The CROWN Awards - A Celebration of Natural Black Hair & the Women Who Champion Our Crowns
Beauty & Fashion

The CROWN Awards - A Celebration of Natural Black Hair & the Women Who Champion Our Crowns

This article is in partnership with Dove.

Happy CROWN Day, xO family! July 3 marked National CROWN Day, commemorating the signing of the first CROWN Act in 2019 in California. The CROWN (Creating a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair) Act legislation outlaws race-based hair discrimination in workplaces and K-12 public and charter schools in the US. The CROWN Act or legislation inspired by the CROWN Act is now law in 23 states. On CROWN Day and beyond, we celebrate a cross-generational movement that is inspiring and empowering Black women to embrace their natural hair without judgment or fear while legislative strategists and policy makers work in parallel to ensure Black people have the right to wear their hair in natural and protective styles.

xO was on the scene at the third annual CROWN Awards on Sunday, July 2, in New Orleans at The Westin, hosted by Tai Beauchamp, presented by Dove. The energy in the room was spirited, warm and #CROWNProud, as Black people across industries gathered to honor and celebrate a few of those who positively contribute to the CROWN movement.

Natural hair is an intimate journey for Black women and true to that experience, attendees and honorees spoke of how their natural hair journeys paralleled life journeys, recalling major moments of growth in tandem with big chops, going natural & passing down hair pride to the next generation.

CEO of ESSENCE, Caroline Wanga, accepted the CROWN VanguardAward and gave the kind of speech you had to be there for, sharing that she makes decisions based on “how it affects the 7th generation after her”. Wanga brought beauty, strength and light to the room, detailing her commitment to creating space for Black women & girls, and the power of representation in hair & media for future generations [with her niece alongside her on stage].

Renowned hair stylist and artist, Camille Friend, accepted the CROWN LegacyAward, with a heartfelt congratulatory message from colleague and award-winning costume designer Ruth Carter. Friend has been in cinema for 20+ years, serving as the department head for hair across Black Panther, Wakanda Forever, Dreamgirls and most recently creating the loc style for Halle Bailey’s role in Disney’s The Little Mermaid.

Content creator and award winner of the CROWN Reel Impact Award, Lynae Vanee, gave a beautiful acceptance speech about learning to love her differences & the CROWN community providing a much-needed sense of belonging for Black women to proudly stand out. Quvenzhane Wallis also accepted the Young CROWN Award, widely recognized for her roles in Beasts of The Southern Wild, Swagger & more.

Actress & entrepreneur Eva Marcille attended & shared her support for the CROWN movement, noting that although it’s a newer movement, it’s the one we’ve always needed and deserved.

Esi Eggleston Bracey (President of Unilever’s Personal Care business in North America) also greeted guests and shared her immense gratitude for the honorees' contributions to the CROWN movement.

Additional award recipients and honorees included:

- MC Lyte - CROWN Icon Award

- Michelle Miller (CBS) - CROWN Ambassador Award

- Creative Soul Photography - CROWN Creators Award

- Quvenzhane Wallis - Young CROWN Award

- Brittney Griner - CROWN Sports Award

Additional attendees included: Michaela Angela Davis, Kym Whitley, Tabitha Brown, MAJOR, Derek Jae, and more

The CROWN Awards was an empowering & real celebration of natural hair, self-definition, and overcoming the projections that many place on what Black hair is and what Black hair should be. 150+ Black women attended, and the spectrum of hairstyles and hair goals was nothing short of phenomenal.

Ladies, whether you’re wearing locs, cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, afros or a protective style—we encourage you to always stay #CROWNProud.

Take action and help support the CROWN movement here.

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This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.

Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.

Why Do Millennials & Gen-Zers Still Feel Like Teenagers? The Pandemic Might Be The Reason.

There’s nothing quite as humbling as navigating adulthood with no instruction manual. Since the turn of the decade, it seems like everything in our society that could go wrong has, inevitably, gone wrong. From the global pandemic, our crippling student debt problem, the loneliness crisis, layoffs, global warming, recession, and not to mention figuring out what to eat for dinner every night. This constant state of uncertainty has many of us wondering, when are the grown-ups coming to fix all of this?