Crowd Roars at Pageant

One question hung over the heads of attendees after candidates for top honors at Florida A&M appeared together Saturday: Who will be this year’s Mr. and Ms. FAMU?

The Mr. and Ms. Florida A&M University Pageant and Spirit Showcase had a packed house as contestants prepared to battle it out for the crown.

The candidates for Ms. FAMU are Nakena R. Cromartie, Chelsea Earby and Tiffany R. McLeod. The candidates for Mr. FAMU are Fred Johnson, Antonio Williams Jr. and Michael Antonio Woodward Jr.

The stage curtains opened and the audience went crazy with applause, screaming out the name of the candidate they wanted to win.

“This is probably going to be one of the toughest competitions that I have seen so far,” said Kashari Cone, 22, a senior criminal justice student from Orlando.

During the Mr. and Ms. FAMU talent portion of the show, the candidates’ names were thunderously chanted after each performance. Crazed fans became energized, humored and emotional from the presentations. The displays consisted of dance, a historical presentation, speeches and even drumming.

Vivian Bradley Johnson, who reigned as Ms. FAMU in 1981-1982, had a word of advice for the next title-holder.

“You must remember that you are representing the university and you should always be willing to help others in your role,” said Johnson, who graduated from FAMU’s College of Pharmacy.

Demetria Henderson, former Ms. FAMU 2009-2010 and seventh-grade teacher in Miami for Teach for America, agreed.

“It is my desire that the 2011-2012 Ms. FAMU carry on the tradition of excellence with caring,” said Henderson.

Joseph Agboola, Mr. FAMU 2010-2011, also had advice for the next Mr. FAMU.

“Be true to the people and know yourself, because you’re going to be tested a lot of times during your reign,” said Agboola.