The CROWN Act – I really LOVE your Hair-Do , yeah!
How would you feel if you were asked to leave your classroom or denied a job because someone didn’t like the way you wore your hair?
Historically, black women and men are reprimanded in classrooms and workplaces for wearing indigenous hairstyles unique to their culture. Society has often viewed what’s acceptable for black people through a white, Eurocentric lens, labeling “locs” and “Afros” as un-acceptable.
Chastity Jones, an African-American woman from Alabama asked the U.S. Supreme Court last year to hear her case about a company that rescinded her job offer because she would not cut her dreadlocks. Jones, reported to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that “a white human resources manager told her that her “dreadlocs” were against company policy since they “tend to get messy.”
California Senator Holly Mitchell (D), proposed the legislation called the CROWN ACT that would outlaw policies that punish black employees and K-12 students for wearing their hair in its natural style. Workplaces and public schools would be prohibited from enforcing grooming policies that disproportionately affect people of color, specifically black people who wear braids, dreadlocks and Afros.
As an image consultant and #Explorer Fashion Icon Archetype, I am inspired by diversity in style. Recently while visiting my dentist to replace a crown, (no pun intended,) I was dazzled by this hairstyle worn by Lillian, the Newhart Dental office manager. Lillian was kind enough to give me a Johnny on the spot interview on the work & cost that goes into maintaining black hair:
Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, it’s illegal to discriminate in employment practices based on certain protected categories, including race. Mitchell’s bill would provide that the definition of race under this law also include traits historically associated with race, such as hair texture and protective styles.
California would become the first state to ban natural hair discrimination. New York City implemented such a ban in February, saying hairstyles are protected under the city’s anti-discrimination laws because trying to control black hair is considered a form of racism.
Your autograph please….
California lawmakers have passed the CROWN Act on Thursday, two months after it passed in the state Senate, protecting black people from hair discrimination, potentially making it the first state to do so. It now heads to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk for signing.