The US House of Representatives on Friday passed a bill banning race-based discrimination on hair, specifically textures or styles associated with a particular race or national origin such as dreadlocks, afros and braids.
The bill is known as the Crown Act, standing for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair. It was co-sponsored by the progressive Democratic representatives Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, among others, who cited research showing that Black students were significantly more likely to face school detention, often for dress code violations based on their hair.
“I want my two girls to grow up in a world where they know they will not be discriminated against because of their hair or the way they look,” Omar said in a press release on Friday after the vote.
“Natural Black hair is often deemed ‘unprofessional’ simply because it does not conform to white beauty standards,” representative Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey, a co-sponsor, said. “Discrimination against Black hair is discrimination against Black people.”