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The CROWN Act: How Representation in Literature is Important to Black Children

Last week, the House passed the CROWN Act, banning discrimination based on hair texture and hairstyles. The CROWN Act, which stands for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair,” was proposed in 2018 by four Black women to end hair discrimination and promote Black beauty.

This type of legislation is important because, at its core, it’s a civil and human rights issue. People should be able to wear their hair however they choose and not be discriminated against because of it. According to the Dove CROWN Research Study for Girls, over 50 percent of all Black girls face discrimination because of their hair by the time they are five and continue later into their lives. Black children should be able to go to school with their hair freshly braided or faded and feel proud and beautiful.

Children’s literature presents a powerful opportunity to help children build confidence in their natural beauty. When it comes to children’s books, authentic representation is important. When a child reads a story that features authentic representation, they feel seen and valued. Authentic representation presents excellent role models for young children, making them feel that they can realize their dreams of being an author, scientist, doctor, lawyer, or more.

Books that celebrate Black children’s hair include, I Am Enough, Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut. I Love My Hair, I Love My Curly Hair, GLORY: Magical Visions of Black Beauty, My Hair is Magic, Hair Like Mine, Curls, and Bedtime Bonnet.


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