Meet the 2022 Miss Black Cincinnati contestants. Top, from left to right: Miss Alexis Stokes (24), Miss Cleocrt Daniels (19), Miss Olivia Riggs (22); bottom, from left to right: Miss Samaya Rogers (18), and Miss Shazia Thompson (21).

By Sharen Sierra King


Contestant photos provided by Pete Coleman

Hello, Tri-State. I have one question for each of you. Are you ready to meet your 2022 Miss Black Cincinnati and Black Teen Cincinnati, RLH Pageants Unlimited, and Cincinnati Black Theatre Company pageant contestants? Great!

After months of rehearsals behind closed doors at an undisclosed location, I am thrilled to present the beautiful and talented young women competing for the title, crown, and honor of representing a legendary and much-respected organization founded by Executive Producer Robert L Humphries in 1979.

There is much to celebrate as this is the 42nd Anniversary of Miss Black Cincinnati and the 32nd Anniversary of Miss Black Teen Cincinnati.

The theme of the event is “The Beauty In You.” Director and Co-Executive Producer Donald Sherman will have the lights come up, music starts, excitement builds, the contestants’ hit the stage, and the pageantry begins. Don’t miss out. You should be in your seat on Saturday, May 21; doors open at 1 p.m., and the show starts at  p.m. Tickets are $20 available on the Cincinnati Black Theatre Company website.

Miss Black Cincinnati Contestants

Miss Clecrt Daniels, 19

The Art Academy of Cincinnati

Talent: Singing

Miss Olivia Riggs, 22

University of Cincinnati

Talent: Spoken Word

Miss Samya Rogers, 18

Service Consultant at Kings Kia

Talent: Dance

Miss Shazia Thompson, 21

University of Cincinnati

Talent: Dance

Miss Alexis Stokes, 24

Wright State University

Talent: Singing

Miss Teen Black Cincinnati 2022 Pageant contestants:

Meet the 2022 Miss Black Teen Cincinnati contestants. Top, from left to right: Miss Anaiya Mathis (16), Miss Brielle Allen (15), Miss Destiny Owens (16), Miss Imara Russell (14), Miss Jayden Roetting (14); bottom, from left to right: Miss Jazelle Marriett (14), Miss Joi Burton (14), Miss Kelsey Wheeler (15), Miss Kennedy Caldwell (14), Miss Nadia Ndubuisi (13), and Miss Zio Smith (13).

Miss Brielle Allen, 15

Global Faith Academy

Talent: Poetry

Miss Joi Burton, 14

Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy

Talent: Spoken Word

Miss Kennedy Caldwell, 14

Walnut Hills High School

Talent: Dance

Miss Anaiya Mathis, 16

Aiken High School

Talent: Singing

Miss Jazelle Merritt, 14

The Seven Hills High School

Talent: Poetry

Miss Nadia Ndubuisi, 13

Nativity School

Talent: Piano

Miss Destiny Owen, 16

Lloyd Memorial High School

Talent: Poetic Artistry

Jayden Roetting 14

Tichenor Middle School

Talent: Singing

Miss Imara Russell, 14

Crossroads Middle School

Talent: Poem

Miss Zion Smith, 13

Aiken High School

Talent: Art

Kelsey Wheeler, 15

Fairfield Freshmen School

Talent: Singing

The most often asked question is what is required to compete in the pageants; the age requirement for MBC 17-24 and MBTC 13-17. A willingness to learn, commitment to time, trust, and belief in the process empowered more than 1,000 African American young teens and women since the first pageant staged in 1980; Miss Lucinda Bobo took home the crown, sash, and title as the first Miss Black Cincinnati.   

The contestants compete in the following four categories: Evening Gown, Personal Interview (Judges), Projection (Impromptu Question), and Talent. There are additional requirements detailed on the CBTC website.

In crowning new winners, the time for both the reigning Miss Black Cincinnati Arah Samuels and Miss Black Teen Cincinnati Jayla Bolt will come to a close. Both ladies will continue to participate as RLH Alumnae members.

As a music student, Miss Samuels, who participated while attending Northern Kentucky University, will take her final walk and wave as the reigning MBC. Since winning, she has graduated and living the goals she shared on stage. Now a teacher for Cincinnati College Preparatory Academy and a classically trained musician, she continues to perform both as a pianist and vocalist.

Miss Bolt will take her last walk and wave as the reigning MBTC; she was the youngest MBTC crown winner, then 13, and a student at the School for Creative and Performing Arts. She is continuing both her studies and training as a junior at SCPA in preparation for achieving her goal of becoming a professional stage performer.

This year’s hosts include, top from left, WLWT’s Courtis Fuller, Vice Mayor Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney, Dr. Shelly J. Hamler; bottom from left, P. Ann Everson Price and Sharen Sierra King. Photos provided

Emcees for the events need no introduction. Each is a living legend who continually contributes their talents and voices to the Tri-State: WLWT Emmy Award Winner Courtis Fuller, Educator Shelly Hammler, Vice-Mayor Jan Michele Lemon Kearney, and Media Personality P. Ann Everson Price.

Recognition of Title and Presenting Sponsors: Dr. Odell Owens, Closing The Health Gap, SO-ACT, The Cincinnati Herald, Cincinnati Black Theatre Company, ROMAC, Black Family Reunion, Arts Wave, Greater Cincinnati Foundation, I Hear Music Inc, Cincinnati College Preparatory Academy, Above and Beyond Planning and Event Center, Greater Cincinnati Northern Kentucky African American Chamber-Commerce, BGMedia, Dealer Warranty Solutions and RLH Pageants Unlimited.

Invitation Appreciation Reception: In appreciation to the Tri-State and the many talented staff, volunteers, sponsors, emcees, judges, trainers, security personnel, business, elected officials, and over 1,000 pageant contestants, RLH Pageants Unlimited and Cincinnati Black Theatre are hosting an Appreciation Reception Friday, May 20, 6 – 9 p.m.; RSVP by May 14 at 513-368-8108 or email:

For more information regarding becoming a supporting sponsor, booking the winner(s) for a community or corporate event, or how to become a pageant contestant, use the information phone and email provided.

Special thanks 2022 staff and volunteers: Pete Coleman of Perfect Exposure Photography, Melanie Green Contestant Liasion, Contestant Trainers: Lakesia Ealy, Angela Grayson, ShaRhonda Moore, Bridgett Schooler-Davis, RLH Alumnae President and Associate Producer: Sharen King, Security: Steven Hunter, Talent Coordinator: Avery Hammond, Arah Samuels, Choreographer: Tara Hammonds and Deborah Stewart, Speech and Projection Coach: Dr. Cleaster Mims and RLH Pageants Alumnae and The parents and guardians of the 2022 Pageants Contestants.

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