Six years ago, I started pageantry. I jumped into the world with both feet with the hopes of proving I was more than just shy. The funny thing is that when you start on a journey to prove something to others, you soon find out that you are 

really just trying to prove something to yourself. I was trying to prove that I could do it. And I did just that. On Monday, I wrapped up my competitive pageant years with a Top 15 finish at the national Miss Black USA Pageant. It was a great way to close a chapter, a chapter where I did everything that I wanted to do. I wanted to hold titles while being a professional cheerleader. I wanted to compete on a national stage. I wanted to complete graduate school at Northwestern University. I wanted to represent my community, be challenged to grow and push myself, intrigued by the word “yes” and inspired by the word “no.” Thank you to everyone who helped make my dreams a reality! I have the most awesome friends, family, and supporters! I would tag, but they won’t let me tag enough people! 🙂 Please stay tuned as I begin the next chapter of my life. And as always, I am still available for speaking engagements, choreography, workshops, and pageant consulting (imani@imanijosey.com). Until next time! Enjoy the picture. It’s me being silly after prelims. Thank you and love you all!

Imani Josey

Imani is a writer from Chicago, Illinois. After graduating Howard University in Washington, DC, Imani received her Masters from Northwestern University. Sometime during all of that studying, she danced professionally for the Chicago Bulls as a (Luvabulls) cheerleader, and won the titles of Miss Chicago and Miss Cook County for the Miss America Organization, as well as Miss Black Illinois USA. Read her short story “North” in the forthcoming Hidden Youth anthology, out November 2016 by Crossed Genres.

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