Armaní Washington rests in her crown as the 38th Miss NBCA Hall of Fame. (Photo Courtesy of HU Royal Court)

By Re’Jon Jones,
Special to the AFRO

On a night filled with glamor, talent and celebration of African American culture and scholarship, Aramní Washington was crowned the  38th Miss National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame (NBCAHOF). Washington is a senior honors Broadcast Journalism major, English minor from Chicago, Ill.  serving as the 85th Miss Howard University.

“The week was filled with events tailored to HBCU empowerment, community service, political awareness and honoring the legacy of the foundation. I am honored to say that after three days of preliminaries and the official pageant on Saturday , I was crowned as the 38th Miss National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame for 2023-2024,” Washington said in a LinkedIn post. “I send my highest thanks to my advisor team, my Bison peers, the NBCAHOF committee, my fellow HBCU queens and kings, and my university for the astronomical support. I am overjoyed with having the chance to bring the crown back to the hilltop where it has not been since 2010.” 

Last year, Joy Watson of Virginia State University won the competition with Cecily Davis, the 84th Miss Howard University as the runner up.  This is the first time in 13 years that Howard University has been represented in this capacity. 

“I am truly in awe of Amraní’s accomplishments. As soon as we arrived  in Atlanta, I knew she was destined for greatness,” said Kendal Ballentine, the Howard University Royal Court Advisor. “She’s a woman of great perseverance who truly embodies what it means to be a queen and it is an honor to serve as her advisor during her reign.” 

The Miss NBCA Hall of Fame competition is one that dates back 38 years  with a long history of showcasing the talents, brilliance and charm of  many historically Black college and university (HBCU) queens across the nation. Armaní Washington,  representing Howard University, proved herself a worthy ambassador  for her institution and the legacy of HBCUs as she competed for the  crown.

The five days of the competition consisted of interview and oratory  preliminaries, luncheons, a talent display and the final pageant. The week was about the pageant itself and an opportunity for fellow HBCU Queens,  Kings and advisors to fellowship with one another. It was an opportunity  to celebrate the rich history and culture of HBCUs.  

The pageant itself took place on Sept. 30. Queens  competed with one another showcasing their best introductions,  talents, and oratories. Through poise, intelligence, and a heart full of  ambition, Armaní captivated the hearts of the judges and the audience alike, solidifying her place in history as a beacon of inspiration for generations to come. 

Throughout her journey to the crown, Armaní showcased her stunning  physical attributes and her intelligence and commitment to  philanthropy. Armaní eloquently shared her vision for upholding the legacy of the title. She wholeheartedly believes in the advancement of  the African American community and continuously proves her  dedication to supporting her peers. 

As Armaní embarks on her journey as the 38th Miss NBCA Hall of Fame,  the future holds boundless opportunities for her to create a lasting  impact. With her intelligence, beauty, and commitment to serving her  community, she is well-equipped to make significant strides in her  platform.

“I’ve seen Armaní’s dedication to service first hand. She puts her all into  everything she does,” said Makaylah Mnyofu, a senior Fashion Design  major at Howard. “I’ve watched her practice day in and day out, miss  out on a lot of social activities, and still show up no matter what for the  people she loves. I knew in my heart that she was going to win. To say  I’m proud would be an understatement.”

Armaní’s victory serves as a reminder that beauty is not only skin deep,  but it can also encompass intelligence, ambition and a heart that  beats for the betterment of society. She represents the epitome of what  it means to be a queen with a purpose.

Armaní Washington’s coronation as the 38th Miss National Black  College Alumni Hall of Fame is a momentous occasion that will be  celebrated for generations to come. Many believe she will use the position to serve young women everywhere, reminding them that with dedication, passion and intelligence, they, too, can achieve greatness  and make a positive impact on the world. As Armaní takes her first  steps into this new chapter of her life, she has a host of family, friends and an entire Bison herd that eagerly anticipates the incredible journey that lies ahead. 

“I want Armaní to know how much she is truly loved,” said Eric Scandrett,  the current Mister College of Engineering and Architecture at Howard University.  “Whenever she is around, we can be our most genuine selves. We are all  able to see not only the things she does but the things she will  accomplish in the future. It is an honor to have built a friendship and see you grow as a queen. I love you, Armaní and I am so proud of you!”