Hair Discrimination Could Become Illegal in Massachusetts

Yana Bostongirl

According to nbcboston.com, Massachusetts lawmakers are set to vote on legislation that would make discrimination on the basis of a person’s natural hair style illegal. The legislation, known as the C.R.O.W.N Act, is currently in effect in 14 states nationwide.

The CROWN Act means Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair.

For the longest time, African Americans have been discriminated against for their natural hair both in the workplace and other public settings including school and sports. This law hopes to address this issue.

Here is an excerpt from byrdie.com which explains how the law first came into effect in California: In June 2019, California made headlines for becoming the first state to outlaw the racial discrimination of individuals based on their natural hairstyles. The bill, SB 188, passed the state Senate in April and passed in a unanimous vote by California’s state assembly on June 27, 2019. The law, also known as the CROWN Act (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair), states, "In a society in which hair has historically been one of many determining factors of a person’s race, and whether they were a second class citizen, hair today remains a proxy for race. FEATURED VIDEO0 seconds of 7 minutes, 20 secondsVolume 0% Crowned Episode 2: The History Of Silk PressTherefore, hair discrimination targeting hairstyles associated with race is racial discrimination."

In Massachusetts, discrimination against hair can be addressed by filing a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office or the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination

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