Race Discrimination at Nightclub, Hines v. Anchor Inn, LLC (formerly Hines v. Davis)
Kim Hines, an African American woman, and her three friends, who were white, went to a club in Virginia Beach. A security guard told Kim that she could not enter the club because of her hair. He said that the club did not allow braids, twists, cornrows, or dreadlocks-- all of which are styles typically worn by African Americans. One of Kim's friends went to speak to the manager, who told the friend that she was welcome to go into the club, but that he could not allow "that" (indicating Kim) to enter. Myron Evans, who also has dreadlocks, had a similar experience. He was not allowed to enter Kokoamos because of his dreadlocks, but his white friend with spiked, funkily dyed hair was allowed in. On January 18, 2007, we filed suit under Title II of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits public accommodations from discriminating on the basis of race. On September 24, 2007, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a related case against the owner of Kokoamos, claiming racial discrimination in the way the club applies its hair and dress codes.
Barry Davis, owner of Kokoamos, settled his case with DOJ in February 2008. Under the DOJ settlement, Davis will post and enforce a non-discriminatory dress code policy at Kokoamos; he will implement a system for receiving and investigating complaints of discrimination; and, he will conduct monitoring to ensure that Kokoamos’ employees are acting in a non-discriminatory manner consistent with federal law.
In March 2008, Davis settled his case with the ACLU under confidential terms and issued a public apology to Hines and Evans.