Some employers have fired or refused to hire Black workers because of their dreadlocks, cornrows or braids, and white teachers and coaches have cut Black and brown students' hair, saying it violates school dress codes. Experts say such actions echo the historic behavior of enslavers, who shaved the heads of kidnapped Africans to humiliate and punish them. The natural hair movement, aided by social media, has helped to mainstream hair texture diversity and expose discrimination against Black hairstyles. At least 17 states have enacted laws expanding civil rights protections to include hair, and in March the U.S. House of Representatives passed a similar bill. Republican critics of the measures say they are unnecessary and that lawmakers should focus on bigger problems, such as inflation and ...

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