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  • Daingerfield Bee

    Northeast Texas Miss Juneteenth pageant turning heads for a third year

    By Nicole Kimball In The Darkness Of The Whatley Center For Performing Arts On The Ntcc Campus, Excitement And Admiration Filled The Air As Friends And Family Cheered On The Talented Young Ladies Who Held Their Heads High And,

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    In the darkness of the Whatley Center for Performing Arts on the NTCC campus, excitement and admiration filled the air as friends and family cheered on the talented young ladies who held their heads high and showed their radiance beneath the spotlight for the annual Northeast Texas Miss Juneteenth Pageant.

    It was on Saturday, June 1, that the pageant ran for its official third year in a row. It splits into four categories: Petite Miss Juneteenth, Young Miss Juneteenth, Junior Miss Juneteenth, and Miss Juneteenth.

    Karrie Hargrave, founder and coordinator for the Northeast Texas Miss Juneteenth pageant, explained how and why she started the pageant for this area, “I went on a birthday trip to Nashville, and on my way home back to Texas, I stopped at the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee. I saw the statues, the monuments, the videos of all that my ancestors had been through. I came home thinking I have to do something in my community to teach our young girls about Juneteenth or about African American history. Sometimes, when we get everything that we want, we forget where we come from.” Juneteenth became an official holiday in 2021. According to the National Museum of African- American History and Culture, “the name is a play on the date of June 19th, 1865. On that day, the Union Army made its way into Galveston, TX under the leadership of General Gordon Granger, and he announced to the people of Texas that all enslaved African Americans were free.”

    With that celebration in mind, the pageant seeks to uplift young black women of all shades, shapes, and sizes. The theme of this year’s pageant was “black, beauty, and brains”.

    “Sometimes society says your certain size is not beautiful,” Hargrave said. “But it is and I can remember when I competed in a pageant, I was the smaller size, you know, so it was easy for me. But now I’m a full -figured woman and I’m learning how to dress myself and still be confident in the body I am now. So it’s all just about building your value, your self-worth, knowing that you’re beautiful and you are loved and you are worthy of everything that you desire. Size does not matter here.”

    Throughout the pageant, the audience was dazzled– not just by fashion, but also by talent. The young ladies showed off singing, dancing, gymnastics, poetry, and boxing. They glided across the stage in their most “wow”-worthy outfits and impressed in glamorous evening gowns.

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