Women compete for $500 scholarship

With more contestants than in previous years, 12 women will be competing for the title of Miss Black and Gold 2011 on Saturday.

The fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha will be hosting their annual scholarship pageant awarding the winner a $500 scholarship.

Darius White, the Miss Black and Gold coordinator for two years, said the pageant acknowledges women on campus who are exceeding academically and who represent poise and confidence.

“It’s an honor that so many women wanted to participate in the pageant,” White said. “It’s been a pleasure getting to know all of the contestants.”

The pageant has been on Eastern’s campus for about four years after being discontinued in 2004 and returning in 2008.

The 12 contestants will compete in seven categories; opening number, after five wear, swimsuit wear, talent, interviews, evening gown and scholarship.

Amber Chatman, one of the contestants hopes to follow in her roommate, Katana Wilder’s footsteps by winning Miss Black and Gold.

Wilder won Miss Black and Gold 2010.

Along with winning a scholarship, Wilder went on to compete at the district level pageant and helped to coordinate this year’s pageant.

Wilder, a sophomore communication studies major, said she came up with the theme, “A Night and Paris,” because when she thinks of Paris she thinks of love.

“This pageant will be very classy,” Wilder said.

Wilder said working with 12 contestants has been a struggle but all of the contestants have become very close.

“They are all my pageant babies, and they call me pageant Mom,” she said.

Chatman, a junior communication studies major, said watching her roommate win encouraged her to compete this year.

Chatman said she believes the combination of singing and dancing as her talent and her motto, “one person’s smile can change a person’s life,” will set her apart from the other contestants and help her take the crown.

The second runner up will win the title, “Miss Black.” The first runner up will win the title,” Miss Gold,” and the winner of the pageant will walk away “Miss Black and Gold 2011.”

The pageant winner receives a $500 scholarship among other gifts. All contestants will be awarded a gift as well.

Miss Black and Gold will take place at 5 p.m. Saturday in the Grand Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union. The doors open at 4 p.m.

Zinika Livingston can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].