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'It should make a difference.' CROWN Act seeks to eliminate discrimination against Black hairstyles

Some Long Islanders hope this bill will help eliminate the bias that causes discrimination.

News 12 Staff

Mar 19, 2022, 2:30 AM

Updated 826 days ago

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A federal initiative to ban discrimination against Black hairstyles made it through the House of Representatives Friday.
The CROWN Act, which stands for Creating a Respecting and Open World for Natural Hair, would eliminate discrimination on the style or texture of someone's hair.
Some Long Islanders like Shabiir Shabazz frequent Trimz Barber Shop in Freeport for frequent cuts. Without those haircuts, Shabazz says he might not have a job,
"A lot of employers don't like curly hair, don't like frizzy hair, don't like rough hair," Shabazz, who works in customer service says. "They would say it's not good for business."
Barbershop owner Levar Broughton says prejudice based on Black hairstyles is an ongoing problem.
He hopes this bill will help eliminate the bias that causes discrimination.
"It should make a difference," Broughton says. "It gives us some ground to fight on when we do have those issues."
For some, hairstyle can also be an expression religion.
The military and some police departments have relaxed their rules for members of Sikh faith, who keep hair and beards.
"Even if a federal law were put in place, Shabazz says he is not sure if the discrimination would end.
"We've been screaming and shouting for hundreds of years," Shabazz says. "We'll see."
The bill next has to get through the Senate before heading to President Joe Biden's desk.
Several states including New York have their own version of the CROWN Act.


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