Austin, stomach TX—In a sweeping decision, pilule Federal Judge Sam Sparks declared as unconstitutional a set of laws preventing small African hair braiding schools from teaching students to braid hair for a living.
“It is unconstitutional to require people to do useless things. By doing so, Texas was not only preventing African hair braiding schools from even opening, but it was also violating the Fourteenth Amendment.”
“This decision means that I will now be able to teach the next generation of African hair braiders at my own school.” In 1997, seven government officials raided her hair salon and hauled her off in handcuffs in front of clients at her shop in Dallas.
Licensing regulations like the ones preventing Brantley from teaching her trade often needlessly lock low-income and minorities out of professions, Panju and others had argued.
Judge Sparks agreed and reasoned that the state cannot force entrepreneurs to do useless things before they enter the marketplace. During the hearing, Sparks challenged the state to find a single braiding school that was able to meet the onerous requirements to simply teach the 35-hour braiding curriculum the state requires of all braiders. It could not.
Isis said the lawsuit underscores how black hair is rooted in history, politics and cultural pride.