The year is 2024, 60 years since the passage of the Civil Rights Act, and yet the fight for basic rights and equality continues for African Americans. Despite the progress made since the Civil Rights Movement, instances of discrimination against black hair are still prevalent in our society.

In 2019, Andrew Johnson, a young African American wrestler, made headlines when he was forced to cut his dreadlocks off in order to compete in a wrestling tournament. This caused outrage and sparked conversations about the discrimination faced by individuals with natural hairstyles. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. Just last year, Nicole Pyles, a high school student, was told she needed to cut some of her hair and remove beads in order to comply with her school’s dress code. This type of discrimination not only affects athletes, but also students in educational settings.

The issue of hair discrimination goes beyond just sports and education. Darryl George, an African American high school student in Texas, was suspended for wearing a natural hairstyle that violated the school’s dress code. This type of discrimination not only affects individuals emotionally, but can also have negative consequences on their academic and professional opportunities.

In recent years, there has been a movement to address this issue. The CROWN (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) Act, sponsored by Dove, aims to prevent discrimination based on hairstyles associated with race or culture. However, despite its introduction and implementation in some states, there are still many states that have yet to make this law.

During her appearance on the BUILD Podcast, Marlisa B. Nixon, an advocate for the CROWN Act, shared her personal experience of being pushed to conform to European standards of beauty in order to succeed in corporate America. Her mother even advised her to straighten her natural hair in order to be accepted in the workplace. This highlights the pressure and discrimination faced by individuals with natural hairstyles in professional settings.

The discrimination against black hair is a form of racism that has been ingrained in society for far too long. It is time for us to challenge these harmful and unjust norms and support initiatives like the CROWN Act that promote diversity and inclusivity.

It is time to acknowledge and celebrate the beauty and diversity of black hair. Natural hairstyles are an important expression of cultural identity and should be protected, not discriminated against. As a society, we must educate ourselves and challenge the deeply embedded prejudices that have led to this form of discrimination.

In conclusion, the fight against discrimination of black hair continues, but we must remain diligent in our efforts to create a more inclusive and accepting society. Let us support and stand in solidarity with those who face these injustices and work towards a world where diversity and individuality are celebrated and embraced. Let us break the cycle of discrimination and pave the way for a brighter, more inclusive future for all.

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