Charlotte, NC (WBTV) -- A logo displayed outside a Charlotte barber shop has been turning heads. Community members want the logo removed before the Democratic National Convention.
Jay Whipple, owner of Queen City Tours and Travel, protests that the "No Grease!" logo, featuring Little Black Sambo, is offensive to the generation of African Americans living in the Civil Rights Era.
The "No Grease!" barbershop is located at TWC Arena on Trade Street. Whipple and community members are concerned that visitors and media of the DNC will have a poor impression of the city after looking at the logo.
The barbershop's owners, twin brothers Jermaine and Damien Johnson, acknowledge that when they opened their first shop 15 years ago that the logo may be controversial. The Johnsons' feel that a community discussion should happen before city council calls for the logo to be removed.
"We took the ideal of how America look at African-Americans...and we put it right there in their face and we said that's not us, " said Damien Johnson in a YouTube video on the shop's website.
"No Grease!" leases its space from the City of Charlotte, who owns the complex. The Charlotte Bobcats manage daily operations at the TWC Arena. The Johnsons' shop has been opened at this location for four years.
Deputy City Attorney Hope Root told WBTV that the city must remain neutral on the case because of the First Amendment.