As you know February is Black History Month, and this month we celebrate the accomplishments of the Black race. My race may be known for the Civil Rights Movement and African-American hair care products (Thank you Madam C. J. Walker for blessing our tresses.), but we have also experienced success in the pageantry industry.
Today, there are African-American females that compete in mainstream systems such as Miss America and Miss USA, and the contestants are doing exceptionally well. For the past 2 years, the Miss USA organization has crowned an African-American woman (Kira McCullough, Miss USA 2017 and Deshauna Barber, Miss USA 2016). This past September, the Miss America organization had one African-American woman in the top 3. (Briana Kinsey, Miss District of Columbia 2017).
Even though we as a society are making great strides in pageantry, we still have a ways to go. Time and time again there is always a discussion surrounding the subject of black pageants, and if they are still relevant. I have competed in two black pageant systems, and I learned valuable lessons from both systems. In my opinion, black pageants are still relevant, and I don’t believe they are going anywhere. I will give you my top two reasons why they are still relevant.
1. Black pageants give African-American females a space to compete where they can celebrate their culture, beauty, and personality.
As a black pageant competitor, it is important I seek a system that allows me to totally express who I am as a woman. That is not just limited to my career or educational background. That also includes my looks, my hair, and my personality. Let’s face it. I am a naturalista so rocking braids or a large fro is more widely accepted in predominately black pageants than in mainstream pageants. These pageants give us a space to be our authentic selves. Also, representation is key, and it is important that the Black race has a seat at the table. Black pageants have allowed African-American females to have that seat.
2. Black pageants are great organizations for young African-American girls to see role models that look just like them.
I am a big proponent of mentoring and serving as a role model for the younger generation. It is important for our future generations to see role models that look just like them so they can be encouraged and have the confidence to accomplish great things or compete in a pageant if they so desire.
Even though I am a proponent of black pageants, I am a supporter of all pageants. I think it is important that all pageants allow contestants the freedom to express themselves in a way that is honoring and celebratory.
If you are interested in competing in a black pageant, check out the listing of a few black pageant systems.
Black Pageant Systems
African-American United (http://maaupageant.wix.com/africanamericanunite)
Black and Natural Pageant (www.blackandnaturalpageant.org)
Black Globe International Pageants (www.blackglobepageants.com)
Miss Black America (www.missblackamerica2017.com)
Miss Black America Coed (www.missblackamericacoed.org)
Miss Black South Carolina and Miss North America Heritage (www.missblacksouthcarolina.com)
Miss Black Universe (www.gomissblackuniverse.com)
Miss Black USA (www.missblackusa.org)
Miss Black US Ambassador (www.thembusam.com)
Miss Natural Hair and Health Expo (www.naturalhairandhealthexpo.com/beauty-pageant)
One last thing…..
Are you interested in competing in pageants but don’t know where to start? Are you a competitor that wants to take your pageant career to the next level? If you answered YES to either question, order your copy of my Amazon bestseller Manifest the Crown: A Krystle Clear Guide to Pageantry Success.
“A++++” -Damaris D.
“Great read with a lot of insight into the world of pageantry and how to be the best on and off the stage. I love that it is written to appeal to pageant girls, no matter what the pageant system.” -Kerrie W.
“Easy to read book. I would suggest this book to anyone entertaining the thought of entering a pageant for the first time.” -Omega AUNTIE Mothersill, WBLEP Director
“My pageant prep included reading this fabulous book by Krystle Bell. By reminding me to keep my faith and maintain my positive mindset, this book has prepared me for life; not just my pageant. The use of scriptures, affirmations, and goal setting techniques were perfect and very useful. I now walk away with knowledge to help me succeed with pageant weekend, dance projects, college, and life. Wish me luck! Get your copy!”-Ciara Evans, Miss Hyde Park Teen USA 2017
“Great inspiration.” -Belinda McFarland
“I loved the book! I was into pageants in high school so I did relate to that aspect of the book, but I love how a person with no pageantry connection can still get something. I love the lessons like the daily affirmations, developing confidence, and setting goals. The Bible verses were delightful how it relates to the chapter you read. I would recommend this book to anyone.” -Tiffany Ware
“I really enjoyed reading this book. I believe it can be a good book for young girls to use whether they are in pageantry or to help build self-confidence in any area of their life. ” – Sandra Bell