Exhibit Showcases Story, Contributions of Black Hair Care Pioneer

The storied career of San Diego resident Dr. Willie Morrow is the focus of an exhibition at the California Center for the Arts Escondido titled “The History and the Hair Story: 400 Years Without a Comb,” running through March 6, 2016. The exhibition, curated by San Diego Mesa College Professor Emeritus of Black Studies, Starla Lewis, tells the story of the African American hair experience, industry and role in present culture. Morrow – who lives in San Diego and runs his hair care product business out of Lemon Grove – is a pioneer in the industry. He created the natural haircut for the military and the first Afro pick comb, just to name a few of his contributions.

42 photos
1/42
Monica Garske
Dr. Willie Morrow proudly stands next to two cherished artifacts -- the original chair from his San Diego-based barbershop (left) and the chair from his Alabama barbershop. He says many stories have been told on those chairs.
2/42
Monica Garske
Dr. Willie Morrow proudly stands next to two cherished artifacts -- the original chair from his San Diego-based barbershop (left) and the chair from his Alabama barbershop. He says many stories have been told on those chairs.
3/42
Monica Garske
The storied career of San Diego resident Dr. Willie Morrow is the focus of an exhibition at the California Center for the Arts Escondido titled “The History and the Hair Story: 400 Years Without a Comb,” running through March 6, 2016. The exhibition, curated by San Diego Mesa College Professor Emeritus of Black Studies, Starla Lewis, tells the story of the African American hair experience, industry and role in present culture. Morrow – who lives in San Diego and runs his hair care product business out of Lemon Grove – is a pioneer in the industry. He created the natural haircut for the military and the first Afro pick comb, just to name a few of his contributions.
4/42
Monica Garske
Most of the artifacts showcased in the exhibit came from Dr. Willie Morrow's personal collection of items he's gathered over many decades as a pioneer in the black hair care industry.
5/42
Monica Garske
The storied career of San Diego resident Dr. Willie Morrow is the focus of an exhibition at the California Center for the Arts Escondido titled “The History and the Hair Story: 400 Years Without a Comb,” running through March 6, 2016. The exhibition, curated by San Diego Mesa College Professor Emeritus of Black Studies, Starla Lewis, tells the story of the African American hair experience, industry and role in present culture. Morrow – who lives in San Diego and runs his hair care product business out of Lemon Grove – is a pioneer in the black hair care industry. He created the natural haircut for the military and the first Afro pick comb, just to name a few of his contributions.
6/42
Monica Garske
Dr. Willie Morrow used this tool to make combs and picks. The photograph in the background shows a young Morrow in action, creating hair car products with the very tool on display at his exhibition.
7/42
Monica Garske
The storied career of San Diego resident Dr. Willie Morrow is the focus of an exhibition at the California Center for the Arts Escondido titled “The History and the Hair Story: 400 Years Without a Comb,” running through March 6, 2016. The exhibition, curated by San Diego Mesa College Professor Emeritus of Black Studies, Starla Lewis, tells the story of the African American hair experience, industry and role in present culture. Morrow – who lives in San Diego and runs his hair care product business out of Lemon Grove – is a pioneer in the black hair care industry. He created the natural haircut for the military and the first Afro pick comb, just to name a few of his contributions.
8/42
Monica Garske
A collection of African combs.
9/42
Monica Garske
The storied career of San Diego resident Dr. Willie Morrow is the focus of an exhibition at the California Center for the Arts Escondido titled “The History and the Hair Story: 400 Years Without a Comb,” running through March 6, 2016. The exhibition, curated by San Diego Mesa College Professor Emeritus of Black Studies, Starla Lewis, tells the story of the African American hair experience, industry and role in present culture. Morrow – who lives in San Diego and runs his hair care product business out of Lemon Grove – is a pioneer in the industry. He created the natural haircut for the military and the first Afro pick comb, just to name a few of his contributions.
10/42
Monica Garske
Most of the artifacts showcased in the exhibit came from Dr. Willie Morrow's personal collection of items he's gathered over many decades as a pioneer in the black hair care industry.
11/42
Monica Garske
A hair dryer.
