Participants provide perspective on Coronation

Queen Isaac: Stay black, stay beautiful


Photo submitted

The top three Coronation participants gather on the stage.

Whitley Walton, Reporter

Students who participated in the Circle City Classic Coronation looked back on the event and provided their perspective about the results, which were swept by Cathedral students. 

On Sept. 22, senior Alise Chavis was second-runner up, senior Kennedy Maye finished as first-runner up and Clara Isaac was declared the 2019 Circle City Classic Queen. The three winners talked about their experiences, as well as explained the significance of the Coronation.

Maye explained that the Coronation “is a program that prepares women for success after high school and college. You are voted on based on your academic achievement and your leadership skills and community service.”

Chavis added, “It creates a sisterhood between a group of girls.” The young women met every Saturday, going to different workshops to strengthen their leadership skills and ultimately prepare them for the future.

“I remember first going to the parade when I was a little girl,” Isaac said. “I saw Miss Circle City Classic and she was my first example of black female excellence outside of the women in my family.” 

The Coronation is a part of the Indiana Black Expo, at which the Circle City Classic hosts a parade Downtown and football game between two historically black colleges. Isaac said, “I was like, ‘I want to do that when I grow up. I want to be that role model to young girls.’” Isaac, along with the other Coronation participants, were featured in the parade on Sept. 28. 

Maye said, “The benefits include meeting other girls that are just like you and meeting other girls that are extremely different from you.” Maye explained how talking to girls of differing backgrounds and experiences results in them developing relationships. While the Coronation is a competition, the mutual love that was shared took away the competitive edge. Maye said,“By the end of it, we really had a sisterly bond, we really encouraged and genuinely loved each other.” 

With the Coronation becoming a time to grow as young women and meet similar minded people, the winners of the crowns said they did not expect to place. Chavis laughed as she revealed, “I just wanted to make Top 5. I just relaxed and said, ‘Let me just wait and let these other people get called.’ And then I got called and I was like, ‘What? Me?!’” Maye said, “I think we all surprised ourselves with the abilities that we didn’t know we had, especially under pressure. I think that really showed how dedicated and passionate we really were.”

As the 2019 Circle City Classic Queen, Isaac was the most shocked. “I did not expect to win,” Isaac said. “When they called my name for Miss Circle City, I cried so hard. I don’t even remember crying that hard, but I just stood there and I shook and I cried. Words cannot even explain how I felt.” 

Isaac joins Kourtney Steppe ’16 and Destiny White ’18 as recent Cathedral students to be given such a title.

Chavis said, “I would recommend the Coronation to other girls because it’s such a great opportunity to learn about your city. We do a lot of really cool things, not only for the community of Indianapolis in general, but for the African American community, which I think is really great and uplifting.” Maye chimed in: “Period.” 

Isaac took a more sentimental tone as she said, “It’s one of those memories that you make forever. Sometimes you don’t realize that you’re living in a memory that you’ll remember forever, but I just know that this was one of the best experiences of my life.” Isaac didn’t want to give away any spoilers, but she recommends other girls take part in this life-changing program.

“It’s not a pageant, but it is a competition with women of eloquence, elegance and intelligence,” Chavis said.  

“I’m just so thankful for this opportunity,” Isaac said. “It helped me grow and become my best self, even though I still am learning, it was just one step on the way. Stay black, stay beautiful.”