Washington State, Colorado, and Minnesota this week introduced or advanced bills that would ban discrimination against hairstyles mostly associated with race, reports CNN.
The move comes less than a week after "Hair Love," a movie about a black father who struggles and eventually succeeds in styling his young daughter's hair, won the Academy Award for best animated short film.
In his acceptance speech, director Matthew Cherry pushed for the Crown Act to be passed around the nation.
"'Hair Love' was done because we wanted to see more representation in animation, we wanted to normalize black hair and there's a very important issue out there, the Crown Act. If we can help get this passed in all 50 states, it will help stories like Deandre Arnold's . . . stop to happen," Cherry said.
Crown stands for Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair. It protects against "discrimination based on hairstyles by extending statutory protection to hair texture and Crown styles in the Fair Employment and Housing Act [FEHA] and state Education Codes."
The Crown Act is already law in New York, New Jersey, and California. In Texas, lawmakers from the state's Legislative Black Caucus announced they, too, were working on a bill for the 2021 legislative session after an 18-year-old was told he could not walk in his graduation unless he cut his dreadlocks.
The House of Representatives in Washington State passed a bill prohibiting employers and schools from discriminating against people with dreadlocks, Afros, twists, and braids. In Colorado, the House passed a version of the Crown Act prohibiting discrimination based on hair texture, hair type, and styles “commonly or historically associated with race, such as braids, locs, twists, tight coils or curls, cornrows, Bantu knots, Afros, and headwraps."
Minnesota introduced similar legislation earlier this week.
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