CROWN stands for “Creating a respectful place and an open world for natural hair”. Eboni Johnson said it was unfortunately difficult to find safe spaces that would accept her naturally frizzy hair.
“Many women are asked to straighten their hair, wear weaves or wigs in place of their natural hair and it can be very expensive. Going to a salon and then having your hair straightened can also be damaging to the hair,” Johnson said.
The Crown Act passed the House by a vote of 235 to 189. If made law, it would prohibit discrimination based on “the texture or hairstyle of hair if that style or texture is commonly associated with a particular breed.
“The passage of this bill means that there will now be rights that people can really rely on to ensure that they can also be protected in the workplace and at school,” Johnson said.
Johnson works with a nonprofit called “Cut it Forward” that works with families of color to learn more about culturally specific hair.
She said discrimination against hair can start at an early age. It’s something she experienced.
“Instead of me wearing my hair straight or wearing my hair curly someone can say ‘oh so maybe you should comb your hair better’ or ‘that doesn’t look very professional’ “, Johnson said.
Johnson said crowns, like hair, come in different shapes, sizes and styles. She believes that if this becomes law, it will create a space that will see there is more than one standard of beauty.
“Being able to see other women and men who can wear braids in these professional spaces will then start to normalize having curly hair and textured hair, just reaffirming that natural hair is professional,” Johnson said.
This Crown law is now heading to the Senate.