Residents of Miami Beach can now feel free to rock their afros, braids and locs without fear of discrimination. Or at least they now have the law on their side.
In a unanimous decision, the Miami Beach City Commission adopted the ordinance, which outlaws discriminatory practices in housing, employment, public services, funding, or use of city facilities based on the texture of a person’s hair. The city announced the decision in an October 26 news release. If you’re wondering why it took them so long to come to this conclusion, you’re not alone. But I guess it’s better late than never, right?
It was already illegal to discriminate against a person on the basis of weight and height in the city. Now hair style and texture is protected as well. “The new ordinance applies in cases where hair is commonly associated with a particular race or national origin, such as Black communities,” according to the statement.
In the press release, Miami Beach Vice Mayor Alex Fernandez said the decision allows the people of Miami Beach to feel free to be themselves.
“It’s unacceptable in 2022 that Black Americans and other minorities still face discrimination based on something so trivial as whether or not they have textured or curly hair,” he said. “This serves to protect cultural identity and not have to worry about sacrificing who you are in Miami Beach.”
Miami Beach Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez added that the new ordinance is meant to reinforce the city’s commitment to diversity. “We don’t want anyone to feel pressure to change their natural hair texture or hairstyle if they want to work, live or play in the City of Miami Beach,” she said in a statement. “We value diversity in our city and understand that it makes us stronger as a community.”