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In a landmark vote Friday (March 18), lawmakers in the House passed the CROWN Act, which prohibits race-based hair discrimination in the workplace, school, and more.
The Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Act passed in a 235-189 vote, with only 14 Republicans supporting the legislation. The bill failed last month after Democrats put the legislation on a fast-track vote typically used for pieces of legislation not considered controversial.
Supporters of the bill have tirelessly argued that banning hair discrimination is necessary for Black people who are far too often told our hairstyles are “unprofessional.”
“For too long, Black girls have been discriminated against and criminalized for the hair that grow on our heads and the way we move through and show up in this world,” Rep. Ayanna Pressley said in a statement.
Black is beautiful and so is our hair.
For anyone who has ever faced hair discrimination or punishment for showing up exactly as you are, the #CROWNAct is for you.
TY to my sisters-in-service & the movement for making the House passage of the CROWN Act possible. pic.twitter.com/iknTUDjFr7
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) March 18, 2022
A 2019 JOY Collective study found that Black women were 80% more likely to feel they needed to change their natural hair to be accepted at their workplace.
Several court cases have cited this form of discrimination, including the 2013 lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission who said an Alabama insurance company wrongfully denied Chasity Jones, a Black woman, a job because it didn’t allow locs under its policy and said she’d have to cut them in order to be hired.
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