Keke Palmer, Gabrielle Union, & More Speak Out On Black Hair Discrimination In Powerful PSA — Watch

In a powerful PSA calling for an end to Black hair discrimination, Gabrielle Union, Keke Palmer, Uzo Aduba and Marsai Marti recounted experiences that Black women across the country had faced.

Gabrielle Union, 47, Keke Palmer, 26, Uzo Aduba, 39, and Marsai Martin, 16, have called for an end to Black hair discrimination, which is rampant across the United States. In a PSA video published by Glamour, the actresses read out submissions from 13 anonymous Black women, who recounted their experiences being discriminated against for their hair. Gabrielle began, “I’ve been told it’s too big. When I first started pageants, I was told by many to never let my hair be natural for competition. The first time I walked into the office with my natural hair, my supervisor asked if it was forever,” she said, reciting one of the women’s submissions. “I am not my hair, but my hair is a part of who I am and it deserves the same respect as the person beneath it. Even though it can take a full day to wash and style, I love everything about my hair.”

Keke Palmer and Gabrielle Union were part of a powerful PSA. Image: SplashNews
Former Nickelodeon star Keke also recited the experience one doctor endured. “I’ve been told it blocks people’s view. HR told me my hair looked more professional pulled back and in a bun than it did out and curly,” she said. “My hair has a purpose greater than myself and I will not put it away to comply with white culture standards of beauty. Fun fact — whether my hair is in a fro, braids, twists, locks or a high puff, I am still the doctor.” Marsai, who has previously clapped back at trolls who criticized her hair, recited one woman’s experience of being “mocked”. The woman recounted being told “there is too much” hair, and being “mocked and ridiculed for the frizzy coils that escape my tightly wound bun.” She also said strangers would “walk up and pet me”, while another young woman had her hair cut off by her teacher “because her beads were making too much noise.”

Meanwhile, Orange Is The New Black star Uzo read one woman’s submission who recounted being told that her dreadlocks were “nice and clean,” while another said she “boldly and proudly” wears her hair because “it is the crown that makes me unique.” Gabby then encouraged viewers to support The Crown Act, a legislation that prevents race-based hair discrimination in workplaces and schools. She revealed the shocking statistic that Black women are 1.5 times more likely to be sent home from work simply because of their hair. Marsai added, “If every state were to pass The Crown Act, Black people would be legally protected from hair discrimination,” while Keke explained, “You have the power to make that happen.”

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