“Please don't touch my hair."
I’m sure this is not the first time you have heard that phrase, but hopefully, it’s the last. Hair is deeper than genetics and style preferences. God created every part of who we are, in His image, so why is it that some need to have an opinion on what parts of that image are acceptable?
As a Black woman in my early 20s, I always felt the need to be mindful of how I wore my hair for interviews. Many people feel this way across color lines. Crossing color lines means crossing cultures and what’s outside of our culture is often uncomfortable. Unfortunately, society has deemed traditional Black hairstyles and textures as unprofessional.
Out of all the restrictions I put on myself, the inability to wear my hair in certain protective styles would always sting. It wasn’t for lack of ability, creativity, or professional style. It was a direct hit to my identity and how God created me.
My biggest passion as an author is to diversify the pages of all books. That is exactly why Ms. DoWright has locs in both of my recent children’s books. Ms. DoWright is such a kind and gentle soul. I wanted to make sure to show the world that these souls exist in people with all types of hair. Society has helped to paint a negative stereotype of people who wear their hair in locs. It is so important to teach kids that good people can look like me and you and the person with locs.
Ms. DoWright is representation. She matters. Her hairstyle and texture matter. Representation is crucial in TV, books, and real life. Representation includes different genders, colors, body types, and yes hairstyles and textures. Representation has always mattered. And the CROWN Act is exactly why.
A woman's crown means so much to her. So, how can we tell people that the way their hair grows naturally isn't professional? The short answer is we can't! This act is long overdue and the fact that it is needed says a lot about what is wrong with our country. The fact that we can work to make these corrections says a lot about what is right.
Your crown is beautiful, queen. But your soul is even better. It’s time the world knows it.