Here are several instances of workplace discrimination suits against cornrows:
- In 1981 a ticket agent for American Airlines was fired for wearing cornrows. The judge refused her argument of the style representing African heritage due to her donning the hairstyle so recently after the release of the movie 10. (see the cornrow “controversy” here)
- In 1987, a doctoral student at the University of Illinois who worked part time at Chicago Regency Hyatt was fired upon arriving to work in cornrows. After filing a complaint, she was offered reinstatement.
- In 1988, an employee of the Marriott Hotel in DC was sent home because of her “extreme, cornrowed hairstyle.” After filing a complaint, appearing on national television, and earning the notice/support of Jessie Jackson and Bo Dereck, the hotel welcomed her back but still reserved the right to deem some cornrowed styles unacceptable.
Source and a good read:
Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America by Ayana Byrd
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