A Crowning Moment


Snow fell on a stage decorated in cream and gold. Justin Timberlake sang “Sexy Back” in the background. Six diverse women walked on the stage in silver sequined dresses and introduced themselves to the audience.

One of these women would be chosen to reign as Alpha Phi Alpha’s new Ice Princess- Miss Black and Gold. That young woman is Jenelle Miller, a senior mass communication major from Los Angeles.

“I was nervous. I was shaking. I was happy, all at the same time,” said Miller after winning her title.

Hosted by Destyne Miller, Miss Gold 2005-2006 and Alonzo Blalock, sophomore class president, the annual Miss Black and Gold pageant featured a night full of talent, entertainment, and poise as the contestants gave the judges and the audience their all.

After introductions, Antwan Galloway performed the gospel hit “Praise is What I Do.” Next, it was time for the swimsuit competition. The ladies showcased a variety of colorful, vibrant one-piece and two pieces.

After the swimwear competition, Black Dynasty did a special exhibition, modeling Egyptian-inspired attire to the tune of Michael Jackson’s “Remember The Time”

The talent portion followed, with the pageants displaying several forms of talent including a rendition of Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You”, and “Lift Every Voice and Sing”. The talents also included a clarinet “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman” a monologue about a child soldier, a performance about God, and a piece by Beethoven on the piano.

“I was very nervous. But I was excited. It was a good rush!” said contestant Dionne Lee, a sophomore from Denver Colorado who won Miss Congeniality.

After a performance by Entourage, it was time for evening -wear. The ladies adorned themselves in elegant gowns, sequins and lace.

“They did an excellent job. The women were exquisite and beautiful,” said Terron Daniels a member of Alpha Phi Alpha from Milwaukee Wisconsin.

Now it was time for question and answer. The six contestants were asked questions about Rumsfeld and the recent elections.

Jeanette Sly, Miss Black and Gold 2005-2006, said her farewells and made her final walk. Now it was time to announce the winners. The title of Miss Black was given to Lateryl Mason, a sophomore from Jonesboro. Miss Gold was given to LaShondra Leonard, a sophomore from Pleasanthill.

“I feel really good knowing I [participated] as a heavyset girl,” said Leonard.

Destyne Miller, former Miss Gold reflected on working with the contestants to prepare for the big night.

“It’s nice to come back and work with the girls,” said Miller. It’s nice to see how they’ve grown. I think tonight proved hard work really pays off,” said Miller.

Christopher Jackson, chair of the pageant and president of Alpha Phi Alpha was pleased with the pageant as a whole.

“It was amazing for me, to see everything come together and to get to know the girls over the past six weeks,” said Jackson. “All of them were exceptionally good.”