Job Discrimination Based on Black Women’s Hair

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On December 15, 1791, the First Amendment was passed. This amendment stated, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. In conclusion, it granted people the right to practice whatever religion they desired and the right to express themselves freely as long it was peaceful. In modern day life, we express ourselves through a numerous amount of things such; words, gestures, poster-boards, clothes, tattoos and even through the way we wear our hair. Expressing our indentity through hair has always been a big deal in the African American community for many centuries. Unfournately, there are limits of how one can wear their hair when it comes to certain workplaces. Many jobs will not hire someone who they believe has an extreme hair color, hair style or hair length. This negatively affects the black community because many of our natural hairstyles have been known to fall under these subjective catorgoeries. Which inflicts a sense of shame on black women because of the negative notations given by society againist natural black hair, this it causing more and more black women to go to extreme measures just to meet specfic beauty standards, rather than embrance their natural kinky hair. Work policies like these are unfair to certain cultrual group such as, African American, therefore, is beginning to raise conflict many work places, to reduce these issues Title VII should be altered to protect the rights of natural black hairstyles.

A woman, named Chasity Jones, was asked to come in for an interview at Catastrophe Management Solutions. Jones arrived to the interview us suggested, dressed very profressionally ,with her hair in short dreadlocks. She was asked the job, given that she was qualified for the position, but there was thing standing in her way, her hair. She was told by the HR manager that she could not recieve the position wearing dreadlock. When Jones asked why, she was told, they tend to get messy, although I'm not saying yours are , but you know what I'm talking about. Offended by this statement, in 2013 in Mobile, Alabama, Jones decided to filed a lawsuit against Catastrophe Management Solution for racial discrimination. Unfortunately, the case was ruled againist Casey Jones. Claming Catastrophe Management Solutions policy stated, hairstyles reflect a business/professional image and no excessive hairstyle or unusual colors are acceptable. Using this as a defense statement againist dreadlocks. Also, Catastrophe Managemnt Solution's policy did not violate Title VII , so it was allowed. Thankfully, Casey Jones declined this job offer because she refused to change her hair. She didnt let socitety pressure her into meeting Eurocentric beauty standards. Policies such as these only support negative sterotypes given by white supermacist stating natural black hair is not professional, less attratctive, messy and nappy. These type of comments belittle black women with natural hair, causing many to use harsh chemicals, excessives amount of heat and wigs, just to achieve long straight hair that look acceptable. Black women's hair have been important to them for many generations. Stated by, Ayana Byrd and Lori Tharps, in their book tittled, Hairstory: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America, a book about repetitive insults on black hair, In the fifteenth century hair functioned as carrier of messages in most West Africa. Which explains why when Africans were first captured they were forced to shave their head and wear head scarfs to prevent the slave oweners husbands from finding an intrest in it and to prevent them from communciating with one another. Today, black women find pride in how because of their hair textures, they can be very versatile with their hairstyles. Black women express their styles, their emotions and more through their hair. This right should be protected under Title VII. Over the years, has expanded from discrimation of race, sex, religion to sexual harrasement. Telling someone that they can't work at an establishment because they wear their in a certain way is an oppinated and discriminative policy and should be protected under Title VII as hair discrimation.

In conclusion, African American hair has held importantance for many centuries from the slaves days, when hair was used to communicate to modern days when hair is used as an expression of ones style. Unlike other races, natural Black hair contains a diffrent texture causing it to require more maintenace and having a limited of hairstyles. This can cause conflict in some work environments because many styles worn by black women with natural hair are prohibited. There policies are similar to white supermacist sterotypes. They are also offensive to African American, leading black women to use harmful chemicals, severe amounts of heat and wigs to mask their natural roots and meet societies beauty standards. These policies are disturbingly legal because it is not covered under Title VII, but should be because it is discrimatory against people who wear diffrent types of hair styles.

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Job Discrimination Based on Black Women's Hair. (2019, Mar 29). Retrieved June 19, 2024 , from

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