The Miss Black Minnesota Pageant is set to crown a new queen – and she will have a lofty standard to maintain following the accomplishments of the current titleholder.
The pageant, in less than its second year under executive director Tiffany Ramm, is set to crown queens in its Princess, Talented Teen and Miss divisions on Sunday, Sept. 8 at Cooper High School Auditorium, 8230 47th Ave. N., New Hope. The pageant begins at 5 p.m. Tickets for the event are $10 in advance at www.missblackminnesota.org or $15 at the door.
Whoever takes the Miss title; the winner has some big shoes to fill. Outgoing queen, Krystle Igbo placed 1st runner up in what was called a "very close" judges' decision during the recently held national Miss Black USA Pageant in Washington, D.C.
"When I speak of the experience (of competing for the national crown) the first thing I say is I was amazed at the caliber of women that were represented," said Igbo, who is a past Miss Minnesota for the National American Miss Association. "A lot of the women are in graduate school or running a business or nonprofit. It was truly the best of the best."
Amanda McCoy of North Carolina was awarded the crown of Miss Black USA.
For director Ramm, the Miss Black Minnesota Pageant is a labor of love and a dream fulfilled – fulfilled at an early age, as Ramm is just 26-years-old.
"I'm the youngest pageant director of the Miss Black USA network – probably one of the youngest of any pageant," said Ramm. "I'm actually still young enough to compete in the pageant I direct."
Contestants in the Miss Black Minnesota Pageant can compete up until the age of 27.
The young director took over the pageant in April of last year, following a rocky few years for the organization, where for a time it looked as if it would go defunct. But Ramm, who volunteered as a pageant coach prior to her taking over as director, stepped up to help save the organization.
"My big thing is to bring back integrity to the pageant," said Ramm, who said queens are required to volunteer at least twice a month to their chosen platform.
Contestants who compete in the pageant in the teen and miss divisions vie for the title and up to $500 in scholarships. Ramm hopes to increase that amount in future competitions.
"The main thing is I want to be a strong role model for African-American girls and women," said Ramm.
"This title is a lot more meaningful than my other titles because I was able to positively represent young women of color," said the reigning queen.