talk shop with ShopTalk

As a woman-owned studio, we’ve only been in a barbershop a few times. Every time, it’s been an experience – a mix of comedic antics, political discourse, and life lessons. A safe haven for black men in particular to share their opinions and raise their voices unapologetically. The haircut is just a bonus.

Recently, pride collaborative had the pleasure to collaborate with Buoyant Partners, a Washington DC-based marketing and communications company that harnesses the power of the arts, on ShopTalk, their transmedia storytelling project that takes a deep dive into the multifaceted lives of black boys and young men growing up in DC. The project, which was created through the support of the DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation (the Trust), was born out of this shared understanding that there are incredible stories waiting to be told, sitting right in the chairs at the black barbershop.

We were charged with developing the long-form story for ShopTalk, which included narrative design, reportage, storytelling, and the arduous process of editing. The story, which is nearly 5,000 words, follows the lives of three young men from Washington, DC – their joys, pains, triumphs, dreams, and truths – within a framework of systemic realities.

In addition to the long-form story, the project also includes a gripping short documentary and stunning imagery, all of which are anchored by a new report written by Dr. Ivory A. Toldson & Dr. Sarah D. Manekin called Building Bridges. The report, which was also commissioned by The Trust, provides data about the plight of black boys and young men in DC and includes profound insights into how funders, educators, government officials, and other community leaders can connect out-of-school time to in-school success for black males in the District.

Storytelling for good. Check out ShopTalk.

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