Akilah Davis, a local news anchor chose Juneteenth to share her journey to hair freedom and to unveil her locs because she wants to be true to herself on the job. She hopes to inspire women and little girls struggling to embrace their roots. It's hair freedom she's always wanted.
Friday, June 23, 2023
Monday, May 30, 2022
Former US President Barack Obama has shared his virtual reunion with Jacob Philadelphia, the boy who famously touched his head in the 2009 photo Hair Like Mine. Check out that video below:
Jacob Philadelphia was five years old when he visited the Oval Office and asked if his hair was like mine. That photo became one of our favorites – a reminder of the power of seeing yourself in your leaders.— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 27, 2022
Today, he's graduating from high school! Check out our recent reunion. pic.twitter.com/gB39hFS3Wp
Sunday, March 20, 2022
The House of Representatives has passed H.R.2116, the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act. The act would prohibit discrimination based on a person's hair texture or hairstyle if that style or texture is commonly associated with a particular race or national origin. Specifically, the bill prohibits this type of discrimination against those participating in federally assisted programs, housing programs, public accommodations, and employment. Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) reintroduced the CROWN Act in March 2021. Similar bills have already passed in 15 states and 30 cities.
“Natural Black hair is often deemed ‘unprofessional’ simply because it does not conform to white beauty standards,” said Rep. Watson Coleman. “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.”
“Black women, men, and children face discrimination for wearing their natural hair texture and experience serious obstacles at work and school because of it. On top of that, Black women in particular face pressure at work to style their hair in a way that's considered more acceptable because too often, the consequences for not doing so are real and deeply felt,” said Rep Gwen Moore (WI-04). “I am honored to join my colleagues to protect against hair discrimination and ensure every Black person can style their crown as they please.”
“I want my two girls to grow up in a world where they know they will not be discriminated against because of their hair or the way they look,” said Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN-05). “I am thrilled to see the passage of this very important legislation. It’s time that natural hair is a point of pride, not something to hide. I am proud to have worked on this bill with Rep. Watson Coleman and my colleagues to end race-based hair discrimination.”
“For decades, Black and Brown people have been penalized for wearing natural hair styles deemed as ‘unprofessional,’” said Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13). “It is unacceptable to be discriminated against for wearing your natural hair in the workplace, in school, or anywhere. Rep. Watson Coleman, Rep. Pressley, Rep. Omar, Rep. Moore, and I have taken direct aim at prohibiting race-based hair discrimination because everyone should be able to show up as their authentic selves and be treated with respect. I'm pleased that the CROWN Act has once again passed the House. It's time for the Senate to finish the job and make it law.”
“For centuries, Black folks’ hair—particularly that of Black women—has been politicized and weaponized to discriminate and reject the dignity and beauty of our people,” said Rep. Ayanna Pressley (MA-07). “By passing the CROWN Act out of the House today, we’re taking a bold step toward ending race-based hair discrimination and affirming the right for all of us to show up in the world as our full and authentic selves, no matter where we work or go to school. I’m so grateful to Reps. Watson-Coleman, Lee, Omar and Moore for their partnership. I’m honored to co-lead this bill and look forward to seeing this critical bill signed into law.”
“No one should be discriminated against because of their race, gender, or even their hair,” said Rep. Don Bacon (NE-2). “Unfortunately, there has been an increase of race-based hair prejudice in the workplace, schools, and within federal assistance programs. I’m glad to work with Rep. Watson Coleman to eliminate this bias and start enforcing more equity within our community."
"As a lifelong racial equity champion who created the legislative and social impact strategy for the CROWN Act movement I lead nationwide on behalf of the CROWN Coalition I co-created, I couldn't be prouder today,” said Adjoa B. Asamoah, CROWN Act Legislative and Social Impact Strategist & CROWN Coalition Co-Creator “Effectively tackling anti-Blackness and problematic Eurocentric standards of beauty requires partnership and leadership. I am eternally grateful to Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman for both"
The CROWN Act is cosponsored by a bipartisan group of 116 Representatives. A companion bill is sponsored in the Senate by New Jersey Senator Cory Booker.