12/42
Monica Garske
The storied career of San Diego resident Dr. Willie Morrow is the focus of an exhibition at the California Center for the Arts Escondido titled “The History and the Hair Story: 400 Years Without a Comb,” running through March 6, 2016. The exhibition, curated by San Diego Mesa College Professor Emeritus of Black Studies, Starla Lewis, tells the story of the African American hair experience, industry and role in present culture. Morrow – who lives in San Diego and runs his hair care product business out of Lemon Grove – is a pioneer in the industry. He created the natural haircut for the military and the first Afro pick comb, just to name a few of his contributions.
13/42
Monica Garske
The storied career of San Diego resident Dr. Willie Morrow is the focus of an exhibition at the California Center for the Arts Escondido titled “The History and the Hair Story: 400 Years Without a Comb,” running through March 6, 2016. The exhibition, curated by San Diego Mesa College Professor Emeritus of Black Studies, Starla Lewis, tells the story of the African American hair experience, industry and role in present culture. Morrow – who lives in San Diego and runs his hair care product business out of Lemon Grove – is a pioneer in the industry. He created the natural haircut for the military and the first Afro pick comb, just to name a few of his contributions.
14/42
Monica Garske
A collection of Afro Pick combs created by Morrow in the 1960s. These products would later be available for mass production.
15/42
Monica Garske
Dr. Willie Morrow used this tool to sand combs as he created functional picks and tools for the African American community.
16/42
Monica Garske
The storied career of San Diego resident Dr. Willie Morrow is the focus of an exhibition at the California Center for the Arts Escondido titled “The History and the Hair Story: 400 Years Without a Comb,” running through March 6, 2016. The exhibition, curated by San Diego Mesa College Professor Emeritus of Black Studies, Starla Lewis, tells the story of the African American hair experience, industry and role in present culture. Morrow – who lives in San Diego and runs his hair care product business out of Lemon Grove – is a pioneer in the industry. He created the natural haircut for the military and the first Afro pick comb, just to name a few of his contributions.
17/42
Monica Garske
The storied career of San Diego resident Dr. Willie Morrow is the focus of an exhibition at the California Center for the Arts Escondido titled “The History and the Hair Story: 400 Years Without a Comb,” running through March 6, 2016. The exhibition, curated by San Diego Mesa College Professor Emeritus of Black Studies, Starla Lewis, tells the story of the African American hair experience, industry and role in present culture. Morrow – who lives in San Diego and runs his hair care product business out of Lemon Grove – is a pioneer in the industry. He created the natural haircut for the military and the first Afro pick comb, just to name a few of his contributions.
18/42
Monica Garske
At the center of the exhibit sit Dr. Willie Morrow's two original chairs from his barber shops. The tattered chair on the left is from his Market Street barbershop he ran in San Diego in the 1960s. The chair on the right is from the barbershop he operated in Alabama.
19/42
Monica Garske
Dr. Willie Morrow's original chair from his San Diego barbershop that operated on Market Street in the 1960s. Morrow says customers opened up to him on that chair, telling him memorable stories about their lives as he cut their hair.
20/42
Monica Garske
Dr. Willie Morrow's original chair from his San Diego barbershop that operated on Market Street in the 1960s. Morrow says customers opened up to him on that chair, telling him memorable stories about their lives as he cut their hair.
21/42
Monica Garske
The storied career of San Diego resident Dr. Willie Morrow is the focus of an exhibition at the California Center for the Arts Escondido titled “The History and the Hair Story: 400 Years Without a Comb,” running through March 6, 2016. The exhibition, curated by San Diego Mesa College Professor Emeritus of Black Studies, Starla Lewis, tells the story of the African American hair experience, industry and role in present culture. Morrow – who lives in San Diego and runs his hair care product business out of Lemon Grove – is a pioneer in the industry. He created the natural haircut for the military and the first Afro pick comb, just to name a few of his contributions.
22/42
Monica Garske
The storied career of San Diego resident Dr. Willie Morrow is the focus of an exhibition at the California Center for the Arts Escondido titled “The History and the Hair Story: 400 Years Without a Comb,” running through March 6, 2016. The exhibition, curated by San Diego Mesa College Professor Emeritus of Black Studies, Starla Lewis, tells the story of the African American hair experience, industry and role in present culture. Morrow – who lives in San Diego and runs his hair care product business out of Lemon Grove – is a pioneer in the industry. He created the natural haircut for the military and the first Afro pick comb, just to name a few of his contributions.
