. The conversations on this show are limitless and touch on everything, from industry trends to how a bad haircut can affect you. The dynamic between James and Carter, in particular, is so fluid that the conversation is never dry or uninteresting.
It is also a great example of how to give your friends their own avenue to be successful without spoon-feeding them. James and Carter are childhood friends, and they're joined on the show by three other guys James grew up with that he now employs. Instead of dragging them along for his ride of fame, he pinpointed their strengths and gave them the opportunity to capitalize on it.
That is true friendship.
"The Shop" has so many small lessons within lessons, whether it's in the conversation being had, the stories being told, the diversity of the show itself, the reason and meaning behind its creation, or in the journeys of each individual that appears on it. No matter where you find the lesson, the show provides advice and inspiration to anyone who will receive it.
The culture needed a representation of what genuine love and support for successful black people look like, and that is what James and Carter have created here.