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Herbert Freeman interview, 2018-01-04

Identifier: rwhc_ohp_2017_005.wav

Scope and Contents

In this oral history interview, Mr. Herbert Freeman, owner of Freeman's House of Styles in Brightwood Park, discusses his life and experiences moving from Engelhard, North Carolina, to Washington, DC. Mr. Freeman discusses his early life in Engelhard, his move to Washington, DC, in 1962, his transition to life in the city, and his long and successful career as a barber in Washington. He also discusses violence against Black people in both the past and present, segregation in North Carolina, and the 1968 Riots in Washington, DC after the assassination of Martin Luther King.


  • Creation: 2018-01-04


Language of Materials


Biographical / Historical

Herbert Freeman was born on May 3, 1941, in Vanceboro, North Carolina. When Mr. Freeman was two years old his father became ill, and his mother moved him and his siblings to Engelhard, NC. In Engelhard Mr. Freeman's mother worked as a domestic worker and raised her six children by herself. Mr. Freeman attended school through twelfth grade in Engelhard and worked in tobacco during his youth. He later worked at a segregated white-only beach in Nags Head, NC. Though Mr. Freeman first came to Washington in 1962, he soon returned to North Carolina to attend a barber school. After he completed school, Mr. Freeman returned to DC, earned his barbering license, and began working as a barber in Washington. After working at several different barber shops, Mr. Freeman opened his own barber shop in Brightwood Park in 1976, Freeman's House of Styles. Mr. Freeman has been married for over fifty years, has two sons, and continues to work at his barber shop to this day.


From the Collection: 27.1 Gigabytes (DIG_0029)

From the Collection: 228 Files (DIG_0029)

Repository Details

Part of the The People's Archive, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Repository

901 G Street NW
4th Floor East
Washington DC 20001