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October 24, 1995 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-10-24

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 24, 1995

Black and Gold Contest promotes talent and pride

By Eugene Bowen
Daily Arts Writer
Competition was fierce and the go-
ing wasn't always easy. So when Harriet
Russell - a proud, determined, inde-
pendent African-American woman -
says she is Miss Black & Gold 1995,
don't think the title was given to her.
She earned it. Russell's grandmother
best voiced how she felt screaming "I
don't believe this!" as her
granddaughter's-name was announced.
After all, Russell did enter this compe-
tition on a dare from fellow competitor,
Alisha Jefferson.
"If it were not for my mother, my
sister, my grandmother and those but-
terflies, I would not be so amazed," she
Now, Russell will represent the Ep-
silon Chapter of the historically Black
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. in
state competition - along with the
winners of the other Miss Black &
Gold Pageants sponsored by over 700
chapters of the fraternity nationwide.
Considering the talent displayed by
the eight other competitors, if Russell
has what it takes to defeat them, her
chances of winning state are better
than good.
The night began with the competitors
one by one strutting their stuff on stage
flaunting their individual styles.
First up was senior Lael Wright whose
fire-engine red jacket embedded with
golden beads exemplified her obviously
outgoing personality. Freshman Chas-

-, - -MMMMM09

Miss Black and
Gold Contest
Friday, October 20, 1995
Michigan Union Ballroom
tity Dotson traveled a fine line between
radiance and earthen beauty with her
black, flower-embroidered silken skirt
and tan blouse.
Senior Alisha Jefferson's radiant
smile, and the silken, scarf-adorned
outfit which accentuated her full-
figured physique, would be a per-
fect complement to any Sunday pic-
nic excursion, and freshman Chanda
Morris' booming voice and confi-
dence - not to mention her high-
powered, all black pants outfit -
presented an aura of strength and
charisma that glowed.
Freshman Mikerra Bostic entered the
stage with one of the most unforget-
table looks of friendliness and childlike
innocence I've ever seen; this strongly
contrasted with junior Adero Fleming,
a self-proclaimed "child of God and
your future leader" whose black, short-
skirt outfit offered a heaping dose of
sexy radiance.
Senior Petra Petway carried herself
businesslike in a black-and-white skirt
suit. Russell's walking style - part
march / part strut - exemplified both

feminine strength and persistence, and
freshman Christina McPhail's '80s-
style brown outfit hugged her in all the
right places.
These were the women vying to wear
the crown that Miss Black & Gold 1994,
Patrice Petway, has worn for the past
year. While the parade of contestants
placed the women on equal footing, it
was the talent competition which helped
to distinguish many of these women.
Bostic's performance of Maya
Angelou's "Still I Rise," though nice,
was short compared to the more
lengthy performances of her fellow
contestants. Jefferson's recitation of
Angelou's "I Grandmother" was also
very decent, showing only one no-
ticeable flaw. The night was not so
good to singers, though. Although
Russell did a fairly good job of per-
forming Whitney Houston's
"Miracle," the cracks were a few too
numerous to be forgotten. And,
Morris' sign language didn't comple-
ment her vocal performance of "Let
Us Worship Him." It made up for it.
There was no hiding the fact that
Petway's violin solo didn't go very
well, and her facial expression showed
she knew this, too.
Both Wright's and Dotson's dramatic
interpretations were outstanding. The
most innovative performances belonged
to Fleming and McPhail. Fleming'sthe-
ater expertise did her well in her excel-
lent dramatic interpretation of B.
Spencer's "A Black Woman Speaks"

