Royalty crowned at Black Homecoming Ball

A record-breaking 1,367 votes were cast for King and Queen.
Senior Oghosa Lyame celebrates senior Brian Hamilton's win as Homecoming King on Thursday at the Stoney Creek Inn. The Legion of Black Collegians event included food, a slideshow and a DJ.

On Thursday night, the Legion of Black Collegians held its masquerade-themed third annual Black Homecoming Ball at the Stoney Creek Inn. Black Homecoming was instituted 30 years ago, but the Ball was reinstituted only three years ago.

“We wanted to bring something back to revive the students and revive the organization,” LBC President Lisa White said.

The history of the LBC Homecoming is deeply rooted in the creation of a sense of unity among MU’s black community, but LBC Homecoming Queen Lauren “Lo” Grant said some speculation of racial separation between leadership organizations on MU’s campus still exists.

“If all of leadership on campus joined together to do something, it could be done,” Grant said. “We wield a tremendous amount of power as students. Yet if there were things (black student organizations) could realistically participate in, such as the Greek talent show, then maybe we wouldn’t need two homecomings.”

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. member Sydnea Redwine said there originally wasn’t a place for minority students in MU’s traditional Homecoming celebrations.

“Today, however, the Black Homecoming Ball is more about upholding a tradition within our community than separation,” she said. “We’re working to get the whole Mizzou campus involved in our Homecoming. We want to become more integrated within the entire Mizzou community.”

Aside from increased community involvement and campus integration, LBC sought to gain more votes as well as make other changes within the actual Black Homecoming campaigning process.

“The candidates were not allowed to create Facebook groups for campaigning,” LBC Activities Chairwoman Kristen Andrews said. “They had to bring out their own supporters to the events, as well as attend three events themselves.”

LBC Homecoming Court Count Je’Von Adams-Walker said he has enjoyed the campaigning process.

“I’ve gotten involved more and I feel more prepared for life,” Adams-Walker said. “If you want a career, you’re going to be busy. I’ve definitely been busy.”

The ambient light and catered dinner provided a positive mood among attendees at the ball and served as a nice break from the busyness of the week.

“I’m ready to enjoy a classy and sophisticated night,” Grant said. “Aside from the parties and the game, this is my favorite night of Homecoming week. It’s a big night for everyone who participated in voting. I’m excited to see people from the community in an atmosphere of elegance.”

Adams-Walker said he was pleased with the crowd’s appearance Thursday night.

“Everyone’s out looking good, which is a sight I don’t normally see,” he said. “Normally everyone’s out wearing shorts around campus.”

After dinner, court was called on to the main floor where they performed a short dance and awaited the crowning. With a record-breaking total of 1,367 votes, Brian Hamilton was pronounced LBC Homecoming King and Lauren Grant the LBC Homecoming Queen.

“I feel really good, and I don’t know how else to put it,” Hamilton said. “I’m excited for the step competition on Saturday, and I’m anticipating being represented at the Black Family Reunion.”

Grant was attempting to hold back tears after her coronation.

“I don’t want to cry,” Grant said. “I’m ecstatic and I love it.”

Aside from coronation festivities, the overarching theme for the evening was unity.

“Sometimes we lose touch with our culture because there’s such a small percentage of us at Mizzou,” Adams-Walker said. “It’s nice to see prominent members of our community coming together.”

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