By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA
Connecticut Democratic Rep. Jahana Hayes sounded off to critics of legislation that would allow individuals freedom to express themselves by how they wear their hair.
“Natural hair should be worn without fear of discrimination,” Rep. Hayes asserted moments after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the CROWN Act, banning hair related discrimination.
The measure passed in a vote of 235-189 along party lines. Introduced by Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-New Jersey), the acronym CROWN stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair.
The measure outlaws discrimination based on an individual’s texture or style of hair.
The bill will, which now heads to the Senate, states that “routinely, people of African descent are deprived of educational and employment opportunities” for wearing their hair in natural or protective hairstyles such as locs, cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, or Afros.
Republicans strongly opposed the measure, and some used race-baiting words in expressing their opposition. “No to the nappy hair act,” Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Green railed. Civil rights groups applauded the passage of the measure.