Gabrielle Union, Keke Palmer, Uzo Aduba and Marsai Martin are taking a stand against Black hair discrimination. In a new public service announcement released by Glamour magazine, the actresses share anonymously submitted hair experiences from 13 Black women across the country.
“I’ve been told it’s too big. When I first started pageants, I was told by many to never let my hair be natural for competition,” Union recites during one part of the video.
Palmer tells the story of a woman who was reprimanded at work for her natural locks. “I’ve been told it blocks people’s view,” Palmer says. “HR told me my hair looked more professional pulled back and in a bun than it did out and curly.”
The women don’t mince words when it comes to explaining the importance of their message.
As Union notes, “I am not my hair, but my hair is a part of who I am and it deserves the same respect as the person beneath it. Even though it can take a full day to wash and style, I love everything about my hair.”
Toward the end of the video, Union provides an explanation and a call to action. She shares that there’s state-level legislation that prohibits race-based hair discrimination in workplaces and schools titled The Crown Act (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair).
So far this act has passed in seven states. “That number should be 50,” Union says. “This isn’t just a hair issue. Hair discrimination is racial discrimination. Period. Together, we can make our schools and workplaces safer and equal for all.”
Martin brings it home with her thoughts. “If every state were to pass The Crown Act, Black people would be legally protected from hair discrimination,” Martin explains.
You can sign The Crown Act petition here.