The Crown Act

Imagine being passed over for jobs, or promotions at work or being penalized at school for wearing your natural hair and protective hair styles (braids, cornrows, locs, twists, bantu knots etc) Well the CROWN which is an acronym for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair. It is a state level law that prohibits race based discrimination which is the denial of employment and educational opportunities because of hair texture or protective hair styles.

According to a 2020 Duke University study, black women with natural hairstyles were perceived to be less professional and less competent, and were less likely to be recommended for job interview than their white counterparts. Even among black women , those with natural hairstyles were rated as less professional than black applicants with straightened hair…which is ridiculous.

On a personal note , early in my career whenever would go on a job interview I would have my hair straightened because I was nervous and unsure if I would not be hired and considered unprofessional due to my natural unrelaxed hair. Hair should be the last you should be worried about when seeking employment. Once I got the job I would reveal my “real hair” but would be anxious about how it would be received.That is no longer the case.

On July 3. 2019 California was the first state to sign the Crown Act into law. Currently 13 states have also made the Crown Act law and there is a petition circulating around the internet to have it made law in all 50 states. To join the movement, visit http://www.thecrownact.com to sign the petition and to email your Senator.

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