Massachusetts Bans Discrimination Against Natural Hairstyles with Signing of CROWN Act

Massachusetts has joined the growing list of states that have banned discrimination based on natural hairstyles.

Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, on Tuesday signed the state’s version of the CROWN Act, which stands for “Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair.”

Variations of the legislation have cropped up around the country in recent years. The new Massachusetts law, which was passed unanimously by both chambers of the Legislature, specifically guards against discrimination “based on hair texture, hair type and hairstyles.” The law includes, but is not limited to, “natural and protective hairstyles such as braids, locks, twists, Bantu knots and other formations.”

Next to Baker at the signing ceremony were Deanna and Mya Cook, Black twins who were at the forefront of pushing for the legislation.

In 2017, the sisters were given detention and threatened with suspension for wearing braids at Mystic Valley Regional Charter School, which the school’s dress code policy at the time prohibited.

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SOURCE: NBC News, Zachary Schermele