Franks named 2022 Miss Black EIU

Corryn Brock and Katja Benz

Jaedah Franks, a sophomore biological sciences major, was named the 2022 Miss Black EIU Saturday night.

Franks, who was crowned the 2021 Homecoming Princess last semester, was one of five candidates for the 50th annual Miss Black EIU.

Senior business management major Promise Anderson, junior business management major Faith Johnson, junior pre-physical therapy major Kymoni Dixon and junior political science major Brianna Hull-Dennis also competed in the pageant. Hull-Dennis placed as the second runner-up and Anderson placed as the first runner-up.

Franks said she was speechless.

“As you can probably see, I did not expect that. But in these three months, myself and these other young ladies worked so hard on putting on a show for everyone and we had to do a great show, above and beyond, because we did not have Miss Black EIU 2021 due to COVID,” Franks said.

Franks said she hopes to give other Black women a voice in her latest royal role.

“I try to empower other Black women by telling them to beat the odds,” Franks said. “Although the world, people, society, the government might be against us, we have to put that in the back and be louder so we can be heard.”

Franks’ mother, Tiffany Alderidge, said she was proud of her daughter’s success at the pageant, but she would have been proud regardless.

“After talking to her this morning, it really didn’t matter if she won or not because she expressed how, during this process, she has learned so much more about herself. I’m really proud of her and I can see watching her on the stage, how much she’s grown up,” Alderidge said. “She’s not my baby anymore.”

Alderidge said she felt the pageant gave “young Black women an opportunity to show that magic audience Black girl magic.”

She added she believes her daughter was able to spread an important message as a contestant and as the 2022 Miss Black EIU.

“We are evolving from the stereotypes that affect us negatively,” Alderidge said. “I think, in addition, it’s a message that she wants to send out to young Black women that even though we’re judged by the color of our skin, even sometimes by our friends, because our skin may be darker than their skin, that (they) are an amazing, inside and out. I think that’s what she wanted every Black woman, every Black child to learn about themselves tonight…you are amazing inside and out no matter how anyone else feels about you.”

 

Corryn Brock and Katja Benz can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]