By Genoa Barrow | OBSERVER Senior Staff Writer
You can’t keep a good queen down. While still held largely virtually due to the continued coronavirus pandemic, the Miss Black Sacramento and Miss Black Teen Scholarship Pageant was held last week, showcasing some of the area’s best and brightest young ladies.
The awards presentations and final crowning ceremony was held in person at Center of Praise Ministries.
“This is a unique year,” Director Angel Stewart shared.
“We started with 26 contestants; the eight that made the final cut persevered through pandemic requirements, changing scheduling and mentoring in a virtual environment among many other obstacles,” Stewart continued.
Aryanna Lewis, a local 25-year-old who started a non-profit to mentor youth, was crowned Miss Black Sacramento. Nebiyah White, a 21-year-old model and certified life coach was named first runner-up and Miss Division Princess. Kimiah Jacobs, a senior at Rocklin High School, was crowned Miss Black Teen Sacramento. Tresor Tatum, a freshman at Natomas Charter School’s Performing and Fine Arts Academy, was crowned first runner-up and Miss Black Teen Sacramento Princess.
With fewer contestants, organizers created a new role, that of Ambassador. An ambassador will participate in pageant appearances and events with the Queens and Princesses to spread the program’s message. The Miss Teen Ambassadors are Elizabeth Ogundairo and Arionna Wilson.
The Miss Black Sacramento Ambassadors are Alaina Dillingham and Mikayla Bowie.
The scholarship pageant is in its 51st year. The event was started as “Miss Black Beauty” back in 1970 by the late Velma Stokely-Flournoy and Jimmie Royster to “train young Black women for success and to encourage their academic pursuits.”
Judging this year’s pageant were Dr. Martha Burnett-Collins, Raymond Lambert, Jade Rogers, Ryan Harrison, Sr., Dr. Allegra Pickett, Rev. Dr. Roxanne Parks-Hayles, Jaylynn Jones, and OBSERVER Senior Staff Writer Genoa Barrow.
For contestants Annabelle Terry, Keyah Natae Brown and Judy Rasberry, the mother of former contestant Tamia Rasberry, served as talent judges.
To learn more about the 2022 pageant, visit www.missblacksacramento.org.