Since 2004, the Mister HBCU competition has highlighted dedicated and distinguished young men and this year was no different when FAMU’s own, Armani Jones graced the stage in hopes of becoming the 19th Mister HBCU. The competition took place on January 28, 2023, in St. Louis, Missouri.
According to the Mister HBCU site, the mission of the competition is “To enhance the leadership skills of males attending HBCUs by creating an infrastructure for leadership that enables them to develop as spokespersons, role models and leaders in their respective universities and communities, while participating in a competition to serve as the reigning Mister HBCU.” Armani Jones who serves as a role model on campus embodies this effortlessly and his charisma paired with an impactful monologue landed him on the court with the esteemed title of Mister Talent for 2023-2024.
Jones, a Jacksonville native has worked diligently as Mister FAMU over the past school year, but while others may think the impact is based on events, Jones had a different approach for leaving his mark on this university. “ I made my experience what it was because I was authentically myself and people saw that and gravitated towards me,” said Jones. “I am ever so thankful for all the love and support given unto me through this monumental time in my life.”
Jones is known for being a genuine and kind soul who is beloved by many students and faculty and constantly reminds himself that “ I wear the crown, the crown does not wear me.” further emphasizing self-awareness in the HBCU culture.
Armani ran for Mister HBCU for a plethora of reasons but his main goal was to “expand the platform that I have already established as Mister Florida A&M University and provide the resources, connections, and networks to all of the other Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the nation. “
Although Jones did not win the title of Mister HBCU, he took away many things from the competition
including winning the social media challenge. When asked what he gained from this conference, Jones responded “Attending this conference allowed me to gain insight on student leadership at other institutions and the problems that they face with lack of resources, funding, and even support .” Jones felt that this competition reinforced his appreciation for FAMU and all the support he receives from his peers.