Don't Judge My Hair

For me August is Box Braids Month. Long and sexy a la Beyonce, these braids are easy to throw into an up-do for work, wear down on date night, go swimming in, work out with, or just do whatever without thinking about my hair. And when they start to get fuzzy but aren’t ready to come out, I’ll slip into satin-lined cap mode. As I fantasize about impromptu summer road trips, discrimination is the last thing on my mind. But, as the CROWN Act says America’s long history is “riddled with laws and societal norms that equated ‘blackness,’ and the associated physical traits, for example, dark skin, kinky and curly hair to a badge of inferiority, sometimes subject to separate and unequal treatment.” I assume (read have experienced and witnessed) this is also true for Canada. Well, New York has recently joined California in the fight against racial discrimination. Both states have now signed bills into law that signal a complete ban of racial discrimination based on natural hair texture. Yay!(?) While I am happy(?) that governments are realizing the extent of discrimination, acknowledging the need for intervention and taking action, I’m also sad that we need such specific laws to combat racism. I guess the devil is in the details.

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