Black pageant to highlight culture

By Claudia Curry

The fourth annual Miss Black NIU African Cultural Pageant, schedule for Feb. 25 in the Music Building Concert Hall, will offer the NIU community a rare presentation of Afro-American culture.

Pamela Bozeman, Miss Black NIU Pageant choreographer, said, “This show is not just a pageant.” There are four weeks of workshops scheduled for the contestants to attend that Bozeman said “will help the women become more familiar with African culture and help the contestants prepare for both a physical and mental commitment.”

Bozeman said the pageant is a presentation of what the contestants learned about African women and culture through the workshops. She said the purpose of the show is to help the community become more sensitive toward a different culture.

“It allows the public an opportunity to learn a lot more about Black-African women and it is a great bonding experience for all the women involved. It gives the contestants a new positive understanding of Afro-American women, their culture, history and ideology,” she said.

The Miss Black NIU pageant committee is still looking for contestants. Applications are available at the NIU Center for Black Studies until Feb. 6. Those interested can contact Dionne Lewis, the pageant coordinator.

Categories of compeition are African garment, talent and questions of social importance.

The pageant is planned as part of Black Heritage Month in February. The first event is a black issues forum scheduled for Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

The forum is titled “Black history: the meaning, significance and future implications of Black Heritage Month in the United States.” It is open to all students and will be held in the Wesley Foundation building.