Tabitha feels equally passionate about the CROWN Act. It stands for “Create 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.”

Her continued statement said, “And that only applies to Black or brown children.” It is just unfair.

Tabitha did not know anything about the CROWN Act but has faced discrimination of this nature before. 

She recalled, “When I moved from New York to Los Angeles, it was very quick.” I went to casting workshops, met with agents and was told the exact same thing by many. The agents said that you would need straight hair if your skin is fair. It was a statement that I accepted and believed. Honey, it isn’t freedom. It’s wrong.