Today May 15, 2017 is the first day of the 90 Days of Hope Countdown. We are counting down to the 97th year since the origin of the Red, Black and Green as the flag of all Black people on August 13, 1920. Melanin puts the “B” in RBG and puts the Black in Red, Black and Green. We think it is important to explain the connection between the 97th Year of Red, Black and Green and August 13th, 2017 as World Melanin Day.
Melanin is the aromatic biopolymer and organic semiconductor that makes people Black. It is also widely found in nature. Mammals such as crows, cats, leopards and cattle are black because of melanin. Melanin is in fungus, microorganisms and the ink of cephalopods like sepia officinalis. There are three types of melanin: eumelanin which is brown and black, pheomelanin which is red and yellow as well as allomelanin which is found in plants. Though a few refer to neuromelanin as a distinct form of melanin, neuromelanin is simply eumelanin which serves a neurological function.
It has been nearly three years since we first became aware melanin has a dollar value. Since it is a chemical it can be isolated and sold as an ingredient. Despite the activities of social media miscreants we designate the “melanin deniers,” we reiterate melanin being sold comes from the ink of the common cuttlefish or sepia officinalis. The current price of melanin is $396.00 a gram. That makes the price of melanin, specifically eumelanin, in excess of $350 a gram more than gold. That means melanin is important. It is important because it is valuable. In our opinion, that is the universe, God, nature or whatever designation you may use to refer to a higher power than yourself telling us he/she/it loves us, values us and wants us to be happy.
In too many places around the world people chemically bleach their skin. It is unfortunate people of African ancestry engage in such behavior. Some cite the reason as being a lack of self knowledge, which results in a lack of self worth or low self-esteem. This is true despite the fact melanin is very important and valuable as stated above. In addition, the chemicals used to remove melanin from skin in the bleaching process are known to be hazardous to the health of the users. Furthermore, people who bleach melanin from their skin do so in the midst of a worldwide skin cancer epidemic.
The United States Surgeon General issued a skin cancer call to action nearly two years ago. From that call to action the U.S. Centers for Disease Control conducted a study on skin cancer. Their findings indicated that there has been a 200 percent increase in skin cancer over the last 30 years. The people with the lowest amount of skin cancer are also the people with the highest amount of skin melanin.
The obvious conclusion from the facts above? People who bleach melanin from their skin are putting their health at risk.
Since the designation of Red, Black and Green as the colors of the entire Black race on August 13, 1920 a great deal has changed, some for the better, some not. African countries, once claimed as colonies of smaller European countries were granted their independence. Many of the flags of the African countries include the colors Red, Black and Green. We have also come to know that the source of Black people’s skin tone is melanin. Designating August 13th which is the date when the world was given the colors Red, Black and Green to represent all Black people presents an opportunity to educate the public about the dangers of skin bleaching as well as the history of the RBG.
Wearing Red, Black and Green on August 13 sends a message of hope to millions of people worldwide. It also makes a statement of global African unity. Lastly, it is a demonstration of mental emancipation. That is why we encourage you to picture this scene: It’s August 13…and MILLIONS of people are wearing Red, Black and Green. So join us in taking the #RBGChallenge and wear Red, Black and Green on August 13!!!