SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The passage of the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act on Monday provides meaningful protections that allow Black men and women to wear natural hairstyles at work and school without fear of retribution.

Baton Rouge and New Orleans each have ordinances supporting the CROWN Act. Shreveport City Councilwoman Levette Fuller introduced a measure in May 2021 that went into effect in July of the same year, backed by Louisiana’s CROWN Act which also went into effect last year.

Many may wonder why the CROWN Act is important; why would we need legislation making it “ok” to wear your hair as it grows out of your head?

For generations, Black people, specifically Black women, spent countless hours in salons or countless dollars on wigs, weaves, and other hair care techniques that are more socially acceptable than their natural coils.

“I think it’s encouraging that men and women can go into the workplaces and fulfill their purposes and do what they love and not worry if they’re being judged on anything that’s superficial, their hair, or the way they choose to wear their hair and their natural hair, so I think it’s very encouraging,” Krystle Beauchamp, Caddo Parish Communication Manager.

Before the CROWN Act, there were lawsuits and EEOC complaints from Black employees and students who have been singled out for their choice to wear their hair in locs, braids, afros, and other natural, chemical-free hairstyles.

“As long as you have a professional way for yourself when you’re at a business and when you’re at work, and you feel good about yourself, and you have great customer service, and you smile, that’s all that matters,” Darlene Robinson, Open Placement Manager Goodwill Industries.