Don’t Touch My Hair and Don’t Discriminate Because of It Either: New York City Bans Racial Discrimination Based on Hair

Photo Credit: The NappStar Signature Style, Nappstar, https://nappstarrocks.com/.

By: Lindsey Phillips

Research and Writing Editor, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

            On December 19, 2018, a black high school student athlete was given an ultimatum: He could either cut his dreadlocks or forfeit his wrestling match.[1] Right before his match, Andrew Johnson was told by white referee Alan Maloney that neither his hair nor headgear was in compliance with New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association rules and regulations and that he would have to cut his hair immediately if he wanted to compete in his match.[2] Continue reading Don’t Touch My Hair and Don’t Discriminate Because of It Either: New York City Bans Racial Discrimination Based on Hair

Black (enough?) Letter Law: What’s the Threshold to Qualify for Minority Race Status?

By Averie Armstead

Member, American Journal of Trial Advocacy


Ralph Taylor is a 55-year-old who has lived majority of his life as a white man.[1] In 2010, the Lynnwood, Washington citizen took a home DNA test, and now Taylor identifies as multiracial.[2] The DNA test “estimated he was 90 percent Caucasian, 6 percent indigenous American and 4 percent Sub-Saharan African.”[3] After receiving the results, Taylor applied for state certification so his company, Orion Insurance Group, would be considered a minority-owned business.[4] The Washington Office of Minority & Women’s Business Enterprises (OMWBE) approved Taylor’s application because there was no criteria to define a threshold to qualify for minority race or ethnicity.[5] However, Taylor’s Federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) application was denied for failure to provide sufficient evidence that he was a member of a recognized racial minority group.[6] Taylor filed suit in the United States District Court of the Western District of Washington.[7] Continue reading Black (enough?) Letter Law: What’s the Threshold to Qualify for Minority Race Status?