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Queen of Black excellence named at Homecoming Royalty Pageant

This year’s Beauty in Culture Homecoming Royalty Pageant queen wore confidence with style and grace.

Girl Speaks
Kerrianaa Tatum laughs with Bridgette Johnson during the question section of the pageant. (Devin Cornelius | Collegian)

On Oct. 7, Kerriana Tatum was crowned queen at the annual Homecoming Royalty Pageant hosted by the Black/African American Cultural Center. As a Queen indeed, Tatum represented what it means to be beautiful inside and out. 

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“It feels amazing to be unapologetically comfortable in my own skin,” Tatum said. “Expressing myself and representing my people and being rewarded and honored because of it.”

New to the pageant scene, Kerriana expressed the unique experience participating in a competition that looked beyond superficial standards of beauty.

“I was nervous the whole time,” Tatum said. “I knew that I would be presenting myself in an environment entirely foreign to me, but it felt great.”

Currently, in her third year majoring in English, Tatum said participating in the pageant made her look at such competitions in a different light. With a multitude of expressions of Black culture represented, Tatum says the talent category resonated with her.

“As Black people, we are not always given the chance to express ourselves in a unique way, and often have to suppress aspects of our identities for comfortability. The BAACC Homecoming Pageant created a space for Blackness to flourish and liberate us.” -Kerriana Tatum, 2018 Homecoming Royalty Pageant Queen

“My favorite part, besides connecting with other contestants, was displaying my vulnerability within my talent,” Tatum said. “Reading my poetry out loud was a clarifying and gratifying experience.”

Tatum is also affiliated with Greek life on campus, representing Zeta Phi Beta sorority which was a motivating factor in her decision to compete in this year’s pageant.

“I always want[ed] to represent and be visible within Zeta Phi Beta,” Tatum said. “So joining the pageant was another way of showing support for my sorority while also being a support for my Black comrades on campus.”

The Homecoming Royalty Pageant is one of many events held annually for CSU’s homecoming week. According to the BAACC office, The Homecoming Royalty Pageant aims to go beyond physical beauty, measuring the contestant’s character and inner beauty through a series of categories including interviews, talent, and formal wear.

“As Black people, we are not always given the chance to express ourselves in a unique way, and often have to suppress aspects of our identities for comfortability,” Tatum said.  “The BAACC Homecoming Pageant created a space for Blackness to flourish and liberate us.”

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Learn about more events during Homecoming week at homecoming.colostate.edu

Deja Calloway can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com and on Twitter @callowaydeja. Collegian Arts and Culture Director Sarah Ehrlich contributed to this report.

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About the Contributor
DEVIN CORNELIUS
DEVIN CORNELIUS, Digital Managing Editor
Devin Cornelius is the digital managing editor for The Collegian. He is a fifth-year computer science major from Austin, Texas. He moved to Colorado State University and started working for The Collegian in 2017 as a photographer. His passion for photography began in high school, so finding a photography job in college was one of his top priorities. He primarily takes sports photos, volleyball being his favorite to shoot. Having been on The Collegian staff for 4 1/2 years, he's watched the paper evolve from a daily to a weekly paper, and being involved in this transition is interesting and exciting. Although Cornelius is a computer science major, his time at The Collegian has been the most fulfilling experience in his college career — he has loved every second. From working 12-hour days to taking photos in Las Vegas for the Mountain West Conference, he cannot think of a better place to work. Working as a photographer for The Collegian pushed him outside of his comfort zone, taking him places that he never expected and making him the photographer he is today. As the digital managing editor, Cornelius oversees the photos, graphics and social media of The Collegian along with other small tech things. Working on the editorial staff with Katrina Leibee and Serena Bettis has been super fun and extremely rewarding, and together they have been pushing The Collegian toward being an alt-weekly. Outside of The Collegian, he enjoys playing volleyball, rugby, tumbling and a variety of video games. When in Austin, you can find him out on the lake, wake surfing, wake boarding and tubing. You can expect that Cornelius and the rest of The Collegian staff will do their best to provide you with interesting and exciting content.

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