Updated: Jun 28
DeAndre Arnold is a young child that was told unless he cut his dreadlocks he wouldn't be able to graduate. There is a video of Andrew Johnson being forced to cut his dreadlocks before a wrestling match. The United States Army waited until 2017 before they allowed dreadlocks. There are people who work for corporate America who are told that they cannot grow dreadlocks. These are all African Americans who are being discriminated against for the way their hair grows out of their head.
What most of America doesn't know is that dreadlocks are black history. All of the islands and countries that are predominately black have dreadlocks. Some African Americans who rock the dreadlocks hairstyle today are honoring their black heritage. Can you imagine being a child and your school suspends you just because of the way your hair naturally grows from your head. It can be demoralizing to someone to feel as if you aren't allowed in society just because your hair is different than everyone else's.
Critics say if you don't like the rules in a school district, than change schools. What about the 5% of black parents who bust their asses to make it out of the inner city? They (and I say they because I don't have children) want their kids to go to the best schools. Schools that will give them the best chance to get a great education and the best opportunity to get into college. However, at these schools that have these rules in place to eliminate a certain demographic from attending. The rules are black hair not allowed here.
We are tired of all the ways we can be discriminated against. It's killing our mental health to feel as if we aren't good enough for society in school and in corporate America. I've been in situations where managers have dropped subtle hints on how I should dress at work or why my beard doesn't fit in with the environment. What do we do when we receive these hints? Here is what it sounds like: "Hey David, you can go far in this company if you worked on your image a little bit". Master's degree, years of experience, years of dedication to a company and I can be passed over because my hair won't blend in with the executives in the holiday card.
To help combat this discrimination, the CROWN act was first introduced in California in January 2019 by Senator Holly Mitchell (District 30). The CROWN Act,which stands for “Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair,” is a law that prohibits discrimination based on hair style and hair texture. This is a law for little black boys and girls and those in corporate America who have black hair. It is truly horrific that a law needs to be passed to make it illegal for African Americans to be discriminated upon based on their hair. Like the leaders of the Civil Rights act once stated "We Shall Overcome". It seems like we always have something to overcome...