The Michigan Senate passed the CROWN Act yesterday, the bill that prohibits racial discrimination based on Black hair textures and hairstyles, such as locs and afros, yesterday in a 33-5 vote.
The bill amends Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act of 1976, which forbids “discriminatory practices, policies, and customs in the exercise of those rights based upon religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status, or marital status.” The CROWN Act will add that discrimination based on hair will be prohibited in housing, employment decisions and schools.
If the House approves the bill and Governor Gretchen Whitmer signs it, Michigan will be the 21st state to have such a law on the books.
The CROWN Act, which stands for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair,” stems from a four-year effort by a national coalition that includes the personal-care company Dove and the National Urban League. According to 2,990-person survey conducted by Dove earlier this year, Black women’s hair is 2.5 times more likely to be perceived as “unprofessional.” Black men have also stated that they had to get rid of their cornrows and locs in order to fit into more conservative workplaces.