“I am not my hair!” Black hair is beautiful! While there shouldn’t be discrimination against Black hairstyles, we’re one step closer to putting an end to race-based hairstyle prejudice! Today the House passed the CROWN Act, which would ban hair-related discrimination. According to NBC News, the measure H.R. 2116 passed 235-189. Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman introduced CROWN, which stands for stands for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair.”
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Legislation for H.R. 2116 states that “routinely, people of African descent are deprived of educational and employment opportunities” for wearing their hair in natural or protective hairstyles such as locs, cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, or Afros. Rep Watson Coleman took the House floor this morning and made strong remarks stating, “Here we are today, standing on behalf of those individuals — whether my colleagues on the other side recognize it or not — who are discriminated against as children in school.”
She continued, “As adults who are trying to get jobs, individuals who are trying to get housing, individuals who simply want access to public accommodations and to be beneficiaries of federally funded programs.” As Rep Watson Coleman continued making her remarks, she referenced the case of Andrew Johnson. If you recall, Andrew, a Black varsity high school wrestler in New Jersey with dreadlocks, took over headlines as he was forced to cut his locs or forfeit his match in 2018.
Reports state the Biden administration spoke out earlier this week, commenting that they strongly support the Crown Act and look forward to working with Congress to enact this legislation and ensure that it is effectively implemented. Currently, New Jersey, New York, California, and a dozen more states have passed their own versions of the CROWN Act. The bill is now headed to the Senate, and we will keep ya’ll posted on the next steps!
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