Philadelphia is known as « the city of brotherly love » and these brothas’ love their beards.
If you’ve ever been to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania you may have noticed the popularity of the Sunni muslim-style « chinstrap » beard. Worn by men young and old (and even non-Muslim) the beard is a fashion statement and cultural phenomenon.
The beard has a special significance in Philadelphia culture and it is unlike any other city in America. In Philadelphia the beard is an expression of individuality, religious observance and civic pride.
« That’s what God gave us, hair on the face. » said Leroy Robinson Jr., a barber at New Identity Barbershop who has been cutting heads and beards in Philadelphia for 33 years.
Each man possesses the capability to grow a beard, and for each man, there is a reason motivating his choice to grow or to shave, to groom, trim or leave alone. The Sunni Beard is the story of one such beard, which is worn by many of Philadelphia’s Muslim converts, and is a prominent feature of chins, cheeks, and jowls throughout town.
In this clip, Chikodi Chima, Justin Colvin & Ben Piven investigates Philly’s signature facial hairstyle.