ORLANDO, Fla. — Popular hair styles worn by African Americans would be protected under a bill filed in the Florida Legislature, if it passes.

  • CROWN Act protects Afrocentric hairstyles
  • If passed, Florida would become the 3rd state to do so
  • It does not have a companion bill in the Florida House

State Sen. Randolph Bracy, D-Orlando, announced the CROWN Act Friday at a salon in Pine Hills, surrounded by students from FAMU's College of Law, and other black leaders.

The CROWN Act, which stands for "Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural hair," would protects workers and students who have hairstyles common in the African American community, including afros, dreadlocks, braids, twists, or just wearing it naturally.

It currently does not have a companion bill in the Florida House.

The act comes following several reports of students being penalized because African American hairstyle violated a school code, including a boy with dreadlocks who was attending an Apopka private school in 2018.

Studies, like this 2015 study published in Frontiers in Psychology, have shown that black women are more likely to be penalized or treated as less professional if they wear an Afrocentric hairstyle, as opposed to an Eurocentric style, which require chemical treatment.

A federal court ruled in 2016 that a company could rescind a job offer to a woman who refused to cut her dreadlocks.

New York and California have already passed similar laws. Other states are also looking at legislation.