Discrimination against natural Black hair has to stop! We reported about the U.S. Army’s discriminatory grooming and appearance standards in March, and now we have the story of Tiffany Bryan, a former Barclays Center security guard who claims she was fired for refusing to “tame” her large afro.
According to the 27-year-old Queens resident, her bosses at AEG Worldwide relentlessly ridiculed her hairstyle before finally giving her the boot. “It was ridiculous,” she told to Page Six. “I couldn’t understand what they had a problem with. I would get compliments all the time from people at events at Barclays.”
Bryan, who recently filed a $900,000 lawsuit in a Brooklyn federal court, shared that her natural tresses are more than just a fashion statement. After successfully finishing chemotherapy for a battle with bone-marrow cancer in 2008, the survivor said “I just didn’t want to put any chemicals in it after that.”
“After you lose it, you don’t want to do anything that might cause a problem again,” she explained.
According to the suit, Bryan’s former supervisor said she “looked like she stuck her finger in a socket and was electrocuted.”
“At the time, I just took it as a joke,” Bryan recalled. “It was rude, but I just laughed it off. But it didn’t stop there.”
A few days later, security manager LaNiece Tyree told Bryan that she “needed to do something with her hair” and that she needed to “tame it,” according to the suit.
Bryan said that Tyree told her to wear a headband, but she explained it’d have to be worn uncomfortably tight for it to have any effect.
She finally agreed to the measure but said her bosses crossed the line when they demanded that she somehow fashion her hair into a ponytail.
“I told them my hair won’t do that,” Bryan said. “It’s sad that it even had to come to that. I didn’t feel like it was appropriate.”
In conclusion, the lawsuit states, “Plaintiff Tiffany Bryan is a black woman who was ridiculed, discriminated against and effectively terminated for the way she wears her hair.” She now works as a mail carrier.
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