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Shreveport City Council passes CROWN Act proposal

“The way my hair grows out of my head, my DNA, should not be something that is a qualification for a job,” she says
The Shreveport City Council held a special meeting Wednesday, March 31, 2021 to pass a measure...
The Shreveport City Council held a special meeting Wednesday, March 31, 2021 to pass a measure to enter into an agreement with a marketing and event management company based out of New Orleans.(KSLA)
Published: May. 25, 2021 at 10:56 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 5:37 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Shreveport Councilwoman Levette Fuller is sponsoring a CROWN Act proposal. The ordinance against hair discrimination was introduced in front of the council on the afternoon of Tuesday, May 25.

The CROWN Act stands for “create a respectful and open world for natural hair.” Thousands of jobs require Eurocentric beauty standards to maintain a job, which impacts the way Black women and men are able to make money.

Fuller says hair discrimination is something people she knows have experienced and that she has experienced herself.

“I’ve heard stories from friends whose children have gotten rude remarks from teachers and educators. In extracurricular activities, cheerleaders have been released from responsibilities with cheer teams and cases where people have not been offered jobs due to their dread locks,” Fuller said.

“The way my hair grows out of my head, my DNA, should not be something that is a qualification for a job. What’s under that, what’s inside my brain is what you are hiring me for. Since that does seem to be something that people don’t completely understand, it seems that we are gong to have to bring attention to it through an ordinance.”

Hair discrimination is common in the workplace for African Americans; That’s why CROWN Act was created. It bans educational, employment and housing discrimination on the basis of hair texture or style, including braids, locs and twists.

Several spoke at the Shreveport City Council meeting in support of the proposal.

“You see, as amazing of people we have here in the city and across this state, we have a complex history and we face many systemic barriers as women, especially Black women.” siad Nia Weeks, co-director of Citizen SHE United.

“For Black women, our hair tells a story. It’s interconnected to who we are. In this country, we have struggled with concepts when it comes to race and connectivity and conversations. Intermingled in that complex is conversations about Black hair. Despite the pride Black women have developed over the last couple of years, it has not prevented discrimination at work, home and school when it comes to our hair.”

“Is it too big?” said Victoria Tilla, owner and master stylist at Volume Life Salon Studio. “Is it too loud? Do you think they will ask to touch it? I should just straighten it so I don’t scare them off because I want them to see me and my work.

“These are some of the fears my guests share with me daily. There are brilliant women who are changing the way the world unfolds that are fearful to show up in all the glory of who they are due to outdated beauty standards.”

In New Orleans, the CROWN Act was signed into law in 2020. The act is now being discussed in all ArkLaTex states.

At a Shreveport City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 8, the CROWN Act was passed by council members. The act will go into effect in 30 days.

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