Friday, March 18, 2022
The US House on Friday passed legislation that would ban race-based hair discrimination in employment and against those participating in federally assisted programs, housing programs, and public accommodations.
The Democratic-led House voted 235-189 to pass the CROWN Act, which stands for "Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair." The bill seeks to protect against bias based on hair texture and protective styles, including locs, cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, and Afros.
"Natural Black hair is often deemed 'unprofessional' simply because it does not conform to White beauty standards," Democratic Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey, the bill's sponsor, said in a statement. "Discrimination against Black hair is discrimination against Black people."
The bill now heads to the Senate, where Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey has sponsored the chamber's version of the bill.
Thursday, February 17, 2022
In 2021 4-year-old Jett Hawkins was sent home from preschool for having braids.
His mom, Ida Nelson promised her son that she would make it better.
Jan. 1, 2022 The Jett Hawkins Act banning discrimination in Illinois schools for hair styles like braids, locs and twists went into effect.
Saturday, January 18, 2020
Congratulations to former NFL player Matthew A. Cherry! His short film "Hair Love" has been nominated for an Academy Award.
The film tells the heartfelt story of an African American father learning to do his daughter's hair for the first time.
Cherry had this to say about the film's nomination:
"It's very validating, I moved to LA 13 years ago and kinda started over when I retired, and I started as a PA (production assistant) and kinda worked my way up doing music videos and short films -- so to be here now at the highest level is so crazy,"
The film featured Issa Rae. It was written by Matthew A. Cherry, who was also a director and the executive producer of the film. Other directors include Everett Downing Jr. (Animator, "Up") and Bruce W. Smith (Creator, "The Proud Family," Animator, "The Princess and the Frog").
Producers on the film include Jordan Peele, Andrew Hawkins, Harrison Barnes, Yara and Keri Shahidi, N'Dambi Gillespie, Gabrielle Union-Wade, Dwayne Wade Jr., Gabourey Sidibe, Stephanie Fredric, and Claude Kelly.
Friday, January 17, 2020
Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley opened up today for the first time about her battle with alopecia, the condition that causes hair loss. In an interview and video with The Root, the Massachusetts representative discussed when she first started losing her hair and her emotional reaction to the moment she lost her final strand, and, in a strong and powerful moment, revealed her bald head to the world.
Thursday, December 05, 2019
Washington, D.C.- Today, Congressman Cedric Richmond (LA-02) along with Congresswomen Barbara Lee (CA-13), Marcia Fudge (OH-11), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), and Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) issued the following statement after introducing the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Act (CROWN Act):
“For far too long, Black Americans have faced senseless forms of discrimination merely because of how they choose to wear their hair. As states begin to tackle this issue, it is long overdue for Congress to act,” said Rep. Richmond. “From Louisiana to New Jersey, textured hair should never serve as a professional or educational impediment nor should it ever lead to a reprimand of consequence. In America, we regularly subscribe to the notion that our diversity is our strength. Now is the time to walk the walk, not just talk to the talk. That is why I partnered with Representatives Lee, Fudge, Pressley, Senator Booker, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Crown Coalition advocate Adjoa B. Asamoah, and Civil Rights activist, lawyer, and #FreeTheHair Movement founder Wendy Greene to introduce this urgent legislation. Together, with this bill, we can ensure this form of discrimination no longer goes unchecked.”
“Every day, Black women and men are forced to consider if their natural hair is “appropriate” or “professional” by Eurocentric standards,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13). “With the introduction of the CROWN Act of 2019, we are making it clear that discrimination against Black women and men who wear their natural hairstyles is wrong and must be prohibited. I began this fight in 2014 when I stood up to the U.S. military’s policy that prohibited servicemembers from wearing natural hair, and I will continue until every woman and man is protected. With the CROWN Act, we can turn the page on forcing cultural norms that penalize Black people and other people of color from wearing their natural hair. I thank Congressman Richmond for his leadership in introducing this important bill.”
“It is disheartening that, in 2019, hair discrimination creates additional barriers for people of color in education and places of employment,” said Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge. “Traditional hairstyles worn by African Americans are often necessary to meet our unique needs, and are a representation of our culture and ethnicity. To require anyone to change their natural appearance to acquire educational resources or a job is undeniably an infringement on their civil rights. I’m proud to be a cosponsor of the House companion of the CROWN Act, which protects against discrimination based on hair in federally funded institutions and in the workplace.”
