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Black MSU Pageant returns after 2-year hiatus

September 29, 2021
<p>End of the night festivities featured Senior Education major Cara Drew being crowned as Ms. Black for the 2021 pageant. </p>

End of the night festivities featured Senior Education major Cara Drew being crowned as Ms. Black for the 2021 pageant.

Photo by Tyler Smith | The State News

Education senior Cara Drew was crowned Miss Black MSU at the MSU Black Students’ Alliance Black MSU Pageant's return after a two-year hiatus Sunday, Sept. 26. 

Marketing senior Shania Cox was crowned Miss 1967, the runner-up position. 

“It felt amazing to know all my hard work and creativity paid off,” crowned Miss Black MSU Cara Drew said on winning. “In the future, I plan on using my title to bring black MSU together by building relationships with the greater community.”

“It felt surreal to win, honestly," Miss 1967 Shania Cox said. "I am so thankful I have worked so hard this past year."

"What I will do in the future with my new title is encourage women like me to participate in educating our community and getting out of their comfort zone so they can grow!" Cox said. "I will also see if I can collaborate with Black Students’ Alliance to create an event where we can speak with companies on systemic discrimination that we face in the workplace.”

The Black MSU Pageant returned this fall after a two-and-a-half-year hiatus.

The show's theme was Afrofuturism, which explores the intersection of African culture and technology.

It ran from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Union Ballroom. It featured six contestants: journalism and political science junior Janelle James, criminal justice and psychology junior Madison Tinker, marketing senior Shania Cox, education senior Cara Drew, psychology sophomore Ja’la Walker, and food science sophomore Rhajani Shepherd.

The pageant crowns the next Miss Black MSU for the 2021-2022 academic school year to showcase Black excellence within the MSU community by giving Black students on campus the opportunity to display their beauty, intelligence, talents and ways in which they are changing the world for the better.

The pageant uplifts leaders, creating examples within the Black community at MSU. Through these examples, the pageant seeks to improve the confidence and student life skills of MSU students.

“It is the hope that, beyond the pageant, all participants and attendants will go back and be scholar-activists inside of their community,” criminal justice and theatre sophomore and pageant host Michale Coffey said.

The crowned Miss Black MSU will plan community initiatives across campus and work alongside the BSA executive board to serve and advance the Black community for the entire year. Miss 1967 serves as a strong leader within the community who leads by example. 

“The pageant brings the Black community together to not only showcase beauty and talent, but to also showcase the knowledge of Black history and current events," contestant Madison Tinker said. "The pageant gives a voice to those who feel silenced and unheard. It gives a voice to the people that have good messages, but no platform."

The pageant was hosted by Coffey and communications senior Deon Bennet. It included five different portions for the contestants to display their unique personalities, skills, interests and passions: introductions, a Q&A centering on the history of MSU and the Black Students’ Alliance, a talent showcase, a presentation on prospective initiatives the contestants would implement if crowned Miss Black MSU and concluded with an interview portion in which contestants were each asked one open-ended question.

“(The pageant) is a celebration of Black Life on campus," Coffey said. "It is just all good energy and vibes at MSU, while celebrating the effort and energy the contestants have put into making sure they can put on a show for the crowd. Also, it is just a fun way to spend your day, good music, great hosts, amazing performances. What more could you want?”

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