The 2017 Miss Black and Gold Queen, Kierra Ready, was crowned Saturday, Feb. 11. The 25th annual Miss Black and Gold Scholarship Pageant took place at the IUPUI Campus Center presented by the Sigma Phi chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Nine contestants took the stage to prove to a panel of four judges that they have what it takes to represent the chapter.
The evening was in full swing with various talents and a strong political stance. The pageant's theme this year was “JustICE or Else.” The Black Lives Matter movement was represented from the beginning of the night. The ladies started the competition, dressed in all black, with a synchronized dance to Beyonce’s “Freedom” that ended with balled fists raised in the air.
The pageant was coordinated into five different sections: Introductions, Swimwear, Talent, Gown, and Q&A. 2016 Miss Black and Gold, Shamari Bandy, assisted in coordinating this year’s show. Sigma Phi chapter’s President Lenell Campbell said, “Bandy helped mentor the ladies this year and was a big help to putting on a great show.”
The crowd was live with encouragement as chants of representation came from around the room. Introductions started with each candidate’s presentation of a favorite quote and best individual attributes. The contestants exhibited an array of different talents for the evening. Ranging from singing and dancing to cooking and hairstyling.
Kierra Ready is a sophomore here at IUPUI and is majoring in Exercise Science with a minor in Africana studies. The winner of the Best Talent category, Ready, sang while using her voice to demonstrate other instruments. Ready also maintained a 3.8 grade point average during the process of the pageant.
“I feel really blessed to have this opportunity and to have all my people here supporting me,” Ready said, “I just feel really blessed to have that support system.”
When asked what Ready looks forward to the most, she says inspiring others.
“I look forward to being a positive role model on campus and in the community,” Ready said. “Using this platform to show what black women can do and empower other black women, as well.”
Here are the categories and their winners:
Miss Black and Gold, Highest GPA and Best Talent – Kierra Ready
Miss Gold (1st runner up) and Miss Congeniality - Deziree Walker
Miss Black (2nd runner up) - Janae Morris
Miss Community Service – Rahjanae Taylor
Miss Punctuality – Chequina Cooper
Most Improved – KiKi Walls
The 2017 contestants were as follows:
Chequina Cooper (Junior), Dominique Dixon (Senior), Sherraine Miller (Junior), Janae Morris (Senior), Kierra Ready (Sophomore), Rahjanae Taylor (Junior), Deziree Walker (Senior), Lindsay Wallace (Sophomore), KiKi Walls (Junior).
Miss Black, Miss Gold, and Miss Black and Gold will all be receiving a scholarship. Ready will be advancing to districts, where she will compete against the other Miss Black and Gold Queens of Indiana University - Bloomington, Indiana State University and Ball State University.
If you want more information or wish to be apart of the Miss Black and Gold Pageant in 2018, look forward to a call-out meeting this fall.
Ready will represent the Sigma Phi chapter at Districts, Feb. 25.