God Bless... Miss Black America.
The pageant that started it all, Miss Black America. An activist pageant that was born in protest of Miss America for not allowing women of color to compete. What an amazing experience to be a part of.
The 54th annual Miss Black America pageant was held August 3, 2022 at Temple University Performing Arts Center. I was delegate number 10.
The other delegates and I arrived Wednesday July 27th. Bringing all of our luggage, dresses, makeup, hair care, (my gluten free food) the works. I got my room key, from the RA desk and headed upstairs to meet my knew roomies for the week. Blessed to have such amazing, cool, and confident roommates: Jaenae, Emily, and Kadijjah! Coming to you from North Carolina, Louisiana, and Georgia Baby!! Our room, 414, was the spot!
Our first rehearsal was on Wednesday night. I go to meet all the beautiful Black Queens representing our country for the title of Miss Black America. We learned the opening dance number (the dance to introduce the pageant). Our choreographer, Yvette was EVERYTHING. I loved her work, her energy, the entire vibe was life. Assisting Yvette, was Angel! That's my girl, my stretch buddy, my cat lover, fitness sister!
The dance was so much fun to learn, all of the little mistakes and laughs made the night so memorable.
As we practiced and rehearsed through out the week we also had the opportunity to take a few shots of the city of brotherly love. We rode on horses, (on the carousel) met the beautiful Little Miss Black America Queens, and visited the famous, Max's, for cheese steak.
As the week continued we learned a few other dances for the big pageant day. One being an African dance number choreographed by Miss Black America 1975, Queen Helen. That dance was interesting to learn! The intricate movement, and trying to keep all of it in order was a bit challenging. But we got it down to a fine T.
Our first event was the welcome dinner located at Philadelphia City Hall. Each delegate had the opportunity to introduce themselves, talk about their platform, and answer the question "Why do YOU want to be Miss Black America?" I was second to the podium, I mentioned my dance studio, AMB Dance Theatre, my pageant system, Miss Newark USA, and my answer to the question for the room: Its an accomplishment to be a part of a legacy, I plan to make sure that there is a delegate from each state for this prestigious title.
After all ten lovely ladies stated their case, it was time to mingle and network. We all understood the assignment.
Our second event was a round table press conference. All of the Miss Black America staff, founders of Miss Black America, criminal law judges, councilmen, and former Miss Black Americas, were all present. We discussed our platforms, and held our ground in a conversation about Roe v Wade.
This is where I got to meet Miss Black America 1972! Ms. Sylvia Traymore Morrison! She really is the bees knees! I instantly felt a connection with Ms. Sylvia! Coolest woman in town... next to my mommy! :) Ms. Sylvia complimented me on my eloquent manner of talking (Oath of positivity, look it up) I instantly started to tear up. I had FENTY makeup on y'all, so you know I had to calm those emotions down! My sister Queen Raven, and I had the chance to be interviewed by Rachel! The owner of Model Prep, and the most amazing Queen. She made sure we were on time, and always updated us for any sudden pageant changes.
The eve of the pageant was upon us! We all celebrated with one last event at the Loews Hotel, downtown Philadelphia. My sister Queen Emily and I were twins sporting the same cocktail dress! You know we had to have a photo shoot.
The room was filled with good vibes, former queens, investors, and US! The class of the 54th annual Miss Black America Pageant. What a time to be alive. I met so many wonderful people that night. This is one of the many reasons I am a true advocate for pageants; they open doors for you with just a simple exchange of business cards. You never know who you're going to meet when you compete at a pageant.
It's show time!!! August 3rd, I was up early ready to go! Dress... Check, Swim Suit... Check, Opening Number outfit.... Check, Confidence! Double Check. Of course I packed more than just those three things, but that's what was needed for the competition. We all arrived at the Performance Hall, at 9am. It was a long week, and the big day had arrived. Our game faces were on. We had a tech rehearsal and practiced on stage questions with Miss Black America 1985 Amina Fakir.
We were one hour away from showtime, a little hungry, feeling the nerves, and ready to get the show on the road. The Miss Black America 54th Anniversary was recored, and said to be aired on Fox in February 2023. We started off with coming in as a activist pageant, followed by our opening number, with a group of beautiful dancers, a long list of entertainment, and again back to the delegates with our African Dance Fashion Show. (which we killed it on that stage... twice) Some more entertainment, finally our first competition, swim suit! The choreography, provided by Yvette was amazing. We strutted out there in our red bathing suits dancing to Beyonce, "You won't break my soul".
After repeating our swim suit segment twice, for production purposes, it was time for the judges to tabulate the swim suit scores. We waited, for a while. In our swim suits. After a long break, the results were ready! God is good! I won the swim suit portion of the evening. However! All of my sister Queens can rock any swim suit!
Miss Rachel gave us the "ok" to put on our talent outfits backstage. By that time it was 11:45pm. I was so ready to perform my talent! However due to a few issues, the pageant was interrupted, and we could not continue. 12am. My mother came backstage and helped me collect my wardrobe. As everyone was leaving, we all said our goodbyes. Things happen, but none of us were expecting this outcome.
I do cherish the time I had while in the MBA Pageant week. Meeting such classy, smart, beautiful, Black Queens was a gift I will remember forever. All nine of my sister Queens hold a remarkable place in my heart.
As we heard from former MBA contestants and queens, through out the week, the bond of the sisterhood at Miss Black America is a real one. It's been one week, post pageant, and we are already planning trips to Vegas! We truly have a real bond, a sisterhood of pageant Black Queens. Amen.
Stay tuned for my youtube video coming out soon, that will show you a behind the scenes look at the week of Miss Black America.