Michiganders say Ingham County hair discrimination ban is long overdue

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The CROWN Act was passed by the Ingham County Board of Commissioners, banning hair discrimination.

The response from many is that it’s long overdue.

Latricia Davis was someone who experienced hair discrimination firsthand.

She’s currently a stay-at-home mom in Lansing, but she’s been to countless work interviews.

Her hair was a topic of conversation at many.

“It was one thing to get over the discrimination of our skin color. Now can we get over the discrimination of my hair is just different than yours,” Latricia said.

So, she used products to make her hair straight.

“They were bad for me and it stopped my hair from being healthy,” Latricia said.

It was also bad for her mental health.

“You’re self-conscious that they’re looking at you,” Latricia said.

Someone familiar with experiences like Latricia’s is Rhonda Stokes. She’s been a hair stylist for 36 years, and heard a lot about hair discrimination.

“Black women wanted to start wearing braid styles to work. That was an issue. They were being sent home and told not to wear that style,” Rhonda said.

She wasn’t the only one hearing about this. TyJuan Thirdgill said he’s known about this from a young age.

“I remember growing up as a kid seeing stories about how people from the neighborhood were sent home because they head dreads,” TyJuan said.

But thanks to the CROWN Act, that’s not allowed in Ingham County anymore.

It’s a nationwide initiative that bans people from denying employment or education to someone because of their hair texture or style.

State Representative, Sarah Anthony, has been at the forefront of bringing this to Michigan.

She hopes more counties will jump on board.

“We will be judged not by our hair but what’s inside of our heads,” Rep. Anthony said.

Latricia said she’s just happy more women and men won’t have to go through what she did.

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