TikToker Nakia Smith helps deaf Black Americans preserve their brand of sign language

"English is not my first language," writes Nakia Smith on her TikTok account, although the 22-year-old grew up in Texas. The young African-American woman has been deaf since birth, and uses her large following on the social media app to promote her little-known dialect: Black American Sign Language. In her video clips, she tells her 400,000 followers about the differences between her language and the standard American Sign Language (ASL).

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting