Melanin magic: Miss Black NY USA
VANESSA LOVE | 7/3/2019, 1:14 p.m.
The Queen of New York State, Shannon N. Alomar, advocates for young Black men and women, letting them know that they are more than what society defines them as.
Alomar graduated from Hofstra University with a degree in communications. She defines her experience at Hofstra as metamorphic.
While attending Hofstra, a predominantly white university, she did face preconceived notions from some professors and students about what it meant to be a “typical Black girl.”
With these experiences, she rose to the occasion and did not let them define her.
Alomar feels that as a Black community we do need a safe space that helps us build our community and connect with each other.
Alomar says that according to “Trampleee the Pipeline,” her platform, “the three e’s stand for ending the school to prison pipeline, encouraging meaningful rehabilitation of youth within the prison system, and also enhancing youth involvement activities.”
Since she gained her title, she has held workshops for youth who are considered at-risk. At these programs, she reassures the youth that they are more than what society deems them.
She sees that this is rampant within the Black community, and has made it her goal to advocate for young Black men and young adults, who are also in juvenile detention centers and in the foster care system.
She also works with the national organization Cut 50. This group works to reduce the recidivism rates within the country to 50 percent by the year 2021. Recidivism is a cycle that people go through when they get incarcerated.
“I noticed that a huge majority of those people who fall into that category
started as youth offenders,” said Alomar.
Sitting in the Amsterdam News’ Harlem offices, the Bronx-native said that she hopes to become a director for the state of New York and create pageant opportunities for young Black women to showcase their on-stage talents.
In August, the vibrant 24-year-old will attend the Miss Black USA pageant in Washington, D.C. She does hope to win this competition and continue her reign; however, if she does not walk away with the crown then her reign will end as
Miss Black New York, USA.
For Alomar, “Things that are for you God will make a way for you to do it.”
She told the paper that her mother has always encouraged her to be herself, and whatever she wants to do she would have to do her research to ensure that that was the path she wanted to take, noting, “You have to be your authentic self.”
She has visited many schools within the city and she always notices that when young Black girls see her, a Black woman wearing a crown and a sash, their faces light up seeing the representation of someone who looks like them.
She encourages young Black girls that want to participate in pageants to go for it, find the one that works for you and do it.
Alomar chose Miss Black NY USA because their goal is to service the community. For this young Black woman this is important; this opportunity presented her with a chance to give back to her community.