After a week off beautiful ladies in Kansas City, certain there’s at least a large group of men, who hope to see the pageant return. But the benefits of drawing a national pageant of that stature to the Kansas City area goes beyond a chance to mix and mingle with beauty pageant contestants.

“For me, it was an opportunity to showcase an important African-American event in a time when our state, Missouri, has had a lot of issues with regard to our relationship with African-American individuals, said Kansas City, MO Vice-Mayor Scott Wagner.

While things may not always be great in Kansas City between the establishment and the African-American community, Wagner was particularly concerned about the impact the travel ban the NAACP placed on Missouri is having on Kansas City.

“We don’t solve long-standing racial issues in our community necessarily though one event, but I felt like it would be an opportunity to showcase how welcoming we could be.”

That welcoming spirit is what helped attract the pageant to Kansas City for their 50th Anniversary pageant.

“Kansas City really rolled out the red carpet,” said Aleta Anderson, executive producer of the Miss Black America Pageant.

When the pageant site selection committee came to Kansas City for a visit, they were impressed with the history of the City and how City officials and leaders were excited about having the pageant in KC and offered their support.

The first Miss Black America pageant was held in New Jersey, the next year they were in Madison Square Garden. Over the years, the pageant has moved a lot, but since their resurgence, the pageant has stuck close to their home-base Philadelphia.

In a conversation with Anderson before she arrived in Kansas City, she made it clear the pageant was looking for a home, and a long-term relations.

“No one likes to move,” said Anderson. “It would be wonderful to find a home that’s a good match.

Although that was part of the orginal conversation, Wagner says, a long term agreement hasn’t been made to keep the pageant in Kansas City.

“If it makes sense to them that Kansas City is a long-term solution, we are certainly interested in that conversation,” said Wagner.

It’s a conversation Wagner says he hopes to have with pageant owners, but just days after the successful pageant he says, “We’ll give them some time.”

What Wagner says he’s looking forward to next, is the benefits Kansas City will gain when the pageant airs on television early next year.

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Bonita Gooch

Since 1996, Bonita has served as as Editor-in-Chief of The Community Voice newspaper. As the owner, she has guided the Wichita-based publication’s growth in reach across the state of Kansas and into...

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