Community Wants Sambo Logo Removed Before Democratic National Convention

Owners of the No Grease! barbershop, a pair of African-American brothers, say that their controversial logo is challenging perception, not touting ignorance.

Posted: 08/03/2012 08:30 AM EDT

The Black owners of a Charlotte, NC, barbershop are catching heat from community members who want the shop's “sambo” styled logo removed before thousands convene in the city for the Democratic National Convention next month. However, the shop’s young owners say that the logo is their way of confronting Black stereotypes. WBTV reports:

“The No Grease! barbershop is located at TWC Arena on Trade Street. Whipple and community members are concerned that visitors and media of the DNC will have a poor impression of the city after looking at the logo.

The barbershop's owners, twin brothers Jermaine and Damien Johnson, acknowledge that when they opened their first shop 15 years ago that the logo may be controversial. The Johnsons' feel that a community discussion should happen before city council calls for the logo to be removed.

We took the ideal of how America looks at African-Americans...and we put it right there in their face and we said that's not us," said Damien Johnson in a YouTube video on the shop's website.”

The owners' explanation of both the name and the logo seem to shed some light on their logic, but for their opponents, all the heavy theorizing may just sound like Bamboozled redux gone wrong.

Read the full story here.

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(Photo: Courtesy WBTV)

Does the logo need to go?