The Crown Act: Georgia Southern Students React

The CROWN Act, formally known as the “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Act”, was passed by the House and expected to go to the Senate for voting. Representative Ayanna Pressley stated that “For too long, Black girls have been discriminated against and criminalized for the hair that grows on our heads and the way we move through and show up in this world”.  The act would forbid “discrimination based on hair texture and protective hairstyles that are commonly associated with a particular race or national origin, including locs, cornrows, braids, twists, Bantu knots, and Afros.”

An anonymous survey was conducted among Georgia Southern University students to highlight their views on the bill. Among one of the questions, the students were asked how they felt about the House passing The CROWN Act. Here is what Georgia Southern students had to say about:

  • “I am excited that it is being passed.”
  • “I think it’s long overdue but still good they decided to pass it.”
  • “I think this should’ve already been a thing. Why are we being discriminated based on our hair? Doesn’t make sense. I’m glad that this law is being passed.”
  • “Very good, I think it is extremely necessary.”
  • “I feel that if all other people should be able to have colored hair, POC should be able to wear braids, dreads, twists, etc. and be left alone.”
  • “ I’m happy, it’s long overdue. I feel that it took too long to achieve and I’m hoping that it’s honored and respected.”
  • “Glad that they finally did it. Took long enough though.”

When asked if they ever faced discrimination in the workplace and/or school based on a hairstyle, 66.7% of the students responded “no”. According to the survey, 33.3% of the students experienced discrimination in the workplace and/or school based on a hairstyle. 

Discrimination based on one’s hairstyle is experienced worldwide in the workplace and school. According to a Georgia Sothern student, “People just see me as an “untamed” person when I have my natural hair out. I’ve been told it’s not professional. People have even told me I need to get my hair done when it was. It just wasn’t up to their standards so they degraded it and me.” Also it was stated that, “I have been told that my hair wrap was inappropriate and distracting, but it’s just part of my culture” and “In high school they started to ban headscarves and Durags which is considered an easy protective style for most people. Doing my hair takes a lot of work and sometimes wearing a scarf makes me look more presentable on days that I can’t do my hair. So banning the option of wearing a scarf forces me to have to spend more time, money, and effort into doing my hair before school when I could use that time for other things.”