Miss Grambling State University Rickenzie Johnikin hosted The Black Heritage Pageant this past Saturday.
The pageant featured 17 contestants that ranged from one to eight years old.
This is one of the goals Johnikin has accomplished in her reign as queen.
“I got the idea of the pageant back in the summer,” Johnikin said. “The preparation was approximately 7 months long. It was a challenge but by the grace of God the vision became a reality.”
The pageant took place in Johnikin’s hometown Farmerville, Louisiana at the Willie Davis Jr. Recreation Center.
The contestants competed for the categories of Tiny Miss Black Heritage, Little Miss Black Heritage, Junior Miss Black Heritage and Miss Black Heritage.
There were two runner ups for the categories of Tiny Miss Black Heritage and Little Miss Black Heritage.
“I just wanted to give back to my community,” Johnikin said. “I also wanted to show every young lady that’s in my community that they can do the same thing I’m doing and execute it even better. My main goal was to bring and spread positivity.”
Johnikin also received the help and support of several students and alumni. Former Miss Grambling State University Jimmitriv Roberson was in attendance for the pageant as a judge. Roberson recalls the joyous times she had in her early years being in pageants.
“I was honored to be chosen to help,” Roberson said. “I’ve been in many pageants ever since I was a little girl. My mother started me off in pageants and I continued it through my college years… It’s just always been a part of me being an outgoing person.”
During Roberson’s time as Miss Grambling State University 2017-2018, Johnkin served as Miss Sophomore 2017-2018. Roberson expressed how proud she is of Johnikin in her growth as a woman and expresses how important pageants are for the next generation.
“I believe that they are important because it helps young ladies to express themselves,” Roberson said. “They help to teach them how to be themselves instead of trying to put on a facade of who they are not. It is all about being yourself, expressing your personality, and just getting out there in confidence. Pageants can help you boost your confidence.”
Johnikin stated that she learned how to appreciate herself for who she is as a person and wishes to share that message with other young queens.
“The previous pageants have helped me step out of my comfort zone,” Johnikin said. “It also pushed and inspired me to be a better version of myself. I hope that everyone was inspired and moved in their own ways. I hope that this event brought light and positive energy to our community. With all of the darkness that is surrounding us it is always good to have something that will shed a little light and spread the love.”
Johnikin shares her words of inspiration to all the young queens on the rise to success.
“Be yourself, be unique and love yourself,” Johnikin said. “Love others and spread that love amongst and beyond your communities! Forgive even when it’s hard and always always keep your head held high regardless of the challenges you are facing.”