Social Injustice Crowns

Injustices continue to bubble up in the daily doses of American life, and might I add specifically, Black-American life. Minorities from zip code to city and from city to suburb experience micro and macro injustices in ways that are internally exhausting. Too many to name in this blog post, but let’s just take a peak into acknowledging that these interactions are unwelcomed and have led me to question if these injustices are derived from stigma or is it the opposite?  We do know that historically minorities experienced similar or even worse injustices during slavery.

The injustice around hair discrimination. Like, it’s a real thing and has become a law in certain states, but not on the federal level-yet.

California is the first state to sign into legislation TheCROWNAct on Wednesday, July 3, 2019.  The CROWN Act, which stands for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair”

Hair discrimination has a disparate impact on Black women, men and children and has drawn attention to cultural and racial discrimination taking place within workplaces and public charter schools.

Media continues to highlight these injustices in many of the stories we have seen covering the numerous minority students who have been given a choice between the way their hair grows out of their scalps to being put on in-school suspension because of a dress code policy. Mmmm.

According to Professor Kevin Nadal,  at John Jay College of Criminal Justice Microaggressions are defined as the everyday, subtle, intentional — and oftentimes unintentional — interactions or behaviors that communicate some sort of bias toward historically marginalized groups. The difference between microaggressions and overt discrimination or macroaggressions, is that people who commit microagressions might not even be aware of them.”  Source: NPR

Research conducted by The CROWN Act shows black women are 1.5 times more likely to be sent home from work because of their hair.  Knowingly making casual or inappropriate comments about someone’s hair is not solicited.

These side eye comments have shaped policies and landed in school handbooks under the guise of some kind of dress policy. Worded in such a way that a person natural hair style can be considered inappropriate for school, sports, or work. GTFOH  It’s exhausting PEOPLE.

  • In 2017, Mya and Deana Cook, twin sisters in Massachusetts, had to serve detention when school officials determined that their braids violated school policy.
  • In August 2018, Clinton Stanley Jr., a 6-year-old student at Book’s Christian Academy in Florida, was sent home from school on account of his hair. The child’s father was told that the school handbook states that boys are not permitted to have dreadlocks.
  • In September 2018, officials at Christ the King middle school in Terrytown, Louisiana, informed one of its students that she was being expelled from the school because her “extensions” (braids) were unacceptable under their school code.
  • In December 2018, Andrew Johnson, a black New Jersey teenager, was made to cut his dreadlocks by a white referee to continue participating in his school’s wrestling match.
  • In January 2020, DeAndre Arnold, an 18-year-old at Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, Texas, was suspended from school for dreadlocks he started growing in the seventh grade in the same school district. He was facing possibly missing his high school prom and graduation. He has since withdrawn from the school district and enrolled elsewhere.
  • In January 2020, a second student at Barbers Hill High School, 16-year-old Kaden Bradford, was suspended for the length of his dreadlocks. Kaden Bradford is DeAndre Arnold’s cousin      Source: American Bar Association

Hair discrimination remains a source of racial injustice with serious economic consequences for Black people. The CROWN Coalition members believe diversity and inclusion are key drivers of success across all industries and sectors.

As we approach the two-year anniversary of The CROWN ACT, let us do the work of ending hair discrimination by Signing the Petition here to Help Us End Hair Discrimination

Sources are hyperlinked.

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