She Says She Was Discriminated Against Because Of Her Hair — But She Won't Stay Silent

"This ... should not be an issue in 2016."

A few weeks ago, a Toronto Jack Astor's manager reportedly told a 20-year-old restaurant employee that her hair could not be done up in a bun, and should instead be "straight and down." As server Akua Agyemfra noted, her hair does not naturally fall straight. 

She says the manager asked her to leave work because of her hair. In response, Agyemfra quit and spoke out on social media about being "discriminated against because of hair."

"I was raised to embrace not only my rich culture but my hair as well," Agyemfra, who is of Ghanaian descent, told ABC News. "My natural hair is healthy and fine."


"I'm not going to compromise my roots and edges because my employer wants me to," she wrote to CBC News. "My scalp has a right to breathe just as much as the woman standing beside me. Unless your hair is permed, rarely does a black women's hair stay down when it's straightened. It may stay laid for a few hours but that style is only temporary. I just want equality. If a woman, white or black, is more comfortable with their hair up, I don't understand why it's such an issue at a restaurant setting."

Jake Astor's marketing manager, Kathryn Long, told People that options for the restaurant's female servers include wearing hair down or in a stylish updo.

"We work hard to be a responsible, fair, and respectful employer, providing a safe and comfortable environment for every staff member," Long said.

After her story went viral, Agyemfra thanked her friends in a Facebook post.

"Corporations are marginalizing who they want to work to for their company and this simply unacceptable," she wrote. "My story is a fraction of sexist and racist comments made to women in the workplace. This type of discrimination should not be an issue in 2016. I was raised to stand up for what is right and I will use my voice to implement change. I do not want future generations to face what I'm facing 20 years from now. Not only is it humiliating, but it is totally unfair and unjust."

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