Director Tamecca Rogers, takes CROWN, (Creating a Respectful Open World for Natural Hair) to new heights when she explores racial hair discrimination in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Dr. Tamecca Rogers is a Tulsa native, award-winning, best-selling author, publisher, columnist, and filmmaker who showcases how beauty and professionalism don’t have to be defined by the status quo.
The documentary explores the lived experiences of Black women in Tulsa pertaining to racism and discrimination in the workplace and school, due to having natural hairstyles that are designed to fit black women, and how they are often shunned and looked down upon for not having their hair in a style that is considered “professional.”
The documentary does a spectacular job of highlighting how uncomfortable the experience is for black women to assimilate to these standards of what hair professionalism should look like in the workplace. In the early beginning of the documentary, there was a brief story from Crystal Ifekoya, who talks about how she had to wear wigs in the workplace to fit into a company’s standard of what hair should look like. She talked about how wigs weren’t as high-tech as they are now so it would cause a lot of insecurity for black girls.
The documentary also is very good at discussing how the Crown Act doesn’t just affect the workplace, but you meet another woman who had to face discrimination in the military, as well as young children, who are the ages of 5 and below, who also face discrimination from people of their own race about their hair. One thing that is very principle about black hair is the schedule that black women operate on when washing hair, and the difference between washing fine hair daily, versus washing naturally kinky hair, monthly, The documentary spends a good amount of time discussing the difference and why it’s important to maintain the health of black hair, through the eyes of Faith Montgomery.
One opportunity the documentary didn’t capitalize how is the discrimination against black girls in sports when it pertains to hair, specifically through the eyes of cheerleading and dance teams. Black girls are expected to make their hair look a certain way to appease coaches, and when they can’t, it leads to ostracization and differentiation between one or multiple girls versus a group of others.
Overall, this film is very effective in the message of life experiences and challenges with her natural hair. The film takes it time and offers a wide variety of different experiences enough to educate all audiences about why the Crown Act is so important to the black community.
Starring: Tamecca S. Rogers, Carmela Hill, Crystal Ifekoya, Dawn Carter, Faith Montgomery, France Gammage, Lakisha Cyrus, Toya Forbes
Directed by: Tamecca S. Rogers
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Daij is an aspiring journalist and communications major. She loves all things related to hip-hop culture and entertainment, especially TV and films.