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KPBS Midday Edition

State Senator Holly Mitchell Talks About New Law To End Hair Discrimination

Charlotte "Peaches" Smith, owner of the Dreadlocks Salon, works on a customer's dreadlocks Wednesday, July 3, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. California has become the first state to ban workplace and school discrimination against black people for wearing hairstyles such as braids, twists and locks.
Terry Chea / AP
Charlotte "Peaches" Smith, owner of the Dreadlocks Salon, works on a customer's dreadlocks Wednesday, July 3, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. California has become the first state to ban workplace and school discrimination against black people for wearing hairstyles such as braids, twists and locks.
California ends race-based hair discrimination with the CROWN Act which stands for, "Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair."

For years, workplaces and schools have prohibited braids, twists, locks and afros in their grooming policies. Those policies have discriminated against the kinky, coily and curly texture of many Americans with African hair roots.

RELATED: California Becomes 1st State To Ban Hairstyle Discrimination

California is now the first state to ban discrimination against the natural hair texture of many black Americans.

On January 1, 2020 California law will expand racial discrimination to include hair. It's called the CROWN Act which stands for, "Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair."

RELATED: California Moves Toward Ending Race-Based Hair Discrimination

State Senator Holly J. Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, authored the CROWN Act.

"We believe this is just the beginning of the end to hair discrimination. It's another chink in the armor of racial discrimination in this country and I'm just proud to be part of the movement," Mitchell said.

Mitchell joined Midday Edition to talk about the impact the CROWN Act will have in California and across the country.