2022 Ms. Black EIU contestants to compete in 50th anniversary Saturday night

Pictured+from+left+to+right%3A+Promise+Anderson%2C+Faith+Johnson%2C+Kymoni+Dixon%2C+Brianna+Hull-Dennis+and+Jaedah+Franks%2C+the+2022+Ms.+Black+EIU+contestants.

Pictured from left to right: Promise Anderson, Faith Johnson, Kymoni Dixon, Brianna Hull-Dennis and Jaedah Franks, the 2022 Ms. Black EIU contestants.

Madelyn Kidd, News Editor

Five Eastern students are competing in the 50th anniversary Ms. Black EIU pageant Saturday night in the Grand Ballroom.

The 2022 Ms. Black EIU scholarship pageant will be in the Grand Ballroom in the Martin Luther King, Jr. University Union at 7 p.m. Saturday night.

Five Eastern students, Promise Anderson, Faith Johnson, Kymoni Dixon, Brianna Hull-Dennis and Jaedah Franks, are competing in the pageant Saturday night.

 

Promise Anderson

 

Promise Anderson is a senior business management major from Chicago, and she is involved with the ACTS Campus Ministry, Unity Gospel Choir and on the Lincoln Hall Council.

Anderson said she originally mentioned being in the Ms. Black EIU pageant as a joke. However, her friends took her seriously and encouraged her to really do it.

Anderson said what the option of having this pageant as an opportunity on campus really meant for minority students.

“It just shows that the school is trying to kind of focus on minorities this month, and it’s not just a month where they just say Black Heritage Month,” Anderson said. “It’s not just for that, but it’s just simply spotlighting the minorities on campus and just showing us that ‘Hey, we care. We care about you, and we want to have an event for your ethnicities.’”

 

Faith Johnson (Rob Le Cates)

Faith Johnson

 

Faith Johnson is a junior business management major from Forest Park, Ill., and she is involved with the Entrepreneurship Club, the Black Student Union, BSU, and a SMIT coordinator.

Johnson got involved with the 2022 pageant after learning the history behind why there is a Ms. Black EIU, which was created in the 70s starting from when Black women on campus were unable to be on the Homecoming court.

“With me, I would say [Ms. Black EIU] is definitely important, because again, the history behind it and the whole reason why we do it, I would say is an honor to even be a part of it to make history like that,” said Johnson. “And then, considering it being the 50th year anniversary of it, the fact that it’s still going on and it still carries that legacy in the meaning I think that that’s really important.”

 

Ashanti Thomas

Kymoni Dixon

 

Kymoni Dixon is a junior pre-physical therapy major from Chicago, and she is involved with Couture Modeling, Kinesiology Sports & Recreation and BSU.

Dixon signed up for 2022 Ms. Black EIU to be able to branch out and get out of her comfort bubble while partaking in an Eastern tradition which supports Black women.

“[The pageant supports] Black women in ways that we’re not always being supported,” Dixon said. “And so, it’s really important because it is one of the longest traditions on this campus. It started in 1970, I believe, and it was because of homecoming. And there was a lot of racial things going on with that. And Black women were not winning homecoming queen, so we decided to make our own thing, and it’s been going great ever since.

 

BriannaHull-Dennis (Rob Le Cates)

Brianna Hull-Dennis

 

Brianna Hull-Dennis is a junior political science major from Homewood, Ill., and she is involved with the Pre-Law Society, Political Science Association, BSU and is one of Eastern’s student senators.

Hull-Dennis is competing in the Ms. Black EIU pageant this year because she has steadily been getting more involved on campus. Now after learning about the history of the Ms. Black EIU pageant, the pageant means a lot to her

“It’s telling of the progression of African American women that we can excel,” Hull-Dennis said. “We don’t have to find our space and other spaces; we can make our own and still succeed.”

 

Rob Le Cates

Jaedah Franks

 

Jaedah Franks is a sophomore biology pre-medicine major from Hazel Crest, Ill., and she is involved with the Eastern’s cheer team, BSU and the Weller Hall Council. Franks was also Eastern’s 2021 Homecoming Princess.

Franks said she is excited for her first Ms. Black EIU pageant since there wasn’t one her freshman year due to COVID-19, and she is excited to be a part of the pageant this year.

“The pageant means a lot, especially being at a school where we are the minority,” Franks said. “So, sometimes it’s hard for us to find things that we are comfortably doing with being ourselves and not having to put on a front. I feel like the pageant really is a safe space and allows us to be true.”

 

The pageant starts at 7 p.m. Saturday night, and doors open at 6 p.m. Advanced tickets are $7 and tickets for seniors, groups or children under 12 are $5.

 

Madelyn Kidd can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]