Tone, a photographer and lifestyle expert, connects with black men across the country at major turning points in their lives. The setting? The barbershop, a place where black men go to be heard, renewed and transformed.
Tone is a photographer and lifestyle expert whose work focuses on concepts of home and healing.
His first book You Next (Chicago Review Press, 2020) captures images of the communities that exist within black barbershops. With the You Next series, Tone takes that concept a step further. In it, he meets with black men across the country at major turning points in their lives. The setting? The barbershop, a place where black men go to be heard, renewed and transformed.
Each 30-minute, self contained episode of the format-docuseries cuts into hot-button issues including education, gender identity, criminal justice, faith, politics, health, gentrification, fatherhood, and entrepreneurship.
You Next isn’t draped in the typical sheen of a transformation show, but—like Queer Eye or MTV’s MADE before it—its framework is modeled on a before-after binary.
Tone wants us to see barber shops for what they actually are: places that can save lives.
You Next shows how a visit to a prison barbershop might teach a law student with hopes of being a prosecutor another perspective of the people he intends to convict or how an Atlanta area trans-man explores masculinity, finds community, and a welcoming home shop.
The barber shop is the cornerstone of black life and holds so much potential to be reimagined.
And with You Next he’s taking a turn at helping shape how black men are transformed in the shop and their lives. Tone wants you to know when you hear the magic words, You Next, you’re about be transformed.
Gender Identity | Atlanta, GA
Tone meets a transman in Atlanta and goes on a journey with him to explore masculinity, find community, and a welcoming home shop.
Gentrification | Oakland, CA
In the age of gentrification, barbershops are often the last black properties on the block. No city knows this better than Oakland. To better understand this phenomenon Tone heads to a barbershop with hometown hero Ryan Coogler.
Well Being | Los Angeles, CA
Tone visits Jahmil Lacey the creator of Trap Medicine to talk about how the barbershop is revolutionizing healthcare access to the community. At a local shop, they organize free blood pressure screenings and haircuts.
Criminal Justice | New Orleans, LA
Tone meets with a New Orleans law student who hopes to become a prosecutor. The two visit the barbershop at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, and link up with two formerly incarcerated men who run own their own barbershop, Real Gentleman.
Politics | Opa-Locka, FL
Thirty-two year old Matthew Pigot was elected mayor of Opa-Locka, FL last year. Tone connects with the city leader at his shop to discuss why all politics are local and why more young black people should run.
Fatherhood | Philadelphia, PA
In the final episode of You Next Season 1, Tone goes back to Philly, his hometown, on Father's Day to get a cut. There, he and his father trade ideas on black manhood and discuss the moment when Tone left his father's barber to find one of his own.
Education | Washington, D.C.
Everyone wants to be fresh for the new year. Tone goes back to high school to meet with a senior returning to DC's Ron Brown High School as he navigates who he wants to be in his next phase.
Faith | Philadelphia, PA
Tone visits Philly, his hometown and drops by one of the cities many Muslim run black barber shops. There, local faith leaders join him in a conversation on why faith is important for black men.
Entrepreneurship | Detroit, MI
Tone links up with a recent barber college grad and follows him as he secures his first booth rental. Together, they learn about the business of barbering and the barbershops significance to the economic story of black America.
Antonio "Tone" Johnson is an emerging visual artist whose work focuses on concepts of home and healing. His primary medium is photography and, in just a few short years behind the camera, he has earned a reputation for capturing scenes that communicate the complex beauty of urban spaces and everyday people.
Tone was raised in West Philadelphia and educated at Morgan State University, a historically black college in Baltimore. Today, he calls Brooklyn home.
A self-taught photographer, his work is undeniably intimate, authentic and without frills. He achieves that through the relationships he establishes with subjects, embedding himself in their worlds. Additionally, his work is informed by a long history of images capturing black life with influences ranging from the work of Gordon Parks and Jamel Shabazz to Khalik Allah and Andre Wagner.
Tone has a steadfast desire to create images of otherwise hidden parts of society. Ultimately, by shining a light on spaces like barber shops, he hopes to create relationships between them and viewers, connections that would not otherwise exist.