By the time you’re five years old, you can recognize the letters of the alphabet, you know the names of at least four colors, you can draw a person with a head, body, arms and legs, and you can tell stories about your day at school.
Those stories should be full of new experiences, and hair discrimination should never be one of them. Yet, according to our latest CROWN Research Study for Girls, 53% of Black mothers, whose daughters have experienced hair discrimination, say that their daughters have experienced race-based hair discrimination as early as five years old. Something no child should ever have to deal with.
On Faith’s first day of school, her teacher asked if Faith’s braids were real in front of the entire classroom before sending her home with a dress code violation. After changing her braided hairstyle to accommodate the school rules and being disciplined again, the school asked Faith to take out her braids or be expelled from school. Now 15 years old, the experience has stuck with Faith to this day. The lasting impact on developing self-confidence is real.