Display your CROWN: How States are Fighting Racial Discrimination

While Black History Month has ended, the fight against racial discrimination continues in the Florida House of representatives.

Representative Kamia Brown of Orange County introduced HB-179, Florida’s version of the CROWN Act earlier this year.

In 2019, Dove and the CROWN Coalition created the CROWN Act, which stands for “Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair.” The bill aims to protect people against race-based discrimination in the workplace and public schools that arise from wearing styles like braids, locs, twists and knots.

According to research in the Journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science, “Black women with natural hairstyles — including Afros, braids and twists — were perceived to be less competent, less professional and less likely to be recommended for a job than Black women with straight hairstyles and white women with either curly or straight hairstyles.”

“My hair, unfortunately, it is a political statement. I wish it was not a political statement,” said L.A. fashion influencer Punk Thrift. “I wish that politics and red tape and most sort of elitist verbiage and terms could be executed from the distance session of self-expression and natural expression.”

Univision anchor Ilia Calderon says, “I think it is important to be able to wear [our hair] as we would like to… We don’t do anything wrong. Society needs to respect that we should be able to wear our hair however we want.”

Roberta Hurtado Armas graduated from UCLA in 2016 with a BA in Political Science and a minor in Latin American Studies. She is currently pursuing a master's in Spanish-Language Journalism at Florida International University and is passionate about history, politics, immigration, and social justice. When she is not working, she enjoys riding her bike on the beach, reading, making desserts, and watching Netflix.

Racquel Lewis is a Miami native who enjoys botany, comedy, theatre, and culinary arts. She is currently an assistant editor at South Florida Media Network while also attending Florida International University as a Broadcast Media major. Her goals are to have her own show and to get an Emmy.