23/42
Dr. Willie Morrow shows the extensive collection of Afro Picks and combs he's created over the decades.
24/42
Monica Garske
Dr. Willie Morrow points out one of his first comb creations, which helped revolutionize black hair care.
25/42
Monica Garske
Most of the artifacts showcased in the exhibit came from Dr. Willie Morrow's personal collection of items he's gathered over many decades as a pioneer in the black hair care industry. This giant pick comb was once displayed out in front of Morrow's barbershop.
26/42
Vintage photographs of Dr. Willie Morrow's barbershops in the 1960s. One was located on Market Street in San Diego and became a hub for the African American community.
27/42
Monica Garske
Dr. Willie Morrow proudly stands next to two cherished artifacts -- the original chair from his San Diego-based barbershop (left) and the chair from his Alabama barbershop. He says many stories have been told on those chairs.
28/42
Monica Garske
The storied career of San Diego resident Dr. Willie Morrow is the focus of an exhibition at the California Center for the Arts Escondido titled “The History and the Hair Story: 400 Years Without a Comb,” running through March 6, 2016. The exhibition, curated by San Diego Mesa College Professor Emeritus of Black Studies, Starla Lewis, tells the story of the African American hair experience, industry and role in present culture. Morrow – who lives in San Diego and runs his hair care product business out of Lemon Grove – is a pioneer in the black hair care industry. He created the natural haircut for the military and the first Afro pick comb, just to name a few of his contributions.
29/42
Monica Garske
The storied career of San Diego resident Dr. Willie Morrow is the focus of an exhibition at the California Center for the Arts Escondido titled “The History and the Hair Story: 400 Years Without a Comb,” running through March 6, 2016. The exhibition, curated by San Diego Mesa College Professor Emeritus of Black Studies, Starla Lewis, tells the story of the African American hair experience, industry and role in present culture. Morrow – who lives in San Diego and runs his hair care product business out of Lemon Grove – is a pioneer in the black hair care industry. He created the natural haircut for the military and the first Afro pick comb, just to name a few of his contributions.
30/42
Monica Garske
Just outside Dr. Willie Morrow's section of the exhibit is a row of self-portraits created by students who have visited the exhibit. In the drawings, many students reflect on what hair and beauty means to them.
31/42
Monica Garske
Another section of the hair exhibition at the California Center for the Arts Escondido.
32/42
Monica Garske
The storied career of San Diego resident Dr. Willie Morrow is the focus of an exhibition at the California Center for the Arts Escondido titled “The History and the Hair Story: 400 Years Without a Comb,” running through March 6, 2016. The exhibition, curated by San Diego Mesa College Professor Emeritus of Black Studies, Starla Lewis, tells the story of the African American hair experience, industry and role in present culture. Morrow – who lives in San Diego and runs his hair care product business out of Lemon Grove – is a pioneer in the black hair care industry. He created the natural haircut for the military and the first Afro pick comb, just to name a few of his contributions.
33/42
Monica Garske
The storied career of San Diego resident Dr. Willie Morrow is the focus of an exhibition at the California Center for the Arts Escondido titled “The History and the Hair Story: 400 Years Without a Comb,” running through March 6, 2016. The exhibition, curated by San Diego Mesa College Professor Emeritus of Black Studies, Starla Lewis, tells the story of the African American hair experience, industry and role in present culture. Morrow – who lives in San Diego and runs his hair care product business out of Lemon Grove – is a pioneer in the black hair care industry. He created the natural haircut for the military and the first Afro pick comb, just to name a few of his contributions.
34/42
Monica Garske
The storied career of San Diego resident Dr. Willie Morrow is the focus of an exhibition at the California Center for the Arts Escondido titled “The History and the Hair Story: 400 Years Without a Comb,” running through March 6, 2016. The exhibition, curated by San Diego Mesa College Professor Emeritus of Black Studies, Starla Lewis, tells the story of the African American hair experience, industry and role in present culture. Morrow – who lives in San Diego and runs his hair care product business out of Lemon Grove – is a pioneer in the black hair care industry. He created the natural haircut for the military and the first Afro pick comb, just to name a few of his contributions.
