The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News


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Yarrow named Miss Black EIU 2024

Sia DeyKoontz
“Shades of an Ebony Queen ” Miss Black EIU scholarship pageant 2024 newly crowned Rafiat Yarrow, a senior political science major, at the Grand ballroom Martin Luther King JR Union on Saturday evening, Feb. 24, 2024, taking her first walk as Miss Black EIU 2024

Rafiat Yarrow, a senior political science major, was named Miss Black EIU 2024. 

After a year off, the Miss Black EIU returned Saturday night with three contestants: Destinee Patterson, junior secondary education and English language arts major, Rafiat Yarrow, senior political science major, and Samaria Rosenthal, senior psychology major.  

The pageant was judged by six judges and were judged based off of four categories: 

  • Creative expression, which accounted for 30% of the vote, 
  • African garment, which accounted for 30% of the vote, 
  • Talent, which accounted for 25% of the vote, 
  • And answering an impromptu question, which accounted for 15% of the vote. 

Dating back to 1971, Miss Black EIU has been Eastern’s longest cultural tradition. 

During the event, Yarrow expressed her feelings and personal connection to anxiety through a spoken word poetry performance. 

The pageant was hosted by Sheldon Turner, a sophomore accounting major, and Amari Hurn, a senior computer and information technology major. 

Yarrow said it felt “surreal” to win the award. She, alongside Patterson and Rosenthal, have been working on and practicing for the pageant for the last month. 

She plans on promoting Miss Black EIU to other women in Eastern’s community. 

Yarrow’s brother Raqeeb Yarrow attended the event, unaware of what he was showing up for. 

He said that Rafiat Yarrow just told him to come, and the event was a surprise to him, which he enjoyed nonetheless. 

He drove from Chicago for the surprise. He said it was definitely worth it. 

Yarrow is also a member of Zeta Phi Beta, and her sorority sisters came out to support her. 

Rochelle Carter, a sophomore nursing major also in Zeta Phi Beta, said she felt inspired by Yarrow’s victory. 

“Just seeing her getting this award and getting the scholarship, winning the scholarship pageant, it’s just really inspiring just to show that I can do more on camps as well and follow in those footsteps in a Zeta life,” Carter said. 

Yarrow had been talking to her sorority sisters prior to the event and was feeling stressed, according to Carter. 

Carter said hearing Yarrow’s name called “was kind of a sense of relief.” 


Cam’ron Hardy can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]. 

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Cam'ron Hardy, News Editor
Cam'ron is a junior journalism major. He previously served news editor and campus editor at The News. 

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