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HBCU Pageant Traditions

It’s April and it’s election season! We are gearing up to announce the newest Misses and Misters of our illustrious universities, but what is the pageant system like at these HBCUs? Well I'm here to tell you; some universities decided around the time they were founded to implement pageantry systems into their daily campus life.

For these positions, the candidates would go through an 1-2 week election period. During this time they would bring gifts, host forums, and present their platforms to the general student body to collect votes. The winners serve a one year term giving tours, traveling, and representing their universities on both a state and global level. There are usually more than one set of queens on most campuses in addition to the royal court systems. Some schools like, THE Grambling State University hold pageants for them as well. There are also nominations for departmental and organizational kings and queens, in addition to representing their universities, who represent a unique organization such as Mr. and Miss NAACP or Miss Texas Club. This tradition goes back as far as when the first HBCU was formed. It was meant to give women and in some instances, men the opportunity to go beyond their traditional college experience. The duties of these women and men are not to simply “look good” while in their professional attire, but to lead, serve, and exemplify their universities.

Additional advice: If you or anyone you know is interested in running for one of these positions, know yourself, know your students, know your school, and know your platform.

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