Tracee Ellis Ross, Ayanna Pressley advocate for Black beauty businesses with Color Of Change
Congresswoman Pressley and Emmy-nominated Ross joined Color of Change to talk about the value of Black beauty businesses and hair discrimination
One would think that the issues the world has always had with Black hair would have ended during the ‘Black is Beautiful’ movement of the sixties when Black women threw away their straightening combs and boldly declared that their hair was beautiful in its natural state.
While many were offended by Black women flaunting their ‘nappy’ hair, the Afro became a symbol of racial pride.
Astonishingly, decades later, many still appear to be offended by how Black women choose to wear their hair, and in 2019, the CROWN Act (Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) was proposed to end hair discrimination in schools and the workplace.
In collaboration with Dove, National Urban League and Western Center on Law and Poverty, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and other elected officials have pushed to pass the CROWN ACT.
Tracee Ellis Ross and Congresswoman Pressley joined Color Of Change for a discussion on the state of small Black beauty businesses and fighting hair discrimination.
“Black hair has been at the center of economic, political, and cultural revolutions,” said Tracee Ellis Ross, actor, producer, and CEO of PATTERN. “The CROWN Act is an essential policy, safeguarding the existence, dignity, and humanity of Black people.”
Rep. Pressley said, “It’s not just about the impact on self-esteem or how it undermines ethnic pride; hair discrimination can affect Black people’s ability to learn and, as a consequence, our economic status. The CROWN Act would codify nondiscrimination protections so that employers cannot discriminate based on ethnic hairstyles, and it will liberate us to show up as our most authentic selves.”
Arisha Hatch, Color Of Change’s Vice President of Campaigns, says the time is now more than ever to support Black businesses. “Black beauty salons are essential,” Hatch said.
“In a world where Black people’s bodies are constantly policed and politicized, Black-owned hair salons enable our agency, autonomy, and self-expression. Black businesses are the cultural and economic engines of our communities, yet they have been drastically unsupported and under-resourced through inequitable COVID relief measures.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Color Of Change has been demanding the protection and justice Black people need to deal with the negative impacts of COVID-19. Color Of Change and its members will continue to demand Congress to pass equitable relief for Black businesses to operate safely during the pandemic.
Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization that helps people respond effectively to injustice in the world. For more information, visit them here.
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