Tabitha is equally passionate about passing the CROWN Act, which stands for “Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair.” If passed—the CROWN Coalition is working to accomplish this in all 50 states—it would prohibit race-based hair discrimination, which is the denial of employment and educational opportunities because of hair texture or protective hairstyles including braids, locs, twists or bantu knots.
“When I heard about the CROWN Act, I was heartbroken that I did not know about it,” Tabitha explained. “But also heartbroken that it exists, that it is legal and okay for businesses to tell you your hair’s not professional because it’s natural; for schools to send children home because they have braids or they don’t like their natural hairstyles.”
“And this only applies to Black and brown children,” she continued. “It’s just not fair.”
Though Tabitha didn’t know about the CROWN Act itself, she’s certainly faced this sort of discrimination before.
“When I moved to L.A., it was pretty instant,” she recalled. “I went to casting workshops and met with agents, and a lot of them told me the same thing. They just said, ‘You know, for your skin complexion, you’re going to need to wear your hair straight if you want to work.’ And I was like, ‘Okay,’ and I believed that. But then I realized, honey, that’s not freedom, and it’s not right.”