Black Experience

Calif. Woman Sues Walmart Over Locked-Up Hair Care Products

A woman has filed a discrimination lawsuit against Walmart after a Perris, California, store placed African-American hair care products in a locked case while making similar products marketed to non-Blacks more easily available.

Essie Grundy, 43, who is being represented by famed attorney Gloria Allred, said she was startled to find items in the store used by African-Americans “segregated” and monitored by security cameras.

“It was something I had to stand up for,” Grundy, 43, said at a Jan. 26 press conference in Perris. “I would like the glass to go down, and for things to go back to the way it was, where it’s not segregated and everything is where everyone can get what they need.”

Allred said the employee who accompanied Grundy to the checkout to make the purchase told her the practice was a directive from its corporate offices.

Walmart disputed that claim, saying it does not tolerate discrimination of any kind.

“We take this situation seriously and look forward to addressing it with the court,” the company said in a statement.

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