Another metro city passes act to protect Black men, women wearing natural hairstyles at work

EAST POINT, Ga. — Another metro Atlanta city has taken the step to protect Black men and women from discrimination for wearing their natural hairstyles in the workplace.

East Point city leaders unanimously passed the CROWN Act, which stands for Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair.

“Our employees and residents have the right to wear natural hair styles without being denied access to opportunities within our City or experiencing any type of discrimination,” said Mayor Deana Holiday Ingraham. “As leaders in this City, we will not tolerate any form of discrimination. We will do all that we can to ensure fair, just, equitable and equal treatment of all employees, East Pointers and visitors.”

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Many natural hairstyles for Black men and women, like braids, Afros, twists and locs, have been banned from workplaces or deemed “unprofessional.”

The act passed by East Point this week prohibits natural hair discrimination based on hair style and hair texture in the workplace.

“Your hair should not subject you to separate and unequal treatment,” said Councilwoman Sharon Shropshire, who introduced the ordinance.

East Point is not alone in Georgia when it comes to passing the CROWN Act. The city of South Fulton, Stockbridge and Clayton County have all passed similar acts in the past year.

State Rep. Kim Schofield (D-Atlanta) has been pushing for Georgia to extend the CROWN act statewide.

“In 2021, to actually be talking about hair not as a beauty, but hair as a barrier for housing, education workplace, in general really is bothersome,” Schofield told Channel 2′s Audrey Washington. “That whole stigma around professionalism and what professionalism looks like (is troublesome),” Schofield said. “We’re being forced to put chemicals in our hair to make sure we have jobs, and that shouldn’t be the case.”

[MORE: Many see trend toward natural Black hair styles as the start of a movement]