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A Great Hair Day!: California Officially Bans Discrimination Against Natural Hair

The CROWN Act is an anti-discrimination law.

2020 seems to be kicking off in a powerful way for natural hair beauties!

Naturalistas in California are rejoicing after learning the state’s CROWN Act—a law created to ban discrimination against natural hair in workplaces and schools—recently went into effect. 

Thanks to the anti-discrimination law, California residents can say goodbye to policies prohibiting beautiful afros, dreadlocks, twists, locks, braids, and other protective styles. 

"Acting in accordance with the constitutional values of fairness, equity, and opportunity for all, the Legislature recognizes that continuing to enforce a Eurocentric image of professionalism through purportedly race-neutral grooming policies that disparately impact Black individuals and exclude them from some workplaces is in direct opposition to equity and opportunity for all," the Senate Bill No. 188 reads. 

RELATED | OpEd: Read My Resume, Stop Looking at My Hair

The Legislature declares, “The history of our nation is riddled with laws and societal norms that equated 'blackness,' and the associated physical traits, for example, dark skin, kinky and curly hair to a badge of inferiority, sometimes subject to separate and unequal treatment.” 

Adding, "This idea also permeated societal understanding of professionalism. Professionalism was, and still is, closely linked to European features and mannerisms, which entails that those who do not naturally fall into Eurocentric norms must alter their appearances, sometimes drastically and permanently, in order to be deemed professional."

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) reportedly signed off on the law back in July after the shocking video of a Black high school wrestler being forced to publicly cut his dreadlocks by a white referee went viral in 2018.

California joins New York who created anti-discrimination guidelines last February to protect New Yorkers from experiencing discrimination in any public place (including work) due to their natural hair/hairstyles. 

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