New York City Bans Discrimination Against Black Hairstyles

When it comes to legal protections against discrimination, New York City is commonly seen as one of the most progressive cities in the US, with laws on the books designed to recognize discrimination in housing, employment, and pregnancy. Now you can add Black hair to that list. Thanks to new guidelines released this week by the New York City Commission on Human Rights, targeting individuals on the basis of their hair or hairstyle is now recognized as a form of racial discrimination. The New York Times reports that the new law specifically mentions that hair is closely linked to "racial, ethnic, or cultural identities" and that it upholds the legal right for Black people to maintain their "natural hair, treated or untreated hairstyles such as locs, cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, fades, Afros, and/or the right to keep hair in an uncut or untrimmed state.”