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'My Black is Beautiful' pageant celebrates Black History Month

5:39 PM, Feb 6, 2013   |    comments
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It's a beauty pageant, but without the cattiness you might see on shows like "Toddlers and Tiaras."

In fact, organizers and competitors in the "My Black is Beautiful" pageant go out of their way to help each other succeed, finding evening wear for contestants who may not be able to afford it and teaching lessons about confidence and respect.

"We try to make it so that the kids know who they are, being proud of who they are as African American girls," says Sylvia Russell, the pageant's director and creator.

The pageant takes place on Sunday, February 10 at 4 p.m at the St. Petersburg City Theatre.

"It doesn't matter about your skin color," eight-year-old Makiah Collins says about what the pageant has taught her. "It just matters about how hard you try."

Money raised from ticket sales goes toward the St. Petersburg City Theatre, as well as scholarships to encourage kids to go to college.

"My main goal is that it changes their lives in a way that they will learn to treat others with respect, that they will be proud of who they are as young, black women," Russell says.

You can purchase tickets by calling the City Theatre's Box Office at 727-866-1973.

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