By Chilonda Medlock
Despite the first snowfall in December, which quickly turned driving conditions on the road from typical to treacherous, the community came out in respectable numbers. Approximately 150 people came out to support a worthwhile event, the Miss Black Minnesota USA 2012 Pageant.
The event took place Saturday, December 3, 2011 at the Hopkins High School in Minnetonka. Seventeen young ladies ranging in ages as young as five to 21 years old participated. The competition is an annual event that provides girls and young women an opportunity to showcase their talent and to speak about their future aspirations.
The young ladies are judged not merely on beauty, but brains as well. The pageant included talent, interview, and formal wear competitions. National recording artists Ruben Studdard and Paris Bennett were the feature guest musicians. Local jazz group Wenso Ashby kept the crowd entertained throughout the evening.
The master of ceremonies was comedian Shedrick Garrett from Denver, CO and his co-host was former Miss Black Minnesota USA 2005 Celi Dean.
At the end of the three-hour-long program, each contestant was awarded a participation trophy. Trophies were also handed out for Miss Photogenic, Best Artist, Best Essay, and Most Advertisement Sales Award.
Ronda Holiday was crowned Princess. Aquila Griffin was crowned Miss Pre-Teen. Sina Kassaw was crowned Miss Talented Teen.
The show concluded with the crowning of Miss Black Minnesota USA 2012, Brittany Lynch, a 21-year-old St. Paul native and junior attending the University of Minnesota (and the daughter of this writer).
Brittany’s résumé is impressive and ever growing. Always thinking outside of the box, she is creating her own major with concentrations in business entrepreneurship, cinema, and theater arts. After three years of service, she is now the president of the urban arts coalition Voices Merging, a group dedicated to educating and empowering the community through spoken word and the urban arts.
Her service work also includes being a chair member for Marnita’s Table and the Youth Advisory Board. In August 2011, Brittany collaborated with Capitol Fellowship SDA Church to create bi-weekly youth-based and family-oriented programs.
Her future ambitions include a career in pageantry, music, theater, film, spoken word, literature, nonprofit management, community activism, and several other entrepreneurial endeavors.
Over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend, Brittany traveled to our nation’s capital, Washington D.C., to attend the Go Red for Women Campaign. The other reigning queens competing in the Miss Black USA Pageant from 35 states were also in attendance. The group did a photo shoot and attended workshops.
Miss Black Minnesota USA is currently writing her first book, which remains untitled. One of Brittany’s favorite quotes that she’s written so far is, “I didn’t fully recognize the God in me until I learned to bear my own cross,” coming from a chapter she wrote about the life lessons and blessings that are present even in the toughest of situations.
Taking a notebook with her wherever she goes, she continues to develop her skills as a writer through music and poetry. Working on a solo music project in collaboration with the Composition Kings, a local recording and production company, she hopes to change the misconceptions of women in hip hop and relay positive messages in her music.
With a large network and even larger dreams, Brittany hopes to use her many connections and aspirations to help those young and old reach their full potential.
“Not only is becoming Miss Black Minnesota and Miss Black USA my dream, but I’ve been put on this earth to fulfill a purpose,” she says. “I strongly believe that my purpose is to share my light and my story with others. As Miss Black Minnesota USA, I plan to fulfill that purpose and let everyone know that I made it despite everything that I’ve been through, and that through Him all things are possible.”
Brittany will compete in August 2012 for the National Miss Black USA Title.
For more information about Miss Black Minnesota USA Brittany Lynch, call 612-695-7505 or go to www.facebook.com/pages/Miss-Black-Minnesota-USA-2012-Brittany- Lynch/317979211569646?sk=info.
Chilonda Medlock is the mother of Brittany Lynch and handles her publicity and appearances.