“Don’t Touch My Hair”

C.R.O.W.N stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, and the act prohibits “discrimination based on an individual’s texture or style of hair.”

In 2018, a Black varsity high school wrestler in New Jersey with dreadlocks who was forced in 2018 to make a choice: cut his hair or forfeit his match. Andrew Johnson cut his hair. The Crown Act was introduced in California in January 2019 and signed into law on July 3, 2019, the inaugural CROWN Act expanded the definition of race in the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and state Education Code, to ensure protection in workplaces and in K-12 public and charter schools.

Tha Brown Urban Mother Partners, Inc. & Culturally Lit Radio Show INTENTIONALLY PRESENTED in March Women’s History Month in 2021 “Don’t Touch My Hair” series. We had candid conversations about… the journey of BLACK hair, the personality of BLACK hair, the discrimination of BLACK hair, the natural movement of BLACK hair. 

Tha Brown Urban Mother Partners, Inc. sat with Senator Bailey, hair dresser Nicole Purville and Ladyprenuer Winsong Minott who shared that no one should be harassed, punished, or fired for their natural hairstyles that are true to themselves. We also interviewed Let Girls Learn Members Isis, BrookeLynn and Lenese who kept it real about not touching their hair.

In March 2021 it was legal to discriminate against a person in the workplace or in schools because of their natural or protective hairstyle in all states except for California, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Colorado, Washington, and Maryland plus Connecticut. Hair discrimination remained a source of racial injustice with serious economic consequences for Black people. The CROWN Act corrects these racial injustices by making hair discrimination illegal.

A black woman is 80% more likely to change her natural hair to meet social norms or expectations at work. The House on Friday, March 18, 2022 passed the Crown Act, which would ban hair-related discrimination. The measure, H.R. 2116, passed in a vote of 235-189 along party lines. It was introduced by Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J. “I applaud House Republicans and Democrats joining together today and passing legislation that will allow individuals, especially within the Black community, to wear their hair proudly without fear or prejudice,” said Senator Booker on the day of the Crown Act being passed. 

Tha B.U.M.P salutes authors who intentionally penned books about hair. There are times one may feel like an outsider especially when you are a child who rarely sees people or characters who look like you reflected on screen and in books. The hair movement stimulated authors and illustrators. Here are some incredible books they distributed during their campaign for ending hair discrimination. 

(1) Cool Cuts by Mechal Renee Roe
(2) Happy Hair by Mechal Renee Roe
(3) Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry
(4) Happy to be Nappy by Bell Hooks
(5) Hair Like Mine by LaTashia M. Perry 
(6) Don’t Touch My Hair! by Sharee Miller
(7) Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes 
(8) My Hair is My Garden by Cozbi. A. Cabrera 

Thank you to the following Senators: U.S. Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), along with Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Gwen Moore (D-WI), introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

The following Senators are co-sponsors of the CROWN Act: Hirono (D-HI), Brown (D-OH), Coons (D-DE), Warren (D-MA), Markey (D-MA), Baldwin (D-WI), Smith (D-MN), Murphy (D-CT), Padilla (D-CA), Van Hollen (D-MD), Durbin (D-IL), Stabenow (D-MI), Cardin (D-MD), Blumenthal (D-CT), Menendez (D-NJ), Duckworth (D-IL), Warnock (D-GA) and Sanders (I-VT).

  • I can wear my hair fried, dyed and laid to the side; free style Afro and braided to the crown!!

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