Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Community Profile: Barber on a Mission to Inspire Black Community


What word best describes Drew Burrell? A slow and thoughtful smile creeps across his face. There simply is not one word that would fully encompass Quentin “Drew” Burrell. Master Barber, without a doubt. Creative, of course. Entrepreneur, definitely. Father, son, brother, friend. It is his thoughtful approach to not only this question, but his career and life as a whole that is in the most meaningful ways, the true answer.

Barber Drew. When you say that name in the African American community in Albuquerque, it is a name regarded with deep fondness and a sense of reverence. In fact, some people vow they will never let another barber touch their hair. Barber Drew is a tangible Albuquerque success story, but his name encompasses even more than that. It’s a universal respect from a community he shapes with his clippers.

It is safe and even a bit facile to say, Drew came from humble beginnings. As a resident of the Southeast Albuquerque neighborhoods, he began cutting his own hair at age 12. By 15 years old, Drew was sought after and progressed to servicing friends and family’s hair throughout neighboring communities. Shortly after graduating from Highland High School, he got his license at the age of 19 at the Albuquerque Barber College. His desire to innovate the styles he admired on television leveraged his ability to now groom celebrities for film and television, becoming the go-to barber for people of color in the film and television industry. His resume boasts such talent as Forest Whitaker, Giancarlo Esposito, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and Terrance Terrell. His journey has been one of learning and discipline, a career almost a quarter of a century in the making. From the porch to the ownership of a barbershop, to the 65th Grammy Awards, Burrell is constantly evolving in his craft.

Drew’s true mission is larger than just a resume, or clippers. He is on a mission to inspire. He aspires to envelop the community, and ultimately the industry, in the same inspiration he drew from his beloved grandparents and family as a whole. In fact, Drew recalls one of the biggest inspirations he took from his grandfather was the appreciation of observation. “There is a real value in observation”, Drew states, "If I had a superpower, observation would be it!”. He hopes to spread the knowledge he has gained from years of observation as a master barber in the film industry, and beyond. He wants to positively influence stylists to newcomers, and onlookers in the form of truth, encouragement, and wisdom through advocacy of a healthy balanced lifestyle. “When you harness a healthy approach to living there is your power, and you are more talented and powerful than even you may realize.”

So, what words best describe Quentin “Drew” Burrell? Black Excellence. As Juneteenth and the celebration of freedom approaches, it is imperative that the Black Excellence within all of us, around all of us be celebrated. The freedom we all possess to be great. It cannot be forgotten that we are living our ancestors’ wildest dreams. Through us, it is ensured their prayers did not fall on deaf ears. We are the embodiment of their hope, with every achievement fulfilling centuries-old promises.

If you would like to know more about Quentin “Drew” Burrell and follow his story , feel free to connect on social media @Barberdrew34


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