Bossip Video

Here’s a simple truth that escapes white people who refuse to see systemic racism in America even when it’s brightly shining right in their pale and deliberately obtuse faces; calling Black people’s natural hair “unprofessional” is racist AF.

Natural Hair

Source: Delmaine Donson / Getty

Imagine telling a Black person that the way their hair grows naturally out of their heads violates company policy (or any societal standard for that matter) and not seeing yourself as the practitioner of white supremacy that you clearly are.

Anyway, medical testing supply company American Screening, LLC, owes a former Black employee $50,000 after the employee was fired because she refused to wear a wig that, for lack of a better descriptor, made her look whiter in the eyes of white people resulting in a racial discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission, a federal agency.

Citing the lawsuit, the EEOC reports that a Black employee was selected for a sales position with American Screening while wearing a wig with long, straight hair.

After she stopped wearing the wig and started wearing her natural hair the company’s owner instructed a human resources manager to counsel the employee about her hair and “looking more professional,” complaining that the worker “came in with beautiful hair.” The employee who had type 4-A hair was then directly told by the owner to wear wigs again and was subsequently fired when she refused and wore her hair as it grew out of her scalp.

The company later hired a white worker in her place, according to the EEOC’s lawsuit:

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits firing employees or subjecting them to different terms and conditions of employment because of their race.  The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its administrative conciliation process.  The suit (EEOC v. American Screening Case No. 22-01674) had been pending in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana and was resolved by a consent decree, which was entered by the court on April 4, 2024.

The same color-redacted people who will claim the CROWN Act was birthed from Black people complaining over nothing will likely turn a blind (and delusional) eye to how obvious it is that when the company’s owner referenced the ex-employee’s “beautiful hair,” they really just meant “white hair.” It’s exactly the same thing that people really mean when they reference “good hair.”

This isn’t the first time this has happened.

You might remember earlier this year when a white superintendent in Texas took out a full newspaper ad defending the continued suspension of  Darryl George, a Black student who was suspended from school over his locs. That educational official stated brazenly that “being an American requires conformity with the positive benefit of unity,” which was basically MAGA speak for, “Change your nappy Black hair to something whitey-approved or ‘Murica will be reintroducing you to its good old friend Jim Crow.”

“Just as an employer may not ask an employee to change or conceal their skin color, an employer may not ask an employee to change their natural hair texture,” EEOC Chair Charlotte Burrows said in a statement. “Unfortunately, this form of discrimination continues to limit employment opportunities for Black workers, even today.”

The EEOC’s senior trial attorney, Elizabeth Owen, agrees:

“Professionalism standards rooted in prejudices associated with racial characteristics are unlawful,” she said. “No one should be terminated or treated differently because of hair texture associated with their race, under the guise of what is supposedly professional or not.”

Last April, American Screening filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It’s unclear why the company fell on hard times. Maybe it was due to the bad business practices, or maybe it’s KKKarma for racists who think an afro is a thing that precludes a Black employee from looking “professional.”


Bossip Comment Policy
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.