Leigh Moore


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Part 2 of College Heights Herald article about the 1999 Miss Black Western pageant:

Their talents defined womanhood - the strong, pulsing rhythm of black womanhood.

It flowed with the grace of Louisville freshman Kenithia Rorer's ballet gestures. it resonated in Aaron Taste's voice as she sang about hard knocks, "No way in, no way out of this ghetto." Taste is a freshman from Manhattan, New York.

It streamed out in support of black men in Lexington freshman Desiree Groves' monologue, "How can you judge me fairly?"

And it silenced the crowd as Dickerson, who was later crowned Miss Black Western 1999, portrayed a Hispanic teen holding the head of her crack-addicted mother in her hands.

At the end, audience members didn't know how to react.

"Some of it wasn't pageant appropriate," said Kiesha Gray, a former Western student from Hopkinsville, after the talent portion of the night was over. "But I give the girls props for getting up on stage."

Kelcey Rutledge, a graduate student from Madisonville, brought his little brother Aaron Campbell to the pageant.

"I like to support positive black events, and wanted to show my brother a good time," Rutledge said.

"It's different," Campbell said. "It's cool."


Western Kentucky University, Beauty Contests, Beauty Queens, African Americans, Blacks


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