The relationship between afro, dreadlocks, offices and education is one that is quite complicated. Apparently, the two cannot co-exist harmoniously because one is perceived to be distracting the other.
Folks in the state have been racially discriminating on afro and dreadlocks especially in schools and workplaces until California became the first US state to ban racial discrimination based on the hairstyles.
Last December, a high school student was forced to chop off his dreadlocks before a wrestling match or lose out in the competition, a situation that is played out in workplaces, in schools and almost every single day all across America, according to California Governor Gavin Newsom who signed the bill.
The law was introduced by a black Los Angeles Democrat Senator Holly Mitchell, who frequently wears microbraids and describes her own decision to adopt the hairstyle as part of a social and political statement to the outside world.
According to the bill, hair remains a rampant source of racial discrimination with serious economic and health consequences, especially for black individuals. Effective January 1st, the law will ensure that this distinctive hairstyles and cuts are worn in schools and offices protecting the right of black Americans who are fond of them.
“This law protects the right of Black Californians to choose to wear their hair in its natural form, without pressure to conform to Eurocentric norms. For us, it is a symbol of who we are,” the state senator said.
Employees will still be required to secure their hair for safety or hygienic reasons.