Beauty salon

Dean Beauty Salon and Barber Shop Honored with Historic Status

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HHistorically, black-owned barbershops nestled in neighborhoods across the country have served as pillars of cultural influence and backdrops for crucial conversations. Dean’s Beauty Salon and Barber Shop, a Portland-based store, is the oldest black-owned business in Oregon. According to NPR, the store is one of the latest additions to the NatiDean US Register of Historic Places.

Dean’s Beauty Salon and Barber Shop opened in 1956. It was founded by a married couple Well and Marie Rose Dean, who left Alabama in the midst of the Great Migration in search of a better future for their family. In 1944, they moved to Oregon, a real act of bravery because the state was segregated.

Deans settled in a predominantly black neighborhood and helped cultivate a strong sense of community. They acquired a house in the 200 block of Hancock Street and opened a hair salon in the basement of their house. They then opened a salon after overcoming the obstacles of racial discrimination. Dean’sen tried to get a loan.

Dean’s Beauty Salon and Barber Shop has become a mainstay in the community. From urban renewal to the detrimental impact COVID-19 has had on Black-owned businesses, the store has resisted societal change and is still standing today. It is now owned and operated by the Deans Granddaughter Kimberly Brown who continues their legacy through his work.

“It’s really a community space, you know? Brown told NPR. “Even if you don’t come anymore, you still feel welcome. You always walk in and hang around the store. You don’t have to have your hair done. You can just come and kick.

News of the Barber Shop’s Dean’s Beauty Salon and National Register of Historic Places honor comes months after the National Park Service awarded more than $16 million in grants to preservation projects focused on conserving spaces history of the civil rights movement.

Kimberley Morelanda customer of Dean’s Beauty Salon and Barber Shop and president of the Oregon Black Pioneers who wrote the book “Image of America: History of African Americans in Portland“, helped advance nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.

“When I walked into the living room, it reminded me of the living room I was raised in,” she said. The Oregonian. “It was a very precious moment in my childhood. Dean felt right at home. It was nostalgic – the family photos on the wall, the wonderful conversations. The gentrification and displacement of the black community in the north and Northeast Portland are important Black history is fading Having a physical landmark in the community is important.


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