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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Greek Life

Ladies vie for title at annual gig


Pageant winner Keirsten Andrews performed a self-written spoken word piece titled “I Am Here” during the talent segment of the competition. | Courtesy of Atarhe Clarke

After more than 100 female students auditioned to be a part of the scholarship pageant, only eight of the strongest contenders stood on stage before the audience.

The 29th annual Miss Black and Gold scholarship pageant sponsored by the gentlemen of the Eta Mu chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity took place at the UH Hilton Hotel on Sunday.

The event was held in the Hilton ballroom, which set the tone for the night — the men of Eta Mu were dressed in tuxedos, guests arrived in respectable attire and the décor was fitting for the occasion.

A panel of five judges was selected to oversee the night’s events, including Mia Wright, motivational speaker and co-pastor of the Fountain of Praise Church.

The ladies had to demonstrate why they should be crowned as the next Miss Black and Gold by participating in six different categories: An introduction of themselves, casual wear, swimwear, talent showcase, formal wear and an oral expression.

Each girl channeled her inner model by flaunting her fashion sense on stage as a part of the casual wear segment of the pageant.

The swimwear portion of the night served as a preview of what is to come this bikini season as the contestants bore a little skin and brought out their summer’s best, some even completed their looks with straw hats and sunglasses.

Perhaps the most entertaining part of the night was the talent category.

One contestant seduced the audience with her voice and piano playing ability. Two contestants chose to highlight their vocal abilities by singing soft and sweet melodies. There were also self-choreographed dances and self-written monologues that were performed in front of the judges and audience members.

The most difficult and nerve-wracking part of the night was the end, when all of the ladies were welcomed back onstage in their formal wear to answer some challenging questions in the oral expression category.

Questions about appearance and image in society, current events, politics, LGBT rights and religion were asked.

Junior English major Keirsten Andrews was crowned as the next Miss Black and Gold Scholarship Pageant queen. Andrews said that she hopes to keep it simple while holding the title.

“Hopefully, just by staying on the same path that I’m on right now,” Andrews said.  “Continuing to work hard in school; continuing to do well at my job; continuing to try to give back to the community with the non-profit organization that I work for and whatever else I can possibly think to do.”

In addition to being the recipient of a scholarship worth $1,500, Andrews also walked away with two plane tickets to anywhere in the US and a flat screen TV.

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