Virginia Announced Their Official Ban On Natural Hair Discrimination
After quarantine, it’s time to break out those rizos and head to Virginia!
Earlier this year, in March, Virginia became the latest state in the country to pass the aptly named Crown Act. The new law, which was signed by California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Colorado, and Washington earlier this year, prohibits workplaces and education programs from discriminating against natural hair.
Virginia is officially the first southern state to end the discriminatory practice of preventing Black men and women from wearing natural styles.
The legislation officially went into effect last week on July 1 and makes it illegal for workplaces and educational institutions to discriminate against people who wear natural hairstyles like Afros, curls, or locs. Delores McQuinn, a Democrat who is a member of the Virginia House of Delegates sponsored the bill and praised its establishment saying “A person’s hair is a core part of their identity. Nobody deserves to be discriminated against simply due to the hair type they were born with.”
The Crown Act stands for Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair and first got attention this past February when director Matthew A. Cherry won an Oscar for his film Hair Love.
The short film showcases the love between a Black father and his daughter who teach each other how to style her natural hair. The director gained attention when he invited Texas high school student, DeAndre Arnold, to be his guest. Arnold had been kept from attending both his graduation and prom for wearing locs.
“There’s a very important issue out there, The CROWN Act, and we can help to get this passed in all 50 states, which will help stories like DeAndre Arnold’s to stop happening,” Cherry said at the time during his Oscars acceptance speech.
Lawmakers say that while the Crown Act has not yet been filed in Texas where Arnold is from they are considering have it passed there.
Of course, while ending natural hair discrimination against Black people is a small step it does mark an important effort to dismantle systematic racism. You can help get The Crown Act passed in your state by signing this petition pushing for change.
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