The Kappa Tau chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. hosted its16th annual Miss Black and Gold pageant last Saturday night with the theme “Sisters of Success.”
“The ladies have been working really hard and they put forth their best effort tonight,” said Allen Lewis, junior in accounting and co-coordinator of the Black and Gold Pageant. “They dedicated a lot of time to perfect their performance and it reflected throughout the show.”
Raychel Gadson, senior in public relations, said she felt amazing to be crowned this year’s Miss Black and Gold, the overall winner.
“I was completely surprised that I won,” Gadson said. “I participated in this pageant with some exceptional women and I felt that we all put forth our best. There was never a clear lead of who would win.”
Gadson was also crowned Miss GPA and Miss Souvenir Book. Gadson earned these titles by having the highest GPA out of all of the contestants and selling the most advertisements for the pageant’s souvenir book. Gadson will be awarded a $1,000 book scholarship.
“I feel that I was able to win because I am comfortable with public speaking and I’m a good thinker on my feet,” Gadson said. “I also have a high GPA and I am glad the pageant valued that.”
During the Q-and-A period, the contestants were asked if they believed that body cameras would help prevent police brutality in the future. Gadson said she believed it was a step in the right direction, but unfortunately would not prevent abuses by some police officers if the justice system continues to not punish officers who misuse their power.
The contestants were judged on several categories and many of the contestants won titles.
Tanniqua-Kay Buchanan, senior in dance and regional and community planning, was crowned Miss Gold, first runner up and Miss Career. Buchanan will be awarded a $600 book scholarship.
Tiana Brooks, senior in digital arts, was crowned Miss Black, second runner up and Miss Diligence. Brooks will be awarded a $500 book scholarship.
Brooks has competed in the pageant before and said she felt it was definitely worth doing again. She said she enjoyed the experience and chose to do it again because she felt there was a lot more she could do.
“The first time I participated it allowed me to test the waters,” Brooks said. “This year, I was able to think and plan smarter because I understood how the pageant practice works and how critical is was to do things such as sell ads for the souvenir book and sell tickets.”
Brittney Blythe, junior in human nutrition and health and gerontology, won the title of Miss Dedication. Cayla Young, sophomore in animal sciences and industry and communications, won the title of Miss Elegance. Khenady Gaines, freshman in finance, was the only freshman to compete and won the title of Miss Swimwear. Briana Hawkins, senior in public relations, won the title of Miss Talent. Shakyra Everett, junior in animal sciences and industry, was crowned Miss Sisterhood. Miss Sisterhood is the only category voted on by the other contestants.
“I came to support classy minority women,” Shawn Meyer, senior in organizational communication, said. “I like that this pageant showcase(s) these women in the positive light that they should be shown in.”
People from outside of the K-State community came to support the pageant as well, like Lydia Korte, senior in psychology at Wichita State University and current Miss Black and Gold at WSU.
“Although I am white, I think it is important to support other Greek organizations including multicultural Greek organization,” Korte said.
Korte is a member of Delta Gamma at WSU.
“Although the pageant is (meant) to showcase African-American women, being African-American is not a requirement to participate,” Korte said. “My participation brought a different dynamic to the pageant. It also brought a different demographic to come and support the pageant.”
Korte will compete against Gadson at the Alpha Phi Alpha Midwestern Regional Convention.
“My participation in this pageant has allowed me to create friendships with people who I can see myself being friends with forever,” Gadson said. “The women and the Alphas were very encouraging. I don’t know how I am going to survive without seeing them three times a week.”