The United States of America is leading the way against hair discrimination!
The US is the one country where positive law changes are being made to protect Black people from unfair hair discrimination. That law is called the CROWN Act.
Policing Black bodies is not ok!
For centuries, we as Black people have and still do experience racism. It deeply impacts our lives in so many negative ways.
Across the world, our stories are similar even though we may have never met before. We are judged negatively because of the colour of our skin and our common features – this is not ok!
When the equality and human rights laws are not enough!
Although these laws are supposed to protect people from all forms of discrimination, Black people are still often treated unfairly.
One of the ways we are judged differently is because of the texture of our hair and our cultural hairstyles such as fros, braids, locs and plaits.
How Black people experience hair discrimination?
In schools, colleges, universities and workplaces, there are policies which have and still do hinder us as Black people from being our natural selves – this is not ok!
Hair discrimination in educational institutions
Black children have been suspended and expelled from school for having hairstyles that do not conform to school rules. These rules have been guided by European standards – this is not ok!
Hair discrimination in the workplace
Black adults have been denied job opportunities and bullied in the workplace for not having European hairstyles – this is not ok!
What is the CROWN Act?
Refreshingly, the CROWN Act which stands for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair” aims to eradicate and legally ban hair discrimination across the United States.
Who is behind the CROWN Act?
This act is led by the CROWN Coalition, founding members include Dove, National Urban League, Color Of Change and Western Center of Law & Poverty.
Changing history for the better!
This means that employees and students are now legally protected from experiencing natural hair discrimination in California.
New York is the next state working towards combating biases towards afro hair textures and styles.
Hair discrimination is a problem worldwide!
No matter where we are in the world, Black people experience hair discrimination – even in countries that are predominantly populated by Black people. Hair discrimination negatively affects our wellbeing.
American culture heavily influences the cultures of other countries. So, it is wonderful to read about law changes that will positively benefit the Black community over the pond – now and in the future.
As the founder of CURLYTREATS Fest, the UK’s largest natural hair event, I often hear heartbreaking stories of hair discrimination and wonder, when will change come to the UK.
I, myself, have experienced hair biases in workplaces, such as “Vinna, I’ll get you a comb for Christmas” as well as being called “Sideshow Bob”.
We need laws to be changed worldwide against discrimination based on afro hair and our cultural hairstyles.
CURLYTREATS will continue to update news about The CROWN Act.
For full information see: The Official Campaign of the CROWN Act