Right now in the U.S., California and New York are the only states that have laws on the books making it illegal to discriminate against African-American hairstyles. But Florida is trying to join them.
According to MyNews13, last Friday State Sen. Randolph Bracy, D-Orlando, announced the CROWN Act, surrounded by students from FAMU’s College of Law, and other Black leaders.
Remember: The CROWN Act stands for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair.” The bill, if passed, would protect Black people and children from being discriminated against for hearing do’s such as braids, dreads, and afros to work and school.
“We’re not our hair,” said former WKMG-Channel 6 anchor Secily Wilson, whose daughter was asked by her former school to change her hairstyle because it violated the school’s then dress-code, the Orlando Sentinel noted.
“My daughter is educated, smart, brilliant, beautiful,” Wilson said. “We want everyone to see us the way that we are, the qualities that we bring to the table, the professions that we’re able to execute with excellence. Don’t judge us.”
If passed the bill, which was introduced by Rep. Kamia Brown, would have to be signed by the state’s Republican Legislature and governor. Florida Legislature convenes on Jan 14, 2020.
We hope that Florida does the right thing, because looking at all of these news stories about hair discrimination, we know that Black women and girls overwhelmingly pay the price in 48 states. But it’s important to note that The Crown Act, it’s not a federal law across the board, but it can be if we speak out.
You can sign The CROWN Act petition urging the legislature to vote on it.
Remember: Our hair shouldn’t be looked at as a distraction or looked at as unprofessional. We shouldn’t be punished for how we choose to wear our beautiful hair.