Pageant Queen Reminisces on Black History Month

black-history-month-1by Loraina Calderon-London

There is one month throughout the entire year that African Americans are given the opportunity to openly celebrate African descent in America. It is known as Black History Month and there is a lot worth remembering from slavery all the way to the second reelection of the country’s first black president.

As a young adult who’s personally faced a bit of prejudice, even in this day and age, there still are things that need to be known. For instance that around the country people who aren’t Caucasian are still being discriminated against. Three years ago, I attended a Chili Cookoff in Leona Valley as the Junior Miss Black Chamber of Commerce.  At the event, my fellow sister queens and I were confronted with questions such as, “Why does the BLACK Chamber of Commerce need Queens?” I, being about 13-14, was shocked by the question and failed to understand what it was truly about.

For years young ladies like myself have ran in community pageants and. though the efforts were seen to be the best, they still weren’t awarded the title they sought.  To this day, I’m unsure if it is actual discrimination, but the last 5 years I have been giving my best efforts to combat this. It is actually very unfortunate that I have to deal with problems like this considering decades ago people like Martin Luther King Jr. spoke to discrimination issues.

I love what I do and wouldn’t change a day of it for anything. The fact that it is 2015 and entirely new pageants had to be created just to get some representation is ridiculous. As the past Miss Juneteenth and reigning Supreme Miss Latina AV, I believe wholeheartedly in not only knowing where you come from but also to be able to speak for yourself.

This is something that fueled the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, to speak for yourself and fight for what you believe is right. Black History month is not only a time to remember how others have trail blazed but to also utilize their efforts and teachings.