Florida A&M University’s Royal Court would have been completing its fall reign this semester, along with walking the football stadium during games, recruiting interested Rattlers and hosting events for the FAMU community.
The Royal Court is composed of positions such as Miss FAMU, Mr. FAMU, King and Queen of Orange and Green, class attendants and escorts. The purpose of Royal Courts at HBCUs is to recruit, to add to their school’s brand.
But with the pandemic currently going on it makes these tasks a little complicated.
Over the years previous Royal Courts have attended conferences, hosted events, and even made appearances on behalf of the university. They have traveled the states for recruitment.
“Having the opportunity to reign has been a blessing in disguise,” Erika Johnson, the 114th Miss FAMU, said. “Reigning in this pandemic allowed me to be creative. I’m just excited to be in this position,” Johnson added.
Johnson is a fourth-year voice performance major from Dallas, and she is the third Miss FAMU in her immediate family. Johnson anticipated a plethora of events for the student body this school year . Unfortunately she was forced to rethink the production of these for her reign during the pandemic.
Johnson has continued to build connections with the community and interested Rattlers by hosting events and recruiting on Zoom. This has helped Johnson and the rest of the court complete some of their platform points.
“We have meetings and conferences with high schools in the North along with a lot of online meetings for the region,” Johnson said.
Mr. and Miss FAMU are both passionate about giving back to where they are from. Both are out-of-state students.
“Personally, I know the challenges that arts students face. There aren’t many HBCU alumni representatives that are in the performing arts,” Johnson said.
Johnson wants to be that beacon of light for any arts student interested in attending an HBCU.
“It’s always a pleasure getting on different calls and getting familiar with other interesting students,” Kimani Jackson, the 21st Mr. FAMU, said.“Becoming transparent with them and sharing stories with them about my experience at an HBCU has been my favorite part.”
Jackson is also a fourth-year vocal performance student. He’s from Brooklyn, New York.
“During my reign as Mr. FAMU I have completed all of my platform points,” Jackson said. “Some of these include global media coverage through the arts and a poem that me and Miss FAMU put together.”
Jackson and Johnson have pushed out music partnering with Sony to shine a light on HBCU culture. Along with the music project they partnered with other HBCU Kings and Queens to produce the video of their poem, “Stand your crown.”
Aside from the arts, Jackson said they have done some community work with health and fitness. “The fitness plan can be found on the Royal Court Instagram page, @famuroyalcourt,” Jackson said.
Micheal Moore is a fourth-year journalism major from Pensacola, and he holds the position of King of Orange and Green. He plans on pushing one main platform point, community involvement.
“I want to partner with the youth of Tallahassee. They are right in the backyard of FAMU and I want them to see how FAMU really is and not just the homecoming activities they see once a year,” he said.
Moore has some plans for the men of the community that he wants to showcase in the spring semester.
To add to Moore’s plan, the Royal Court is planning more recruiting events and activities that will be released in the next few months.