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I started loving pageants as a TEEN and I would always find myself glued to the T.V. when the Miss America Pageant would come on. I one day said "I can do that" and I want to try that... pageantry its called. Well I didn't know where to start or how to start so I just asked questions and of course I found answers. Mostly who I saw were white girls and no one of color appeared on the Miss America stage at that time. I was still moved to excitement and was not moved by color barriers. My main problem was I was poor and lived in a single mother household with no access to resources that could make this DREAM I was having happen. I would order teen pageant applications all the time only to never be able to enter due to money and also no one around me understood what pageants were really about. I was now around 14 and I learned about the Miss Black Teen Pageant in my town and I contacted the ladies in charge and OH BOY I was so happy to learn that I qualified to participate and they would help me . I learned how to raise money for needed cost and borrowed items . I had to showcase my talent BUT I never recieved piano lessons or dance ;only the classes I got in school for free. I had to create a talent and since I was a GREAT speaker I decided to perform a MONOLOGUE. I performed a monologue written by Langston Huges "Life Aint No Crystal Stair". I recieved a standing ovation and the crowd as well judges liked me. I didn't win the overall crown but I won a place. It was the PRIDE I felt in myself that forever changed my life... at least for a few weeks.
My life at home was not a good one and as I grew with big visions and goals so did problems at my home. I was constantly displaced so it was nearly impossible to become Miss America or Miss Black anything ! I entered High school and participated in two of my High School pageants ; I once borrowed my DRESS from a cousin who was fortunate and just did her high school pageant. She allowed me to hold one of her old dresses she was not in need of anymore. It was pretty to me and it really was. I didn't win any school pageants but always left with excitement. My big break came when I transferred schools and I learned I could enter the Miss Keenan Pageant and my chances to win were real good the school director told me . I had some experience now and I knew how to raise money, so I went on my own to raise the money I needed from sponsorships and I asked clothing stores in our local mall could I model their clothes in my local school pageant . They said YES sure , that would be a WIN WIN for us; Imagine how I felt. I was ready to win and all my friends came to see me on my BIG nite. Months of practice and I was ready. The big nite came and I was disqualified to participate because my mom didn't pay and couldn't afford the 100.00 required fee to the school. She said she would .. they told me I couldn't enter stage without the money. I was so dissapointed and crushed and EMBARRASSED.
I then felt well it would never happen and then all the bad that was in my life set in and I BECAME VICTIM TO WHAT I WAS WORKING HARD TO AVOID... TEEN PREGNANCY AND BY AGE 18, I HAD BIRTHED TWO CHILDREN...
I never did pageants again ! UNTIL 2003 and that was 1986.
2003 I entered my first pageant in 20 years. My daughter who I introduced to Pageantry and was becoming a well rounded young woman ;full of confidence and poise a lot to do with the world of Pageantry. SHE TOLD ME ONE DAY AS WE PREPARED FOR YET ANOTHER PAGEANT COMPETITION.."MOM STOP LIVING THROUGH ME AND DO A PAGEANT" that moment changed my life... this is my story...