While most of the African-American community has agreed the Fourth of July is canceled, we still have a holiday to celebrate this weekend. July 3 marks the one-year anniversary of The CROWN Act and as such, The CROWN Coalition, a national alliance founded by Dove, the National Urban League, the Western Center on Law & Poverty, and Color Of Change has declared July 3, 2020, National CROWN Day, also known as Black Hair Independence Day.
The inaugural CROWN Act, which stands for “Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair,” was signed into law by Governor Newsom in California on July 3rd, 2019, and went into effect January 1, 2020. The law prohibits discrimination based on hairstyle and hair texture and goes beyond the federal law which protects afros to also include styles such as locs, braids, and twists, which in recent years have been a source of discrimination for many Black women and children at work and school. Since Senator Holly J. Mitchell (District 30) first introduced the CROWN Act (SB 188) in California in January 2019, six additional states have passed the CROWN act to protect against race-based hair discrimination: New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Washington, Colorado and Maryland.
“Hair discrimination has impacted the Black community for far too long”, stated Esi Eggleston Bracey, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of North America Beauty and Personal Care at Unilever. “The support and excitement over the CROWN Act lets us know that we are on the right path and making a difference. The CROWN Act has passed in 7 states and has been introduced in more than 20 additional states and at the federal level. We know that hair discrimination is just one form of racial discrimination and we are determined to help bring about systemic change to eradicate racism in all its forms. Dove has created the CROWN Fund and we are pledging $5M of ongoing support to drive change. We know funding is not enough, which is why we are taking action with our Coalition partners to advance legislative change.”
To commemorate the progress that has been made in the past year, The CROWN Coalition will host a number of virtual events tomorrow to commemorate the special day and stand in solidarity with Black men, women, and children and their right to wear their hair as they choose without fear of discrimination. On Social media, followers are being asked to #PassTheCROWN by not only proudly repping their hairstyle of choice but also signing this petition to make hair discrimination in schools and workplaces illegal and encourage their friends to sign as well.
The festivities will kick off tonight with a special pre-CROWN day IG live celebration featuring DJ @nylasymoneee. Follow @TheCrownAct on Instagram to stay up on all of the celebrations for Black Hair Independence Day.