Alpha Phi Alpha prepares for annual pageant
Story by Breanna Sill, Staff writer
Murray State women will compete in the annual Miss Black and Gold pageant at 7 p.m. Friday in Wrather Auditorium. The winner receives a $500 scholarship.
Murray State’s oldest pageant, Miss Black and Gold, will be hosted Friday by the brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha.
This year marks the 31st year that the brothers have hosted the pageant and this year’s theme is “Be Empowered,” which gives a nod to women’s empowerment.
“We chose this theme because we feel that it is important that women should be able to empower each other,” Justin Frazier, senior from Paducah, Kentucky and Alpha Phi Alpha president said. “Success is never reached alone and wisdom and wealth is sweeter shared.”
Fraizer also said the women in this pageant are judged on a deeper level than just their appearance.
“It’s not just a beauty pageant,” he said. “It’s a pageant that capitalizes on the full woman: scholastic achievement, elegance, poise, confidence and character appearance.”
Black and gold are the colors that represent the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. The Miss Black and Gold pageant was held in 1976 in New York City at the Alpha Phi Alpha’s annual convention.
This year’s retiring queen, Kimberly Jonesk, will hand down her crown to one of the eight contestants nominated this year.
This year’s eight contestants are Candace Alexander, sophomore from St. Louis, Missouri, Dominique Roach, Latoya Tyson, freshman from St. Louis, Missouri, Brooke Parsons, Jayla Holmes, Devoney Maborn, senior from Mounds City, Allia Earick, sophomore from Murray and Emani Griffin, sophomore from Akron, Ohio.
There will be five categories that the girls will be judged on:
- business projection
- creative arts/talent and
- the final walk and question.
Of the eight girls, there will be a queen, first runner-up, second runner-up, Miss Hospitality, Miss Congeniality and Most Talented.
Earick said the key to preparing for the pageant is practice.
“Practice, practice, practice,” she said. “Outside of practice, I meet up with my coach to go over my talent portion and ask any questions that I have.”
The girl who is chosen as queen will receive a $500 scholarship and the opportunity to assist with activities for the community with the money raised through the pageant.
The winner of Miss Black and Gold is also able to go on to compete at a regional and national level, which is where Fraizer said Jones represented the Zeta Omicron chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha.
Past Miss Black and Gold queens took time to come to one of the contestants’ rehearsals and give the girls some advice.
“Getting feedback from previous Miss Black and Gold winners was also great, as well,” Earick said. “They were generous enough to take time out of their day to come critique us.”
The Miss Black and Gold pageant will take place at 7 p.m. in Wrather Auditorium on Friday. Tickets cost $7 beforehand and $10 at the door.