First Miss Black Genez Selected at Blue Jeanz Pageant 2016
On February 20, 2016, history was made at the first annual Miss Black Genez – Blue Jeanz Pageant (MBG), when Tanya Ebonie was selected as the first Miss Black Genez.
The MBG Pageant, presented by RARE Genius Productions (Cre- ative Arts Collective) is the first African Centered pageant for Black women across the African Diaspo- ra, developed by Jeff and Jenavia Weaver of Philadelphia to:
1) establish a beauty standard based on the natural genetic fea- tures of Black women;
2) create an event that encapsulates the common ancestral, genetic and cultural (drum centered) thread shared by Black people and owned by Black women across the Diaspora;
3) exalt the physical image, the cultural vitality and prominence of Black wom- en to emancipate the minds and spir- its ofâ€œlittle Black girlsâ€who are taught (consciously or unconsciously) that they are ugly from birth and therefore, have no self-worth.
The Miss Black Genez – Blue Jeanz Pageant 2016
The six finalists were challenged to develop a business plan to be presented in a two minute â€œeleva- tor speechâ€ format, a Black/African history presentation, a personal talent or passion presentation, as well as a group dance routine.
Ebonie, after bringing down the house with her spell bounding presenta- tion of Miss Sojourner Truthâ€™s speech, â€œAinâ€™t I A Womanâ€, emerged as the favorite among the panel of judges called the â€œKingdom Keepersâ€ consist- ing of: Iya Oyin Hardy, Priestess of the Ifa Traditions; Ogbonna Hagins, Founder of Philly Word Magazine; Andrea Lawful Sanders, Educational Consultant and Advocate; Eric Marshall, Community College of Philadel- phia (CCP) Honors Student.
The event was held at Arcadia Universityâ€™s, courtesy of Founder/CEO of the Black Male Development Symposium, Dr. Doreen Loury. It was co-hosted by Marjani Clark, lead vocalist for the local Soul/Rock band â€œJohnny Popcornâ€, coordinator of the â€œKakewalkâ€, and whose image donned the ad and logo for the MBG Pageant.
Her co-host was the talented Maurice â€œFreshâ€ Thomas, a Philly native,Â CCP student, Spoken Word artist and local special events host. The head- line musical artist was Soul artist Jenae LaRoi who kicked off the event with a soul-stirring performance of songs entitled â€œDreamsâ€ and â€œ5/5 No Compromiseâ€, accompanied by Jeff Weaver, visionary for the MBG Pag- eant. Musical direction was provided by Speed Ridah Productions CEO Aubrey â€œSpeed Ridahâ€ Stanley, accompanied by Tyree â€œTop Dollarâ€ Dumas, Founder & CEO of the Dollarboyz. Other performances included â€œLevi the Traveling Master Drummerâ€ Jeff Weaver and co-host Clark, who delivered an original song, entitled, â€œLegendaryâ€ about the â€œswag, sway, style and sophisticationâ€ of Black women.
The BGQâ€™z (Black Genez Queenz)
The MBG Pageant, steeped in its African Centered format, was developed in the spirit of unification, negating the divisiveness found in â€œwestern styleâ€ pageants where in one winner is chosen and the other candidates are losers. Each of the MBG finalists were crowned as queens and am- bassadors of specific areas to unify cohesiveness among Black women. Collectively, they are all known as the â€œBGQâ€™zâ€ or â€œBlack Genez Queenzâ€ and in 2016 consist of:
Tanya Ebonie – Miss Black Genez 2016 – Associates Degree in Communi- cations/Journalism at Delaware County Community College, Bachelorâ€™s degree in Sociology from Temple University (Deanâ€™s List; three years in AmeriCorps service programs; Owner of â€œChosenâ€™s Treasuresâ€. Future: web series of reading stories by black authors, publishing a childrenâ€™s book, starting a youth non-profit.
Akela Mitchell – â€œRhythmâ€ Bennet College graduate May 2015. Applying to Law School Fall 2017. Strives to unify Black women through the common- ality of rhythm and drum centered culture.
Sherrelle Sweat – â€œBusinessâ€ Asso- ciates Degree CCP transferring to West Chester University. Imple- menting the concept of â€œSuSuâ€ to the BGQ Network.
Olasade Johnson – â€œGiftsâ€ Studying Psychology at CCP. Songwriter, Poet, MC.
Robin Brown – â€œKnowledgeâ€ Studying Nursing at CCP. Presented on â€œthe Berlin Conferenceâ€ at the Pageant.
Tiffany Savage – â€œGraceâ€ Model, Actress and Yoga Instructor. Strives to role model grace and beauty â€œthe African wayâ€ for young Black girls.
The Miss Black Genez Pageant was spawned from a song written by Mr. Weaver, â€œBlack Genez Make Blue Jeanz Tightâ€ which is also a chapter in his book, â€œ5/5 No Compromise: The Inalienable Human Rights & Souls of Black Folk!â€
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