Last month, we celebrated the House passing the CROWN Act.
However, just weeks later, social media is in uproar after a video surfaced of a Black female powerlifter being forced by a judge to remove her hair beads before she could compete.
The video was shared on Instagram by Tariq Nasheed:
“A #Black girl in a powerlifting competition was told by one of the judges she could not continue to compete with beads in her hair. So other girls in the competition helped her remove her #beads so she wouldn’t be disqualified,” the post was captioned.
“Wasn’t that “Crown Act” law that was just passed supposed to prevent this?” he captioned the post.
Black hair continues to be controversial. Black women are 1.5 times more likely to be sent home from the workplace because of their hair.
“Here we are today, standing on behalf of those individuals, whether my colleagues on the other side recognize it or not, are discriminated against as children in school, as adults who are trying to get jobs, individuals who are trying to get housing, individuals who simply want access to public accommodations and to be beneficiaries of federally-funded programs,” Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman Watson said in remarks on the House floor on the morning the bill passed. “And why are they denied these opportunities? Because there are folks in this society who get to make those decisions who think because you’re hair is kinky, it is braided, it is in knots or it is not straight and blonde and light brown, that you somehow are not worthy of access to those issues.”
“Well, that’s discrimination. There’s no logical reason that anyone should be discriminated against on any level because of the texture of their hair or the style of their hair,” Watson Coleman said.
The history of hair beads stretches far back into our African history. Beads were symbols of wealth, spiritual rituals, and even fertility before the colonizers stepped foot onto the continent. Today, they are a symbol of self-expression, and a tangible connection to our African roots.
The heartbreaking video was also shared by prominent civil rights attorney, Benjamin Crump:
“A judge forced a Black powerlifter to remove her hair beads if she wanted to finish competing in an event. This was awful to witness and must have been humiliating for the young girl. We must continue the fight to BAN biased hair discrimination everywhere!”