Lawmakers in California have passed a bill to protect black employees and students by outlawing discrimination against people who wear those hairstyles. These natural hairstyles include: Afros, braids, dreadlocks and twists. The State Assembly voted unanimously on Thursday to approve the measure, which the State Senate approved in April. It now heads to the desk of Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, to be signed into law.
The bill would update the definition of race used in existing law to be “inclusive of traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles.. California lawmakers
“The history of our nation is riddled with laws and societal norms that equated ‘blackness,’ and the associated physical traits, for example, dark skin, kinky and curly hair to a badge of inferiority,” the bill notes.
It contends that professionalism was, and still is, tied to European standards — and that restrictive grooming policies have unfairly targeted black workers and students more than any other group.
The measure, referred to as the CROWN Act (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair), passed Thursday in the state Senate, 69 to 0.
“While we got no No votes, there were some people who chose to abstain,” Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, told NPR. She added, “I have no idea why they abstained.”