The New York City Commission on Human Rights released guidelines that will prohibit “discrimination by most employers, housing providers and providers of public accommodations” based on hair type in February –– Black History Month.
As women empowerment looms large during the month of March –– Women’s History Month –– people of color recognize the significant timing for all to embrace natural hair when honoring Black people and women in the world seem to merge in the middle.
According to Dr. Adele Newson-Horst, coordinator of Women’s and Gender Studies, “hair is inherent to one’s race and can be closely associated with racial, ethnic or cultural identities and is therefore protected under the city’s human rights laws…hair discrimination is a metaphor for racism.”
Morgan State University plans to honor the month by offering a variety of activities and events, with a common theme of female advocacy.
“When I started planning events for [the] month, I was hoping to give people an opportunity to learn, grow, teach and empower other people. Sometimes you do so much, you pour into people so much and then you find yourself empty,” said Natasha Lewis-Williams, coordinator of Office of Student Life and Development.
“Sometimes it only takes a time to be with your fellow sister to build and grow and kind of feed off of them to pour back into you,” she added.