23rd Miss Black and Gold Winner Crowned


Josh Saxton

Angela Davis, a senior sociology major is congratulated by her fellow contestants after being crowned Miss Black and Gold of 2016 on Saturday in the Grand Ballroom of the Martin Luther King, Jr. University Union. Davis was victorious over nine other contestants in the pageant.

Torri Griffith, Staff Reporter

Angela Davis’ story of being separated from her biological parents helped her in becoming Miss Black and Gold 2016.

Davis, a senior sociology and African-American studies major, gave an emotional dialogue telling childhood issues that she said many people never knew about.

“I never expected me to do this pageant, let alone win it,” Davis said.

The men of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity hosted the 23rd annual Miss Black and Gold Pageant Saturday in the Grand Ballroom of the Martian Luther King Jr. University Union.

Darien Ghostone, vice president of Alpha Phi Alpha, and Ma’Chana Amberose, a senior kinesiology and sports studies major, coordinated the pageant.

Miss Black 2016 was awarded to Ariana Moore, and Miss Gold 2016 was awarded to Ebony Jacobs.

For the Miss Black and Gold 2016 title, Davis received a $500 scholarship, and she will also be representing the Zeta Nu chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha in the competition in Gurnee.

“The ladies have worked long and hard; they not only want you to see them, but to hear them,” Amberose said.

The 10 women entered the room donning black dresses and gold masks to accompany this year’s theme, “Deception of The Golden Throne, Masqueraded Heirs.”

Janae Houser, a junior biology major and contestant No. 1, said this pageant made her wise enough to speak her story.

“Stand tall, breath deep and be unstoppable,” Houser said.

Farrah Dean, a junior biological sciences major and contestant No. 2, said no one should ever let anyone influence his or her confidence.

“The definition of true beauty is femininity, poise and finesse,” Dean said.

Davis, who was contestant No. 4, said her motto is all about believing in one’s self and having self-confidence.

Debroah Wilson-Wiley, a senior accounting major and contestant No. 5, spoke of being fearless, always staying positive and moving forward.

Melanie Dyer, a senior communication studies major and contestant No. 6, said her life motto is about achieving dreams.

Ebony Jacobs, a junior health administration major and contestant No. 7, said people should live their lives unattached to others’ opinions.

Tyiesha Stelle, contestant No. 8, said people should live their lives to the fullest.

Emonie Jordan, a sophomore kinesiology major and sports studies major and contestant No. 9, said she lives her life based on the scripture Philippians 4:13.

Allison Oates, a sophomore health studies major, was contestant No. 10 and spoke on finding confidence.
Airana Moore, a senior kinesiology and sports studies major, was contestant No. 3 and said she lives by the Bible scripture Hebrews 11:1.

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence with every fear you face,” Moore said.

This pageant was judged on several different things, some including business wear, talent and impromptu.

During the business wear scene of the pageant, the women wore outfits they believed were appropriate for the workplace.

Houser, dressed in a black, red and white top, red dress pants, and a black shoulder bag, strutted across the stage in what she believed to be suitable business attire.

Davis, wearing a white blazer, royal blue pants and black high-heeled shoes, held up a picture of the former political activist and Black Panther Angela Davis.

The talent portion of the pageant ranged from spoken word and singing to dance routines. Houser performed a compilation of dances by Beyoncé.

“I listen to empowering music by Beyoncé because she truly inspires me to be the best me that I could possibly be,” Houser said.

Houser said she was on the stage to prove to herself that she could do anything she puts her mind to, and she will prevail.

Dean performed a piece focusing on the black identity crisis in America. Her performance had a boot camp theme with marching to “Jesus Walks” by Kanye West; Dean spoke about being in a psychological bondage.

“We must put aside petty differences and stand in solidarity,” Dean said.

Davis, opening up about her personal life, named her piece “A Diamond in the Rough.” Her skit was an acting scene in the beginning, and then she turned it into a monologue. Davis spoke about being separated from her biological parents at the age of 5.

Davis said her skit was to show that God’s love is the best and most genuine love of all.

“I may bend, but I will not break,” Davis said.

Davis also opened up about a man who often belittled her and who did not truly love her.

“In emptiness, heartache and pain, I had to find myself,” Davis said.

Davis said she did not expect to break down the way that she did, but her tears showed how sincere she was.

Dyer sang pieces from artist such as Keyshia Cole, Ciara and Chrisette Michelle.

The women graced the stage for the last time for the eveningwear and impromptu portion of the pageant. Different members of Alpha Phi Alpha escorted them.

They answered randomly selected questions before leaving the stage.

Several winners of were chosen in the pageant from categories such as Miss Congeniality, After 5 and Swimsuit.

Stelle won a scholarship for having the highest GPA in the pageant.

Miss Enterprise was awarded to Jacobs, who sold the most advertisements for the pageant. She will receive 10 percent of the earnings in a scholarship.

The show ended with Davis receiving support from the men of Alpha and her pageant sisters.

“To my pageant sisters: you all are beautiful. You progressed so well from where you started,” Davis said.

Davis said all of her pageant sisters are winners and also expressed her thanks to the men of Alpha Phi Alpha.

“Thank you for picking me as a contestant. You saw something in me that I did not see in myself. Thank you for not only being a friend but a mentor. You helped me make this experience less tense,” Davis said.

Davis said she is looking forward to competing in districts and representing the men.

“No matter what trial or tribulation you go through, you can always overcome it,” Davis said. “Don’t ever doubt yourself or feel like you cannot do it.”