Black hairstyles shouldn’t be discriminated against, and now we’re one step closer to ending racial hairstyle prejudice! Earlier this week, the House passed the CROWN Act, which prohibits discrimination based on hair.
A report from NBC News indicates that H.R. 2116 passed with 235 to 189 votes. CROWN, which stands for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair,” was introduced by Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman.
The legislation for H.R. 2116 states that “routinely, people of African descent are deprived of educational and employment opportunities” due to their hairstyles such as locs, cornrows, twists, braids, or even Afros.
Watson Coleman took the floor of the House and said, “Here we are today, standing on behalf of those individuals — whether my colleagues on the other side recognize it or not — who are discriminated against as children in school.”
She continued, “As adults who are trying to get jobs, individuals who are trying to get housing, individuals who simply want access to public accommodations and to be beneficiaries of federally funded programs.”
During her remarks, Rep Watson Coleman referred to the case of Andrew Johnson. Andrew, a Black high school wrestler with dreadlocks in New Jersey, made headlines in 2018 when he was forced to cut his locs or forfeit his match.
The Biden administration said they support the Crown Act and look forward to working with Congress to enact it and ensure its implementation.
Versions of CROWN Acts have been passed in New Jersey, New York, California, and a dozen more states. The bill now goes to the Senate.