negro barbers and their razors
HE CARRIES A RAZOR. The Weapon for Which th9 Average Average Colored Citizen Has a Fondness. Negro Men and TVomen Alike Armed With Keen-Edged Keen-Edged Keen-Edged Chin-3Ioirers, Chin-3Ioirers, Chin-3Ioirers, The negro displays queer taste in his choice of a deadly weapon. He takes as fondly to a razor as he does to a watermelon or a fish's head, and has a decided propensity to put any one of these articles to the best possible use on the very slightest provocation. provocation. The average Ethiopian is so closely identified with the keen-edged keen-edged keen-edged shaving tool that he may be described, aft r the style of Gilbert, to the music that Sullivan Sullivan has snatched bald-headed bald-headed bald-headed from a very familiar familiar Irish air, as A bold, bad African. A razor-wielding razor-wielding razor-wielding man, A cut 'em and slash 'em. Hack 'em and hash 'em, Cawve you deep black man." It is hard to say how or when the negro first took to the razor; but as far back as the first years when he got a foothold on the deck of a Mississippi steamboat and gradually began began to supplant the white roustabout, the razor was heard swishing in the air and rival suitors for Chloe's favors or Uanitah Maiia Jane's hand illustrated each other with cuts in a manner that made the Polfce G -zette -zette as plain and unattractive as a Presbyterian Presbyterian prayer-book. prayer-book. prayer-book. Every 'woodpile landing landing along the river frOin the highest harbor down to New Orleans has its razor story and g,re.stains, and there are tales of carvings extant that make the pares of yellow-backed yellow-backed yellow-backed novels dull and insipid when the two are. placed in comparison. The taste for barber's cutlery grew anions colored citizens until almost every member of the skin-stained skin-stained skin-stained racet from the old-gold old-gold old-gold plush -faced -faced mulatto to the darkey whose countenance glistens like a , "patent-leather "patent-leather "patent-leather sbine"on a No. 18 pair of boots, carried a convenient slaughter-house slaughter-house slaughter-house outfit in his pocket, and used it to bloody advantage advantage every lime he caught a fleeting oppor-tunitv oppor-tunitv oppor-tunitv to elo'so. Razor literature filled the newspapers of this section for many of the post-bellum post-bellum post-bellum vears, and the weapon kept growing growing more and more into favor in the American American Ethiopia. From familiarity with the blaile and handle of the implement the more peaceably disposed colored man naturally fell into companionship with the barber-chair, barber-chair, barber-chair, the mug of lather and the communicative ways of the chin-scraping chin-scraping chin-scraping craft. He became a "barber and he carrietl his beard-mower beard-mower beard-mower into an. occasional elance-house elance-house elance-house or church festival, where he sometimes sometimes allowetl it to wander out of its routine business across some sable siren's windpipe or down the middle of a disputant's back. Nowadays it makes no difference whether a colored man is a chin -scraper -scraper or has Lis chin scraped by another, he may ren-eraljy ren-eraljy ren-eraljy be put down as possesseil of the ability to "jull a razor" and cut you as eleep as he cares to let it go. Antl this notwithstanding the law which makes the carrying of a razor an of-fer.se of-fer.se of-fer.se for wliich a heavy penalty is provided. Until about ten years asro the razor was not included in the orslinanee against concealed weapons, and the fact that possession of it was not punishable by law probably brought it into favor with the coloreel race.. The prevalence prevalence cf the weapon in the pockets of regtoes and the many fatal slashings and cuttings that occurred compelled the old City Council to include the weapon in the or-elin:.rce, or-elin:.rce, or-elin:.rce, and it has been there ever since. A Post-Dispatch Post-Dispatch Post-Dispatch reporter made some irquiries of the police regarding the extent te which razor-carrying razor-carrying razor-carrying is practiced in St. Louis. At the" Chesinut Street sta'ion Sergeant Brown said they had an averasre of four or five cases of con-cealeu con-cealeu con-cealeu weapons every week, and about one-half one-half one-half ol ti e weapons were razors. Tbey were f untl t n net roe, w hite tramps and pr fes-ional fes-ional fes-ional thieves. The tramps us.uaily carried tt.cin to shave themselves, and whenerer tb'V Lave a satisfactory explanation of ttie presence of the keen cutter in their uoekt--, uoekt--, uoekt--, uoekt--, they were allowed to depart in peace. Tiie thief carries a razor for the purpose, of slitMii ope n pockets. It is swift, sure and ioNc-lcss ioNc-lcss ioNc-lcss for this purpose. The crook finds a man lying on the pavement, or asleep in a- a- doorway, doorway, or snoring over a table in a beer saloon, lie cautiously sounds bis pockets by feeling them on "ihe en side, and, hiving located the victim's pockeloobk or roll, skis the pants or vest as the case m iv be, and h is his plunder ready to pick up without having c:iised the dreamer the slightest annovane,-1. annovane,-1. annovane,-1. Negroes, .as a xule, are found to wear the razor in a hip picket, to- to- which they cm reach back, catch the weapon Jy the handle, swii g it open against " tb'e ba-k ba-k ba-k of tle hand and tnve it a swinging sweeep against an aniren:st's net-k net-k net-k that is ordinal ordinal i!y powerful eiiaiiirh to cut his Ueid off as ec ally actlexpeditinusly as if tiie guillo-tjiic guillo-tjiic guillo-tjiic had" doce'tne work. Almo-t Almo-t Almo-t every"iieirr. p'laced under arrest is lound to possess either a razor or a pistol, and sometimes thev have b dh. Capt. Hnebler of the Third District has the principal i egro quarter of the town under his supervision. From Franklin and Cass aerie and from Sixth to Twelfth colored people are packed into tenements like matches in a box, and from Seventh to Eighteenth, between Morgan and Washington Washington avenue, is another densely populated fcegro district. These pVaces are frequent scenes ot trouble. The razor wis heard from only the other day in Clabber allev. and a black woman lying dead in the "Morgue bore silent testimor.v to the skill of the man who manipulated P. It is often Heard of there, but i not followed by fatal results. Capt.Huebler, who has manv arrests to report report every week, with a fair proportion of colored people in the throne, told the- the- Post-Dispatch Post-Dispatch Post-Dispatch reporter that one-half one-half one-half the weapons found upon pripners were of the senus razor. Colored men and colon d women too carr.v them, sharpened to the keenness or a biting north wind, and working as easily on their hinges as if thev had been trained and greased to.'tlv back at a second's notice. White tramps are occasionally occasionally picked up here, too, who seem to dins to tbiir razors after all other earthly possessions possessions have slipped out of their grasp. If any further evidence is required of the for.duess of the colored mm lor the deadlv mzor, all one has to ih is to. take a stroll aor.g the kvee and see the clo'selr crowded show -cases -cases in front of the "old clothes" establishments, establishments, with their rows of gleaming shaing-too'.s.utnunil.eringthc shaing-too'.s.utnunil.eringthc shaing-too'.s.utnunil.eringthc poli-hed poli-hed poli-hed ii to! that form a portion of the tem'iMiasr exhibit exhibit oeigned to catch the eye ami lighten me pocket or tae average idack rou- rou- layout.