35/42
Monica Garske
The storied career of San Diego resident Dr. Willie Morrow is the focus of an exhibition at the California Center for the Arts Escondido titled “The History and the Hair Story: 400 Years Without a Comb,” running through March 6, 2016. The exhibition, curated by San Diego Mesa College Professor Emeritus of Black Studies, Starla Lewis, tells the story of the African American hair experience, industry and role in present culture. Morrow – who lives in San Diego and runs his hair care product business out of Lemon Grove – is a pioneer in the black hair care industry. He created the natural haircut for the military and the first Afro pick comb, just to name a few of his contributions.
36/42
Monica Garske
Some of the black hair care products Dr. Willie Morrow has created over the decades. He moved from Alabama to San Diego in 1959.
37/42
Monica Garske
The storied career of San Diego resident Dr. Willie Morrow is the focus of an exhibition at the California Center for the Arts Escondido titled “The History and the Hair Story: 400 Years Without a Comb,” running through March 6, 2016. The exhibition, curated by San Diego Mesa College Professor Emeritus of Black Studies, Starla Lewis, tells the story of the African American hair experience, industry and role in present culture. Morrow – who lives in San Diego and runs his hair care product business out of Lemon Grove – is a pioneer in the black hair care industry. He created the natural haircut for the military and the first Afro pick comb, just to name a few of his contributions.
38/42
Monica Garske
The storied career of San Diego resident Dr. Willie Morrow is the focus of an exhibition at the California Center for the Arts Escondido titled “The History and the Hair Story: 400 Years Without a Comb,” running through March 6, 2016. The exhibition, curated by San Diego Mesa College Professor Emeritus of Black Studies, Starla Lewis, tells the story of the African American hair experience, industry and role in present culture. Morrow – who lives in San Diego and runs his hair care product business out of Lemon Grove – is a pioneer in the black hair care industry. He created the natural haircut for the military and the first Afro pick comb, just to name a few of his contributions.
39/42
Monica Garske
The storied career of San Diego resident Dr. Willie Morrow is the focus of an exhibition at the California Center for the Arts Escondido titled “The History and the Hair Story: 400 Years Without a Comb,” running through March 6, 2016. The exhibition, curated by San Diego Mesa College Professor Emeritus of Black Studies, Starla Lewis, tells the story of the African American hair experience, industry and role in present culture. Morrow – who lives in San Diego and runs his hair care product business out of Lemon Grove – is a pioneer in the black hair care industry. He created the natural haircut for the military and the first Afro pick comb, just to name a few of his contributions.
40/42
Monica Garske
The storied career of San Diego resident Dr. Willie Morrow is the focus of an exhibition at the California Center for the Arts Escondido titled “The History and the Hair Story: 400 Years Without a Comb,” running through March 6, 2016. The exhibition, curated by San Diego Mesa College Professor Emeritus of Black Studies, Starla Lewis, tells the story of the African American hair experience, industry and role in present culture. Morrow – who lives in San Diego and runs his hair care product business out of Lemon Grove – is a pioneer in the black hair care industry. He created the natural haircut for the military and the first Afro pick comb, just to name a few of his contributions.
41/42
Monica Garske
The storied career of San Diego resident Dr. Willie Morrow is the focus of an exhibition at the California Center for the Arts Escondido titled “The History and the Hair Story: 400 Years Without a Comb,” running through March 6, 2016. The exhibition, curated by San Diego Mesa College Professor Emeritus of Black Studies, Starla Lewis, tells the story of the African American hair experience, industry and role in present culture. Morrow – who lives in San Diego and runs his hair care product business out of Lemon Grove – is a pioneer in the black hair care industry. He created the natural haircut for the military and the first Afro pick comb, just to name a few of his contributions.
42/42
Monica Garske
"Sugar Shack," a 1970s painting by the late Ernie Barnes, artist and former offensive guard for the San Diego Chargers. Dr. Willie Morrow was Barnes' barber, and Barnes gave him this painting. "Sugar Shack" also appeared in the TV show, "Good Times" and on the 1976 Marvin Gaye album, "I Want You." Barnes described the painting as a glimpse into his childhood experience.
Contact Us