Otis Taylor wasn't allowed to graduate high school because of his hair. He finally got his diploma 57 years later.
When he was 17 years old and in his senior year at a Denver high school, Otis Taylor was told to "cut your hair or leave." So, Taylor left — and became a renowned blues artist. Now, more than half a century later, he finally got his long-awaited diploma.
Taylor, now 74, was born in Chicago and grew up in Denver, Colorado. By the time he got to Manual High School in the '60s, racial discrimination in public schools was not uncommon and there were no laws preventing officials from making decisions based on his or other Black students' hair. It wasn't until recent years that the CROWN Act, which stands for Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair" and bans hairstyle and texture-based discrimination, has made headway in states and in Congress.
At that time, he told CBS News Colorado, he had a "James Brown haircut."
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