You Can Be Fired or Kicked Out of School for Your Hairstyle in 43 States!

  • by: Care2 Team
  • recipient: Legislators in every state but California, Washington, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Colorado and Maryland

{Photo by Eye for Ebony}

The way you choose to wear your hair is an intensely personal choice. It may depend on your culture and community, your identity and the texture of your hair. But did you know that people can be,
and are, discriminated against for the way they wear their hair in 46 U.S. states? And unfortunately, the group most discriminated against is Black people. Due to systemic racism, schools and workplaces alike have decided that the hairstyles Black people wear are "unprofessional" or "messy." And they're using that as an excuse to fire people or kick them out of schools! 

But there is a law called the Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN Act) that has passed in seven states protecting folks from discrimination based on hair. Sign the petition if you think every state should legally protect a person's right to wear their hair in the way they see fit!

For years and years, Black people have been expected to chemically straighten their hair, wear wigs, or keep their hair short in order to appear "professional." But in reality, there is nothing unprofessional or problematic about a person choosing to wear their hair in braids, dreadlocks or in a natural afro, for example. The dominant culture just decided this was an easy way to say Black people were inherently unprofessional without having to directly cite the color of someone's skin. It's time we fight back against this blatant racism and demand protections for natural hairstyles. 

Not only are traditionally Black hairstyles not unprofessional, they often hold cultural significance for many. For example, DeAndre is a student in Texas who wears his hair in locs because he feels it keeps him connected to his Trinidadian culture. Yet, his school told him he had to cut them off if he wanted to graduate or attend his own prom! And in 2018, a Black news anchor was fired for wearing a natural hairstyle. But they are far from alone. Kids and adults alike are discriminated for their hairstyles all the time. 

Please sign the petition if you want to see legislation protecting everyone's ability to wear their hair how they see fit!

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