where she plays the part of a white
woman reading the diary of a Black
female slave, and McPhail's Bach rep-
ertoire on the baby grand was virtually
flawless and worthy of the standing
ovation it received from some.
Coming not a moment too soon was
the bathing suit contest, offering con-
testants a chance to make up some much
needed points. Although this part of the
competition was the lowest-scored, the
contestants sported their mandatory one-
pieces in an attempt to garner as many
points as possible. Dotson embodied
ecstasy in her royal purple swimsuit,
and Morris looked quite, uh, perky in
her deep blue ensemble. Fleming an-
swered the call of the wild (and men's
dreams) in her leopard-skin bathing suit,
whereas Russell sported a virgin purity
in her all-white suit.
The closing event included an
evening-gown / oral expression pre-
sentation. The contestants offered a
variety of opinions about topics in-
cluding the O.J. Simpson verdict,
Colin Powell as the nation's first Af-
rican-American president and the feel-
ing of racial separation on the Univer-
sity campus.
As chapter president Sean Franklin
stated in his opening remarks, "This
program is more than just a pageant, it
is meant to highlight the charisma, in-
telligence and charm of the African-
American women before you." In the
end, the three-woman, four-man judg-
ing panel felt that it was Russell's

beauty, charm, poise and strength which
best exemplified the type of African-
American woman meant to wear the
crown of Miss Black and Gold. Wright
was first runner-up and Dotson won
second runner-up.
Harriet Russell also won a scholar-

ship prize, as well as climbing one
step closer to competing in the Na-
tional Miss Black & Gold U.S.A. Pag-
eant. It was first sponsored by Alpha
Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. in 1976.
Not bad for a woman who competed
on a dare.

Continued from page 9
The Beat Farmers
Sector 2 Records
Whiskey-soaked, bar-razed, and full
of FM guitar licks, The Beat Farmers1
have established their own brand of
neo-country rock that really isn't all
that original. If John Cougar
Mellencamp and John Fogarty had
teamed up with Mojo Nixon, they would
have sounded like this, too.
The Beat Farmers are in every sense
a hometown bar band. The hot licks go
on and on, trekking through a barren
landscape of country and blues honky-
tonk we have seen many times before.
But, with an occasional brew drinking
anthem or jug-stomp, The Beat Farm-
ers do manage to rise above a lot of
contemporary country.
With the occasional bellow of way-
low Country Dick Montana, The Beat

Farmers sometimes sound like Johnny
Cash singing with Moio Nixon's band.
Rich, low andnearly off-key, Montana's
vocals are a highlight of Manifold.
Never moving out of his low-range,
Montana groans each song to its sweet
But unfortunately, Montana does not
sing on most of the songs. Instead, his
bandmates Jerry Raney and Joey Har-
ris' do; their generic drawls are the
main voices on manifold.
Yet, where the Farmers sometimes
fall short vocally, they often make up
for with their lyrics. Commenting on
everything from Elvis to social secu-
rity, The Beat Farmers embrace humor,
religion and politics, making it clear
that they are not crooners, but bar-stool-
warmers, capable of speaking in
drunken humor on a wide variety of
Though it has been done before, The
Beat Farmers pull together a fairly de-
cent album with the sound and wit of
-Josh Biggs

Win free tickets to
Sigourney's new film

Would you like to
win a pair of free
tickets to an
advanced screening
of the new
Sigourne Weaver-
Holly Hunter
mystery movie
"Cop cat?" Then
stop the daily
Street) any time
today and just tell us
two other movies
that have featured
S' ourneyWeaver
ictured left).
C'mon. You've only
got one day to do it.
I dare you.

Give in to the Mall
Did ya' love last-year's wacky, convenience-store epic "Clerks?" Well, then you'll
be sure to love "Clerks" director Kevin Smith's latest opus, "Mallrats." Tracing a
day-in-the-life of two jilted lovers, T.S. (Jeremy London) and Brodle (skateboarder
Jason Lee), the film is simple, direct and craftily amusing. Wanna win a way cool
poster of the gang, a set of trading cards or other mall-memorabilia? To enter, all
you need to do is call the arts office at 763-0379 on either Tuesday or
Wednesday between 10a.m. and 6p.m. and prepare to get malied.




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