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Alpha Phi Alpha crowns Miss Black and Gold 2005

Nov. 10, 2005

by KORIN TORRENCE, reporter

Alpha Phi Alpha members crowned Winner's name Miss Black and Gold 2005 on Wednesday night during the fraternity's 13th annual scholarship pageant.

Je'Lonna Rideau, a Houston junior, received a $1,000 scholarship and will serve as a spokeswoman for the Tau Alpha Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha.

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Jamie Westmoreland | Lariat staff
Je'Lonna Rideau, a Houston junior, was crowned Miss Black and Gold Wednesday in the Bill Daniel Center.
The Miss Black & Gold Scholarship Pageant, held in the Bill Daniel Student Center, serves as a reminder that beauty and brains isn't only personally rewarding but also exemplifies the appeal of African-American culture.

"Miss Black and Gold gives our fraternity the opportunity to give back to the students on campus and showcase the overall great attributes within African-American females here at Baylor," Missouri City senior Colin McKentie, an Alpha Phi Alpha member, said.

For more a decade, Alpha Phi Alpha has provided women at Baylor with thousands of dollars in scholarships. This year, Alpha Phi Alpha raised nearly $5,000 to fund this event.

"With such a small percentage of the Baylor population being African-American, it is essential that we promote events that allow us to show our diversity and our achievements," McKentie said. "This pageant is more than just pretty faces and dresses. It focuses on academia and the overall presentation of what it means to be a black woman."

The scholarship pageant was established by the national chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Inc. to empower and celebrate college women. Chapters across the country hold pageants around this time of year so they can send their contestants on to competitions at the state and national level.

"Baylor students that attend this event to broaden their views on the African-American culture here at Baylor ... saw why this event is of such a great magnitude not just here at Baylor, but around college campuses across the U.S.," McKentie said.

Eight girls competed in this year's pageant in the categories of formal interview, achievements, performing arts, and question and answer.

"This is a group of bright girls that defy typical stereotypes and stand out in their own particular way," Houston freshman Stephanie Watson, a pageant contestant, said. "This pageant is an opportunity to project a positive image of the black community."

In preparation for the pageant, contestants worked together to memorize a dance routine in addition to speaking parts.

"Miss Black and Gold gives girls the ability to interact with others and gain ... an opportunity to learn different aspects of life, professionally and socially," Dallas freshman Cymphoni Borner, a pageant contestant, said.

Judges for the pageant were faculty members and Baylor alumni of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.