On Thursday, a Metro Council committee in Louisville, KY passed the CROWN Act in a unanimous, bipartisan vote, and a music video created by two pre-teens provided a huge assist.
The law, which stands for Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, now makes it illegal in Louisville for employers, housing providers and others to discriminate against someone based on hairstyle when it’s tied to the person’s national origin or ancestry. It also specifies that the unwanted touching of a person’s hair constitutes discrimination.
The ordinance – which received six “yes” votes and zero “no” votes (with one member absent) was sponsored by Councilman Jecorey Arthur, D-4, and every other African American on Metro Council; Councilman Bill Hollander, D-9; and Councilman Anthony Piagentini, R-19, the leader of Metro Council Republicans.
Arthur said Thursday that it was a catchy music video — and the 10 and 12 year old local girls who created it in support of their natural hair — that caught the council’s attention and sparked the unanimous vote. D’Angelia McMillan, 12, and Renee Robinson, 10, are members of The Real Young Prodigys, a social justice hip hop group from Louisville. Watch their video, “CROWN,” below:
“Black hair — our hair — is unique,” said Robinson. “It’s cool. It’s all of the above. It’s just everything all in one.”
“Your hair makes you feel confident in yourself,” added McMillian. “It just gives you life.”
They say the city ordinance is just the start. They plan to keep fighting for the hair styles of others beyond Louisville too and are hoping to talk with Congressman John Yarmuth about a federal bill.
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