By Tricia Hall
The Truth Reporter
City leaders, former employees, residents and current clients gathered on Saturday, February 4 to celebrate the renaming of Lincoln & Detroit to Henry Clark Way.
Since 1971, the corner of Lincoln & Detroit has been the home of Poor Clark’s Barber & Beauty Shop. The establishment has offered more than barber and beauty services, it has also been a source of jobs for youth in the neighborhood and a community gathering place.
Toledo City Councilman John Hobbs III and City of Toledo Housing Commissioner Tiffanie McNair opened with greetings before unveiling the new street sign to warm applause. The organizers wanted to complete this process of renaming the street before Mr. Clark passed, but were excited to commemorate the occasion in his memory.
“He has given away more haircuts than he made money on. He is very deserving of this honor and I can’t think of no better way to honor him then with this sign to honor his memory and his legacy,” shared Councilman Hobbs III.
“I was given more than just a job, but an opportunity to grow in the life skills that I have today. It’s about serving your community and your neighborhood. It is an honor to be here today to honor Mr. Clark,” said Commissioner McNair.
Clark started his career in 1961 after working as an apprentice. His first shop was called, Clark’s Barber Shop. In 1971, Clark moved his shop to its current location, 1723 N Detroit Ave. The establishment was renamed to Poor Clark’s Barber & Beauty Shop. Clark spent 55 years cutting hair and impacting the lives of people who lived and worked in the community.
One program that was highlighted was his active participation in the Adopt a Haircut program, in which boys between the ages of kindergarten to 12th grade to read in exchange for a free haircut from Mr. Clark.
According to an article in this newspaper in 2008, youths between the ages kindergarten to 12 grade, could read out-loud in front of Mr. Clark and their parents to receive a free haircut. The partnership was launched in August 2008 in collaboration with Mount Nebo Baptist Church, Mott Branch library in Toledo and Mr. Clark.