A bill that would prevent discrimination based on hair color in schools, workplaces, and housing, regardless of race, has passed in the Texas House.

Following the 143-5 vote, the state moved one step closer to enacting a law based on the experiences of two Black high schoolers near Houston who were threatened with disciplinary action during the 2019-20 school year if they did not cut their hair.

“I believe how the hair naturally grows out of our heads should have nothing to do with what is inside,” Rep Rhetta Bowers said. “And therefore, with any of the success that we accomplish. The time is now for Texas to take up this civil rights legislation and protect the people from racial discrimination.”

HB 567 prohibits discrimination based on specific hairstyles, such as Braids, dreadlocks, and twists, in addition to the state’s education, labor, and property codes. The CROWN Act was first introduced in 2019 after two young men in Mont Belvieu were instructed by school administrators to cut their hair.

Last month, during a House State Affairs Committee hearing, over a dozen individuals expressed their support for the proposal. Dakari Davis, a Black police officer who was suspended from duty because of his hairstyle, testified that individuals should not face punishment for wearing hairstyles that are natural to their hair type or are traditional to certain cultures.

“The discrimination had already occurred, and the damage was done,” Davis said. “I was confused as to how my natural hair determined that I was not good enough to protect Texans, confused as to why I had to change my appearance to fit in with old standards of beauty created during a time where people that didn’t look like me or people that did look like me were considered a non-factor.”


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