LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - The winner of Miss Black Cameron University 2016 was crowned Saturday night at University Theater. Sarae Simpson was the winner of the pageant that was started 37 years ago, and still going strong today.
The other competitors were Alexsis Page, Sujana Rupakheti, Reagan Williams, and Toluwalope Adeyemi. They competed for a scholarship, but also for the chance to promote their chosen platforms across Cameron University's campus for a year.
There was some controversy with the pageant rules and who could compete but Pageant director Taylor Thompson says the Miss Black pageant is open to everyone, no matter their race.
"We do not promote discrimination in our pageant, and that's not really the goal of what we are trying to do," said Thompson. "We are celebrating women, celebrating women of all walks of life."
The contestants say it was a lot of work leading up the pageant. They rehearsed routines and speeches for months before Saturday night. Some of the contestants say they learned to build confidence, and learned to all work together even though they are competing against each other.