The Crown Act pic

The Crown Act. Let’s Keep This Change Going!

While managing your hair in its natural state comes with some challenges of its own, the stigma of wearing your hair natural can almost be too much to bear. For years black men and women have been stigmatized and discriminated against because of the way they wear their hair, but a recent law passed in the state of California May suggest that hope is on the horizon.

For centuries black men and women didn’t often challenge these standards. We straightened our hair with heat and chemical relaxers to meet those Eurocentric standards” – Sen. Holly Mitchel (1)

Not so fun facts (2)
  • A Black woman is 80% more likely to change her natural hair to meet social norms or expectations at work
  • Black women are 50% more likely to be sent home or know of a black woman sent home from the workplace because of her hair
The Crown Act: Creating a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair

CROWN — an acronym for Creating a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural hair — is the brainchild of the CROWN Coalition. With Dove at the helm, the coalition is composed of the National Urban League, the Western Center on Law and Poverty, and the Color of Change. The coalition’s ultimate goal is to create federal legislation that protects black people from hair discrimination (3)   .

In California, this piece of legislation known as the crown act SB 188 was signed into law before the 4th of July. This law is the nation’s first that makes it more difficult for employers and schools to penalize individuals for wearing their hair in its natural state, which includes cornrows, Afros or dreadlocks. While it may be the first of its kind, this law could set a precedent for other states when determining how natural hair in the work place and at schools is addressed.

“History has shown us that change is a slow process, but this change carries much hope.”

Where else has change come?

While California is the first state to ban hair discrimination, in February of this year New York City also took a stand to ban discrimination based on hair. Under guidelines released by the New York City Commission on Human Rights, the targeting of people based on their hair or hairstyle, at work, school or in public spaces will now be considered racial discrimination – giving its residents legal grounds to file suits levying penalties up to $250, 000 thousand dollars with no cap on damages for the plaintiffs.

Hope is on the horizon in New Jersey as well. They have also introduced a piece of legislation known as the Crown Act a bill introduced in the New Jersey Legislature last month that would ban discrimination based on hair in the workplace and in schools.

“A piece of paper won’t change things overnight.”

I am hopeful

History has shown us that change is a slow process, but this change carries much hope. Hope that gone will be the days of children having to decide between the sports they love or the schools they attend and the hair they wear. That we can be considered for promotions and career advancement despite what naturally grows from our heads. That we can be free to express ourselves and be ourselves without penalty. While I’m not blissfully optimistic or painfully unaware of the current world we live in, laws like these give me hope.

With so many of us embarking on this natural journey, it is nice to see the move towards change. We no longer need to conform; we are free to “let out hair down” and be who we are.

At Bold Kulture Beauty, we are dedicated to challenging the current beauty standards and changing the narrative of what beauty really is. By helping others to embrace their natural beauty, we empower you to be bold, brave, and beautifully confident. Join the fight for change and sign the petition to help end hair discrimination in the workplace and schools.

We would love to connect with you. Share your thoughts on your natural journey and the change that is hopefully on the horizon.