BOSTON (WHDH) – The twin sisters who inspired the passage of the anti-hair discrimination bill, the CROWN Act, in Massachusetts, grew emotional at the ceremonial signing of the bill five years in the making.
“It feels amazing to know we’ve changed so many lives, seeing the governor sign the bill, just amazing,” Mya Cook, one of the twins, said. “I can’t even believe we’re here today and this is actually happening.”
Now, people of color in the state will be protected against discrimination based on their hair style and texture.
The bill was set into motion in 2017, when Deanna and Mya Cook were punished by their Malden high school for wearing braided extensions. The administration said the style violated school rules, but the sisters refused to change their hair and began rallying to end similar discriminatory policies.
Gov. Charlie Baker signed the CROWN Act into law with two pens, giving one to each sister.
“When you’re wearing your hair in any shape, in any form, especially naturally, and you’re told ‘no, it’s not acceptable, you have to leave, you can’t have it,’ it really is a personal attack,” Deanna Cook said, getting emotional. “To be here today and know no one will go through that again, it means more than the world, it really does.”
Massachusetts is now the eighteenth state to pass a similar law. A federal version of the CROWN Act has been passed by the House, and is stalled in the Senate.
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