A Minnesota man helps fight for the Crown Act

For people of color, history was made when Governor Tim Walz signed the Crown Act into state law on the first of February 2023.

The law provides an extra layer of protection for people with natural hair making hair discrimination, racial discrimination. The law makes it illegal to discriminate against people because of their hair style or texture.

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I spoke to Vachel Hudson who is one of the young Minnesotans that pushed for the enactment and for him this is personal as he has been judged in the work place because of his hair.

“Spring 2015, around that timeframe, I was in one of my first careers as a life insurance broker, so it was my job to represent the company when I went out into the field and that was my first time experiencing, I guess, those comments that would fall under the discrimination category”

A finance expert and former president of urban league’s young professionals in Minneapolis, Hudson was among a handful of professionals who testified in front of the House Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Committee on the Crown act and he says hair discrimination has a racial undertone.

”It’s sometimes bias. At the same time, society has also implanted this norm that we have to look or appear a certain way in order to be or appear profession. So I really think that it stems from a few different factors, but ultimately fear, misunderstanding and the undertone of racism.”

According to Representative Esther Agbaje, the author of the bill, the Crown Act now adds to the Minnesota human rights act — saying racial discrimination against black natural hair harms the African heritage community and hinders the overall potential and productivity of Minnesota’s economy.