For one Wesley Chapel teenage entrepreneur, every Friday is Black Friday.

In conjunction with her online store selling T-shirts that promote positive messages for black teenagers, Janiah Hinds also posts a video every week of someone who is important in black history. She begins each video with “Welcome to Black Friday…”

The 15-year-old, who lives in Country Walk and will soon start her junior year at Wesley Chapel High, hasn’t missed a Friday since she first came up with the idea last fall.

She says it started with brainstorming in her room one day.

“I thought of stereotypes of African Americans and I wrote them down,” she says. When she showed them to her dad, an entrepreneur and business coach himself, he encouraged her to put the list on a T-shirt to sell.

Janiah’s online store now carries T-shirts that dispel those stereotypes, plus three additional T-shirt designs that celebrate being black. For example, one popular shirt says, “Black is ambitious, powerful, intelligent, resilient, hardworking.”

She also created a limited edition design for Juneteenth that sold out.

Janiah named her business “Slay It Proud,” which she says means to “rock the message proudly” and also is a tribute to the song, “Say it loud! I’m black and I’m proud” by the late, great R&B superstar James Brown.  

She says it’s also a nod to her 13-year-old sister, Joelle, who also is a young entrepreneur herself. Joelle started a business selling press-on nails, called “Slay All Day Nails,” last year.

“When I was younger, I never would have thought I would have my own business selling T-shirts,” says Janiah, “but I’m glad that I have this opportunity and that I can use my platform to spread black history.”

That’s what Janiah says is her true passion — sharing black history with teenagers and others.

So, she came up with the idea to post the weekly videos. With the self-imposed responsibility of posting so much new content, she says she now takes suggestions and also does quite a bit of research of her own.

In the past couple of months, she’s posted videos about Ida B. Wells, a prominent anti-lynching campaigner in the early 1900s; a famous “hypocrisy speech” delivered on July 4, 1852 by Frederick Douglass; as well as one about the inventor of the Super Soaker water gun in the 1980s, Lonnie Johnson.

“A favorite person of mine would be Shirley Chisholm,” Janiah says. “She was the first African American woman in Congress. When she (ran) for president of the US, she wasn’t allowed to be on the stage and debate (against the other candidates) because she was black. She had to take legal action to be allowed to participate.”

In 1972, not only was Chisholm was the first black person to run for a major party nomination for U.S. President, she was also the first woman ever to run for the presidential nomination for the Democratic party. 

Janiah’s dad, Kymone Hinds, says he also is learning from his daughter.

“From a young age, Janiah has had a heart for people who are in need and those who are forgotten about. In addition, from the time she was first exposed to black history, she has become a self-student — doing self-studies in that area — and has helped to educate me on important figures in black history that I didn’t know about.”

Janiah says her business is just the start. In the future, she says she hopes to become a civil rights lawyer and help bring justice and equality to people.

As she sees Black Lives Matter protests happening throughout the country, she sees an opportunity to change the world for the better.

“I hope that what’s going on now can bring a better change for future generations, especially future generations for people who look me.”

Janiah has even been featured on local TV news stations, including a February interview on WFLA-TV News Channel 8 (screenshot, right)).  

And while Slay It Proud was founded with black teenagers in mind, Janiah says it’s not limited to them.

“A lot of white people and people of other races have supported my business and bought my ‘Black is’ shirts,” she says. “To me, it’s saying that you see something is wrong and you want to fix it and change society for the better.”

Her dad sees Janiah as a young leader. “In any movement for change, people are playing different roles,” says Kymone. “There are those on the front line making sure it stays in view and those pushing for change at the political level. Her role is helping people to understand black history. Here is a true education, besides the limited scope of slavery and the civil rights movement.”

Janiah’s website is, where you can view all of her merchandise and access her virtual African American museum. She posts her Black Friday videos on Facebook and Instagram. Find them by searching “Slay It Proud.”


Recommended Posts

No comment yet, add your voice below!

Add a Comment