“For too long, Black women and girls have been told that their hair is too curly, too unprofessional, too distracting” said Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley. “As a Congresswoman, I choose to wear my hair in twists because I want to intentionally create space for all of us to show up in the world as our authentic selves – whether it’s in the classroom, in the workplace or in the halls of Congress. I am proud to support the CROWN Act, which is a bold step towards ensuring that people can stand in their truth while removing the narrative that Black people should show up as anything other than who they are.”
“Discrimination against Black hair is discrimination against Black people,” Senator Booker said. “Implicit and explicit biases against natural hair are deeply ingrained in workplace norms and society at large. This is a violation of our civil rights, and it happens every day for black people across the country. You need to look no further than Gabrielle Union, who was reportedly fired because her hair was ‘too black’ — a toxic dog-whistle African Americans have had to endure for far too long. No one should be harassed, punished, or fired for the beautiful hairstyles that are true to themselves and their cultural heritage.”
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
|Sen. Holly J. Mitchell|
Introduced by Senator Holly J. Mitchell, SB 188 aims to "Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair" (the CROWN Act) by clarifying that traits historically associated with race, such as hair texture and hairstyle, be protected from discrimination in the work place and in our K-12 public and charter schools.
"Many Black employees, including your staff, members, will tell you if given the chance that the struggle to maintain what society has deemed a 'professional image' while protecting the health and integrity of their hair remains a defining and paradoxical struggle in their work experience, not usually shared by their non-Black peers," said Senator Mitchell shortly before the Senate vote. "Members, it is 2019. Any law that sanctions a job description that immediately excludes me from a position, not because of my capabilities or experience but because of my hair, is long overdue for reform."
The C.R.O.W.N. (Creating a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural hair) Act will ensure protection against discrimination in the workplace and schools based on hairstyles by prohibiting employers and schools from enforcing purportedly "race neutral" grooming policies that disproportionately impact persons of color. Additionally, while anti-discrimination laws presently protect the choice to wear an Afro, Afros are not the only natural presentation of Black hair. SB 188 will ensure protection against discrimination based on hairstyles by extending statutory protection to hair texture and protective styles in the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the California Education Code.
"Dove has been committed to championing real beauty for women and girls for decades, and believes the individuality of all of our hair should be celebrated," said Esi Eggleston Bracey, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of North America Beauty and Personal Care at Unilever. "As a proud member of the CROWN Coalition, we're overjoyed to see that the California Senate passed SB 188, and look forward to continuing to drive equity and fairness for all women and men, particularly around hair inclusivity."
The CROWN Act corrects an inconsistency in existing anti-discrimination laws by amending the California Government and Education Codes to protect against discrimination based on traits historically associated with race such as hair texture and protective hairstyles. The Coalition, in support of The CROWN Act, aims to put an end to the significant injustices of hair discrimination that has spanned decades across the United States.
The CROWN Coalition
The CROWN Coalition is a national alliance comprised of the National Urban League, Western Center on Law & Poverty, Color Of Change, and Dove as sponsors of Senate Bill 188 'The Crown Act'. The CROWN Coalition members believe diversity and inclusion are key drivers of success across all industries and sectors.
For more information on SB 188 'The CROWN Act' click here to see the legislation.
Office of Senator Holly J. Mitchell
Marcy Polanco, JOY Collective
Tuesday, August 28, 2018
A Catholic school official said Monday that a suburban New Orleans school has rescinded its policy forbidding hair extensions.
But it remains unclear whether a sixth-grader who left school in tears last week after running afoul of the rule will return to Christ the King school.
A state judge blocked enforcement of the rule after the families of Faith and another girl, Tyrielle Davis, filed suit.
RaeNell Houston, the superintendent Archdiocese of New Orleans schools issued a statement that said Fennidy's family, and the family of Tyrielle Davis, another student who joined in a lawsuit over the policy, were told last week that Christ the King's hair extension policy had been rescinded.
"When this issue arose, the school immediately reviewed its policy and recognized that there may have been sensitivities that needed to be addressed," Houston's statement said. "They then reached out for input from the Office of Catholic Schools, the Office of Black Catholic Ministries, other principals, and parents."
Attorneys for the girls' families said the school did not immediately rescind the policy. They initially refused to change the policy, the attorneys claim, "instead asking that if Faith and Tyrielle return to school they pretend that their hair was natural."
Houston said she will work with school officials to "create a uniform policy that is sensitive to all races, religions, and cultures."
Tuesday, July 03, 2018
Friday, February 10, 2017
The Army released a sweeping update to grooming and appearance regulations on Tuesday that, in addition to authorizing religious beards and head coverings, also opened the door for female soldiers to wear their hair in dreadlocks.
The services have grappled with the issue of black women's hair in recent years, as some argued that the hair regulations put an undue burden on those with thick, coarse hair, forcing many women to spend time, money and discomfort on straightening or wigs if they didn't choose to chop it all off.
The Army's compromise is now to let women wear dreadlocks along the same guidelines already allowed for braids, cornrows and twists. That is, they must be of uniform size and shape, evenly spaced, and up to 1/2 inch in width.
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Marrying tech and beauty isn’t a new concept, but most of the existing hair service apps don’t include a diverse enough range of options, nor provide the right information to help a woman with a relaxer or an afro decide if a stylist is right for her. Swivel allows salon and home styling seekers to search its directory by specific hair texture and the type of look desired. A user can read reviews and see ratings of not only the stylist’s skills, but also the overall vibe of the salon, so she knows what to expect before she books. The app is a must-download for women who are new in town, need a stylist, and want to avoid a disappointing trial and error process. It’s also appealing to those who don’t want to rely on just one stylist to meet all of their needs.
While Swivel is on a quest to make the search for a stylist less painful, Lux Beauty Club, is tackling another common hair complaint—the cost. Co-founder Victoria Flores, a former Wall Street executive affectionately describes the company as a cross between “Warby Parker and Dollar Shave Club.” Created with her long-time friend, Leslie Wilson-Namad, the goal of the service is to make high-quality human hair extensions accessible and affordable for a multi-cultural range of women. “My business partner and I have been wearing hair extensions since birth,” jokes Flores, who grew up in El Paso, Texas and now resides in New York City. After years of spending an obscene amount of money to get our hair done, we said enough is enough. There has to be a better way.”
Sunday, October 02, 2016
In a decision that delimits the concept of race to physical characteristics that are “immutable,” a federal appeals court ruled last week that firing an employee for wearing her hair in dreadlocks is not racial discrimination.
The case centers on Chastity Jones, a black woman who accepted a job at a Mobile, Alabama, insurance claims processing company in 2010. The company, Catastrophe Management Solutions, required its employees to project “a professional and businesslike image”; Jones claims a white human resources employee told her that she’d need to get rid of her dreadlocks because they “tend to get messy.” When Jones refused to modify her hairstyle, the company rescinded her offer of employment.
Last week, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s dismissal of Jones’ Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lawsuit from 2013. The EEOC’s initial claim contended that Catastrophe’s actions, and all policies forbidding dreadlocks, are racially discriminatory because “dreadlocks are a manner of wearing the hair that is physiologically and culturally associated with people of African descent.” Essentially, the EEOC was arguing for a theory of race as a social construct, rather than some kind of biological classification with easily definable bounds. Race “has no biological definition,” the claim read, and besides that, “hairstyle can be a determinant of racial identity.”
Tuesday, August 09, 2016
Cultural pressure surrounding hair is so powerful that some African-American adolescents say they avoid sweating because it could mess up their tresses.
Gym class, school sports and other exercise routines bring important health benefits. But sweating also means potentially bad hair days and ruining time-consuming and costly hairstyles.
So Woolford, a pediatrician at the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit, along with her sister Carole Woolford-Hunt, Ph.D., of Andrews University in Michigan, and David Williams, Ph.D., of Harvard University, studied this cultural phenomenon. The researchers asked: Are lower levels of physical activity among African-American teens related to hair care?
The small study, which was recently published in BMC Obesity, included 36 African-American girls ages 14 to 17 in three states. The authors found a consistent theme among participants: Adolescent girls preferred straightened hair, which was viewed as the most “attractive” style, and said they avoided getting wet or sweating during exercise because they worried it would ruin their hairstyle.
Four main themes emerged from the study:
When concerns about hairstyles began between ages 8 and 15, participants changed from “juvenile” (natural) styles to “adult” (straightened) styles.
Participants avoided getting wet or sweating during exercise because their straightened hair became “nappy.”
Braids with extensions and natural styles were viewed as better for exercise, but not viewed as attractive.
Participants almost universally selected long, straight hairstyles as most attractive. Some thought short, natural hair was OK but that it “only looks good on some people.”
Read more about the study here: Why Black Teens May Feel Pulled Between Health and Hair
Sunday, May 01, 2016
New research suggests certain scalp-pulling hairstyles may underlie gradual hair loss.
Hair can be a touchy subject. It’s considered an essential part of overall identity: especially for women, that’s why many of us try our best to care for and manage it. However, while most of us know that moisture and trimming split ends are essential for hair growth and strong, healthy hair, how we style our hair could also be detrimental to its health. A new research review published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found a strong association between certain scalp-pulling hairstyles — many of which are common among black women — and gradual hair loss. Their research assigned a level of risk to a number of popular hairstyles, from straightening to tight ponytails.
Traction alopecia, a form of gradual hair loss caused by constant strain or tension, affects an estimated one-third of African-American women. Fortunately, unlike others, this form of alopecia can be easily stopped and reversed. Still, the current study’s researchers urge dermatologists to better educate themselves about hairstyles that can contribute to this condition, including tight ponytails, braids, knots and buns.
"Hair is a cornerstone of self-esteem and identity for many people, but ironically, some hairstyles meant to improve our self-confidence actually lead to hair and scalp damage,” Dr. Crystal Aguh, assistant professor of dermatology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in a statement.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
NAPPY a short picture book letting young black girls know how beautiful both they and their hair are. 99¢ for kindle: NAPPY FOR KINDLE
5.0 out of 5 stars Nappy! October 2, 2013
By Cinnamon Curly Girl
In a society the heralds a standard of beauty contrary to those of African Americans with highly textured hair; Nappy by George Cook III, promotes positive self image for young Black girls. This book reaffirms that we are indeed made in God's perfect image!
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read October 15, 2013
My granddaughter enjoyed the story, I had to read it 3 times. This seems to be our nightly bedtime story. I loved the story line and how it let the reader know that it's ok to wear natural hair and as a woman that also has chosen to be natural, this book is long overdue... Thanks George for inspiring our young ladies of color!
4.0 out of 5 stars Important Message for young black girls: September 30, 2013
By Larry Sputnik
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
This book is very short (only 5 pages) but carries a big message for young girls. While we all know that girls of all races eventually are faced with image issues, one particular issue that is typically unique to black girls is that of their hair and coming to terms with the fact that it does not necessarily look like the hair on their dolls or the hair on most female models in magazines or on TV. The short poem and child-friendly illustrations introduce self-awareness and pride to young children who may be confused or unsure of the beauty of their inherited attributes.
Also available for Nook: NAPPY FOR NOOK
Smashwords: NAPPY FOR SMASHWORDS
Friday, January 10, 2014
I must have been under a rock for a few days. Today when coming online to sites like Facebook and Twitter I have just learned that the state of Blue Ivy's ( Jay Z's and Beyonces baby girl ) hair is now an issue. Really?
To everyone talking bad about the baby's hair. To everyone criticizing Blue Ivy's lack of a hairstyle. To everyone who appareantley doesn't have enough important sh*t going on in your own life that gives you the time to talk about a baby's hair.
Blue Ivy is a pretty baby as most babies are and her hairstyle is not important. Adults should not be putting their pscycholgical bullsh*t about THEIR hair onto our children. That's your f*cked up way of thinking. Do everyone and every little black girl a favor and keep that sh*t to yourself.
Being women of color our little girls will have enough challenges throughout life. Let's not put a bogus one on them.
George Cook AAReports.com