Although she wasn’t born in Richmond County, Charlette Bennett has made a career in Rockingham serving clients from this community and many others who travel to her salon located on Washington Street Extension.
Her formative years of education were completed in Anson County during a historic time while schools were still segregated. In 1967, two years prior to integration becoming mandatory, her mother enrolled her at Lilesville School as a first-grade student. Bennett described the atmosphere at this time as very different and one tinged with curiosity and isolation. She accredits the determination of her mother to acclimate her and her sister to an integrated setting as they planted seeds of her developing tolerance and acceptance that has continued to grow throughout her life.
A graduate of the 1979 Class at Bowman Senior High School, now Anson Senior High School, Bennett was not only a high achiever in academics, but was also a member of the volleyball, basketball and track teams, and a member of the marching band. Her well-rounded success was recognized, earning her a Hankins Scholarship to attend Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in English and Sociology in May of 1983.
Upon graduating, Bennett decided to follow in her mother’s footsteps, enrolling in Leon’s Beauty School in Greensboro, and earning a cosmetology license in 1984. One year later, she obtained licensure to teach both African American and Caucasian Beauty Culture with a cosmetology instructor’s license, which she used to teach at Leon’s Beauty School and at Anson College of Cosmetology in Wadesboro.
Her career as a business owner in Rockingham began in 1986 when she opened Rhue’s, Too! Salon on Hwy 74 East, which she moved to her current location on Washington Street Extension in 1990. During the more than three decades of owning the salon, Bennett has employed, mentored and trained countless prospective cosmetology students.
Along with her natural abilities in cosmetology, Bennett discovered her love for another facet of art as a playwright. Since 2007, she has written six plays, several of which have been performed at Ansonia Theater in Wadesboro and at The Cole Auditorium at Richmond Community College. The plays have offered a creative outlet of expression for cast members and audiences for both Anson and Richmond counties.
In addition to being a role model for many prospective beauticians and hair stylists, Bennett has also maintained her commitment to bettering her home and professional community in a variety of different volunteer capacities, including helping to build a Habitat for Humanity home in Anson County. She has also remained a dedicated, lifelong member of Parson Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Lilesville.
Join us today in celebrating Bennett’s many contributions to our community and being a more than worthy feature in our Black History Series!
Editor’s Note: Visit Richmond County is highlighting prominent local African Americans each day in February in honor of Black History Month.