Watch: Hashtag Revolution: 16-Year-Old Girl Teaches Only Lesson You’ll Ever Need About #Melanin

Hashtags have defined pop culture. You spot them all over social media, and now many of them have become popular phrases, especially when they highlight blackness: #BlackBoyJoy, #BlackLivesMatter, #GrowingUpBlack, and the list goes on.


#Melanin is a shining example of a hashtag-turned-movement. Not only is it a fresh and delicious word to use in place of “skin tone,” but it’s a celebration of the varying hues of blackness. There’s no #TeamLightSkin or #TeamDarkSkin when it comes to black skin; there’s only #TeamMelanin.

When was the last time a 16-year-old taught you something? Well, 16-year-old Tianna Sankey is teaching the world how to celebrate the color of black girls’ skin and why black girls matter with her Instagram account. If that’s not a lesson worth learning, I don’t know what is!


“I just took it upon myself to do something,” Tianna said after considering her upbringing in Jamaica that led her to believe that lighter skin was good and darker skin was bad. She was only 13 years old when she figured out that celebrating black girls was much better than criticizing us. “Black isn’t ugly. Black isn’t a problem,” she said.

Join the hashtag revolution! Through the month of April, The Root will be sharing a few dope videos about these hashtags: #CarefreeBlackBoy, #BlackGirlMagic, #SayHerName and #BlackTravel. Make sure you come back to check them out!

Pretty. Witty. Girly. Worldly. One who likes to party, but comes home early. I got stories to tell. Prince (yes, that Prince) called me excellence. Achievement unlocked.

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