California Set to Ban Racially-Based Hair Discrimination

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A picture taken on October 19, 2017 shows a young customer getting a shampoo at a hairdressing salon specialized in afro natural hair care of in Bagneux.  (Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images)

A bill that would ban racially-based hair discrimination in workplaces and public schools is headed to Governor Gavin Newsom's desk. Known as the CROWN (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair) Act, the bill seeks to rectify a history of "laws and societal norms that equated 'blackness,' and the associated physical traits ... to a badge of inferiority, sometimes subject to separate and unequal treatment." A study conducted by beauty company Dove found that natural black hairstyles like afros, braids and twists were ranked the lowest for "job readiness." We'll discuss the bill, how it could be enforced when signed into law, and the 'politics' of natural hair.


Holly Mitchell, California state senator representing District 30 in Los Angeles; author of SB 188

Dr. Tina Opie, associate professor, Babson College; founder,