On Tuesday (April 27) Texas activists and lawmakers in the state continued their push for a ban on hair discrimination by marking state’s CROWN Act Day.
State Rep. Rhetta Andrews Bowers kicked off the day by formally introducing the CROWN (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) Act as House Bill 392. The legislation would ban hair discrimination in employment, housing, and education settings and is a part of a national movement to prevent systemic oppression on the basis of someone’s hair is in braids, locs, bantu knots, or twists.
The Lone Star State joined 24 other states in introducing anti-hair discrimination legislation.
According to the CROWN Act Movement website, ten states in the country already have hair discrimination laws on the books already, while seven states proposed the legislation but didn’t get it passed.
ABC News affiliate KVUE reported that people who’d experienced hair discrimination in the state spoke out during a press conference following the House session. One mother shared that her son’s school suspended him for two weeks because his hair “doesn’t lay down.”
Discriminatory policies around hair systematically target Black people who wear natural hairstyles. “We see this emphasis of Black people to conform to whiteness and to assimilate,” Dr. Tehia Glass of the University of North Carolina Charlotte told CNN last year. “They already envisioned what the ideal child should look like in school, and they wrote the rules based on that,” she added.
Advocates in Texas are pushing to get the Act passed within the five weeks left in the Texas House’s 87th Session.
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