Speaking to many women with natural hair in America, the way you wear your hair to work can be a source of anxiety and sometimes even trauma. There is pressure to wear ones’ hair straight, which is often deemed “presentable” in the work.
Whether it’s navigating how to wear your hair for an interview or changing your hair into box braids for summer only to avoid any issues, natural hair in the workplace is unnecessarily stressful. Well, now, California is helping you deal with that.
California lawmakers have passed The CROWN Act, a bill to protect Black employees and students by outlawing discrimination against people with natural hairstyles like afros, dreadlocks, braids, and twists.
The bill states, “The history of our nation is riddled with laws and societal norms that equated ‘blackness’ and the associated physical traits, for example, dark skin, kinky and curly hair to a badge of inferiority.”
The bill shines light (and protection) on the fact that European aesthetics have been the standard for beauty and have unfairly targeted Black workers and students more than any other group.
The CROWN Act stands for ‘Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair. While there were no “no” votes, there were 10 politicians that chose not to vote on the bill including Frank Bigelow, Joe Cervantes, Steve Cooley, Duke Cunningham, James Gallagher, Tom Lackey, Monique Limon, Evan Low, Kevin McCarty and Melissa Melendez. Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles told NPR, “I have no idea why they abstained.”
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