House passes CROWN Act to ban discrimination against race-based hairstyles nationwide

The legislation will now move on to be voted upon by the Senate.

March 18, 2022, 3:37 PM

A few short years ago, California became the first state to legally ban racial hair discrimination ag.

On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the CROWN Act (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair), in a 235-189 vote which will further put an end to race-based hair discrimination.

This new legislation will prohibit discrimination based on one's hair texture or hairstyle -- specifically pointing to hairstyles associated with a particular race or national origin.

With this new passing, the bill will now head to the Senate to be voted upon with legislative sponsors Democratic New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman leading the charge.

In a Twitter post, Coleman recalled that on the last day of Black History Month, 188 House Republicans temporarily obstructed passage of the CROWN ACT.

"Despite what my GOP colleagues may tell you, this bill is too important to give up on," she added. "That's why today, I brought it to the floor again."

Coleman also elaborated in a statement saying, "Natural Black hair is often deemed 'unprofessional' simply because it does not conform to white beauty standards. Discrimination against Black hair is discrimination against Black people. I'm proud to have played a part to ensure that we end discrimination against people for how their hair grows out of their head."

As many supporters and sponsors of the potential federal law continue to carry enthusiasm, several have also spoken out applauding the recent House passage.

"Every day in this country, Black women and girls face discrimination because of their natural hair at their workplaces and schools," said Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Joyce Beatty in a statement. "So today, I proudly voted yes on the #CROWNAct to finally end race-based hair discrimination once and for all."

She continued, "It's simple — discrimination against Black hair is discrimination based on race. I look forward to swift passage of this critical legislation in the Senate and to standing with President Biden as he signs it into law. To every young Black girl and boy, I say to you, your hair — from your kinks to your curls, from your fros to your fades, from your locs to your braids — is a crown. Be proud of your hair and know the Congressional Black Caucus is fighting for you."

President Joe Biden's Administration has already shown support for the legislation as well by sharing in a statement that the "administration looks forward to working with the Congress to enact this legislation and ensure that it is effectively implemented."

Following California's official ban in 2019, the CROWN Act has also seen legislative wins in 13 additional states including New Jersey, Virginia, Colorado as well as in 34 municipalities.ABC's Em Nguyen reports.