Students to compete in Miss Black EIU pageant

Megan Thompson, Contributing Writer

The Black Student Union will sponsor the 49th Annual Miss Black EIU Scholarship Pageant on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

Since 1971, the pageant has been hosted during African-American Heritage Month and is one of the most popular cultural and traditional events celebrated on campus.

The experience of the pageant offers students and others the opportunity to celebrate African-American culture and heritage.

Throughout the years, it has helped encourage and empower African-American women by instilling each young woman who participates with appreciation, cultural awareness and pride.

Many women on campus over the years have chosen to take the opportunity and challenge to compete with other peers for the honorary representation of Miss Black EIU.

This year, four women will be competing for the title.

Latricia Booker, a junior pre-nursing student, is the pageant mom for the four candidates.

Booker said her role is “to coordinate the pageant, help facilitate the contestants through this journey, teach contestants to love their heritage and learn more about themselves better.”

For the women competing in the competition this year, Booker said she hopes they will “continue to believe in themselves and remember all the hard work they put in for this one night.”

Booker said the opportunity to be the pageant mom for Miss Black EIU has been a good experience.

“This has been a huge learning experience, as being a leader,” Booker said. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.”

On Saturday night, attendees will see these four women compete for the title of Miss Black EIU 2020:

Shariah Campbell, a junior family and consumer sciences major, said she should win because of her work ethic.

“I feel I should be crowned as Miss Black EIU because I have work ethic. I feel Miss Black EIU should be someone of strength, poised and shows determination,” Campbell said.

Malyn Williams, a junior health administration major, said she should win the title because she will work to promote diversity.

“I feel I should be crowned as Miss Black EIU because I feel I can represent the black community on campus as well as promote diversity. Someone who exemplifies confidence and diligence, and I believe I possess these characteristics,” Williams said.

Kennedy Byrd, a junior corporate communications major, said she believes she would provide a voice for voices not heard from often if she wins.

“I feel I should be crowned as Miss Black EIU because I believe I possess qualities that the campus needs such as compassion, empathy, help (and) a voice for people who are afraid to speak up and those who lost their voice along the way. I represent for the underdogs while also promoting individualism and inclusion,” Byrd said.

Junior biology major Mikayla Sandford said if she wins the pageant, she would use it as a platform to speak on issues that are important to her.

“I feel I should be crowned as Miss Black EIU because I can bring awareness to my platform and educate those who may not know the severity and recurrence of abuse in the black community,” Sandford said.

Tickets can be purchased for $7 before the show at the Student Activity Center or from Black Student Union. Ticket sales will also be held at the door for $10.

This pageant will be the final event for African-American Heritage Month.

Megan Thompson can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].