Powell’s Barbershop has been dubbed the “heart” of Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood: Not only has the shop been a mainstay for haircuts and friendly gatherings, but owner Sunni Powell has also organized career fairs and speaker series in an effort to help residents combat the gun violence in the area as well as systemic issues that cause it. Spike Lee featured Powell’s barbershop in a scene in 2015’s Chi-Raq, a satirical retelling of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata that centered on the violence on Chicago’s South Side, but it became the site for a real-life tragedy when shots were fired into the shop on Thursday. One man was killed by the gunfire, while another was injured in the leg. Powell, who was working in the shop at the time, said he will reopen for business today in the hopes that he can generate “something positive” out of the tragedy, such as the “Barbershop Cease Fire Movement” event that’s scheduled for July.
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