Cuff to be honored

PIQUA — Helen Cuff will be honored at the Randolph & McCulloch Freedom’s Struggle Complex.

Cuff’s name will be affixed to the Smith & Cuff Tonsorial Parlor.

Tonsorial Parlors were fancy 19th century businesses that specialized in hair care services like barber shops and hair salons. Black owned businesses of this type were then usually segregated and their services were provided to a “whites only” clientele. They later became the hubs of the community of color and a village center of social life second only to the church.

Cuff, 98, resides at Heartland of Piqua, after being assisted at her own residence for years by Jeff and Sarah Keels.

A more extensive biographical profile of both Robert Smith and Helen Cuff will be offered later with the approach of the opening of the Smith & Cuff Tonsorial Parlor. It will also serve to facilitate a mentoring literacy program and offer basic health care outreach services, which are now particularly more relevant to the proven health disparities of the minority community with the passage of Declarations of Racism as a Public Health Issue by the state of Ohio and a resolution passed by the city of Piqua.