July 4 isn’t the only day this weekend celebrating freedom.
Crown Day, also known as “Black Hair Independence Day,” is the unofficial holiday that celebrates Afro-textured hair – or the tight curls and coils most often associated with Black and indigenous people of color.
July 3 marks the two-year anniversary of the passage of the CROWN Act, which bans hair discrimination in California. Now, 13 states have passed similar legislation with Nevada being the most recent with their law in June.
Hair discrimination have often cost people of color jobs, students have been barred from graduation, and women have been attacked simply for rocking a natural hairstyle.
Studies show that in any workplace environment, institutions punish Blacks who choose to wear styles like braids, locs, cornrows, twists or Afros. Activists say the CROWN Act attempts to change that.
The CROWN Act was introduced in 2019 by then-California state senator Holly J. Mitchell. The bill sought to outlaw "the denial of employment and educational opportunities because of hair texture. Mitchell told Insider she started organizing legislation for the bill after several conversations with other Black professionals who went to the same hairdresser in Los Angeles.
She then collaborated with researchers from Dove to prove how Afro-textured hair is more heavily policed in the workplace.
“It goes back to our foremothers and fathers who were enslaved and forced to cover their heads,” Mitchell told Insider. “What did we do? We created colorful headwraps and put our ‘magic' on it.”
Receiving support from both state and federal lawmakers, public figures and corporations joined in support of the movement, and now the CROWN Act is law in 13 states.
As the second anniversary is upon us, Dove and the CROWN Coalition are still working on pushing legislation. So far, they’ve reintroduced a federal bill in March of this year, secured over 280K signatures and are working to reintroduce the CROWN Act in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia.