The naturalistas of Minnesota are sending praise to its state’s Senate after it passed the CROWN Act on Thursday. The act will prohibit discrimination based on natural hair.
The CROWN Act also encompasses the characterization of race under the Minnesota Human Rights Act to comprise all hairstyles and textures.
“In Black culture, our hair is extremely important and it means a lot to us. However, over the course of time, we have been told that it’s not good enough. It’s traumatizing. So, the CROWN Act is a step in the right direction,” Destiny Owens, founder and owner of True Essentials Consulting, told Valley News Live.
Seven-year-old Mya Williamson, a published author, echoed Owens’ sentiments, adding that “I want everyone that’s listening to this right now to feel that they’re appreciated. I don’t want them to feel bad about themselves when someone says we don’t want your natural hair in the world. They have to accept who they are.”
Mya is popular in the Minnesota area for her books that advocate for freedom of expression, self-love and peace for all. Her mother, Briana Williamson, says she is thrilled the state has decided to pass this monumental act.
During an interview with the publication, she asked her daughter that “she teaches other kids that your hair is your what?”
“Your hair is your crown!” Mya exclaimed.
“Right. So, it’s this idea that what makes you feel the most you is your ability to shape and shift through your hair and show that outward expression,” Williamson responded.
Owens says the CROWN Act is a step in the right direction for Black and Brown men and women to appreciate and love the way they are.
“For me, wearing my curls is extremely important to encourage the youth and black men and women to be able to embrace their most authentic self,” she explained. “Knowing other people who wear braids or locks, I feel like it’s extremely important and it’s super impactful because it will not allow for people to use that as a discrimination tool.”
Along with the CROWN Act, Senate passed a bill to make Juneteenth an official state holiday. It is now waiting to pass in the House before the state’s governor, Tim Walz, signs it into law.