Aggie first to be crowned

They say Aggies are innovative, ground-breaking, and that we tear down barriers. Well add being royal to the list, as an Aggie has become the first Mr. Black North Carolina. Jasmine McInnis is a senior pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in both Professional English and Women’s Studies, and has an amazing opportunity to serve the state and be a role model with his new title.”Honestly, I still feel like Jasmine L. McInnis,” he said. “I do not want people to think because I have a new title I have changed. I have always been a humanitarian and had an interest in the development of people. The title, however will open doors that may have been harder to enter.”

The competition took place on Friday, April 4 at the Garner Historic Auditorium located in Garner, North Carolina. McInnis set out to join the competition by mere accident, as he “stumbled” across the information”As many of you know, I work with and coached some of the Miss A&T’s and other pageants throughout the state,” He said. “I love the Pageant Industry. I was first crowned here at A&T as the 1st Mr. Alpha Phi and thought it was a great experience so why not try it again. As I learned more about the competition and talked with more and more people they were like ‘you need to go ahead and enter that competition you know you can win,’ and now I am Mr. Black North Carolina with GOD grace and many of my constituents support.”

McInnis is a Greensboro native, and very active student. He has been involved in such organizations as Council of Presidents (President and Treasurer); NAACP (3yr President); VERGE Modeling Troupe (Treasurer & President); North Carolina A&T Senate (Clerk, Appointment Confirmation Committee Chair, Judicial Committee, Chair) Judicial Council; Honda Quiz Bowl; Hall Council; and a host of University Committees and was also crowned the Mr. Black Greensboro earlier this year. Now, as the Mr. Black NC, McInnis is ready to get busy working on his platform M.A.N.U.P., an acronym for Maturing and Acquiring Nobility Unleashing Potential.

“This position will allow me and others who help me to implement my platform across North Carolina,” McInnis said. “My platform strives to elevate and decrease the issues plaguing our young black men. The position will also allow me to reach others I may not have been able to because I am a state rep not just a regional rep; if will, this will encourage me to look outside my normal frontal vision but require me to look at my peripheral vision.”

McInnis’ platform is designed for young men ages 13-18. The program’s purpose is not to teach masculinity, but to educate men on the responsibilities of maturing and becoming responsible young men and viable citizens in North Carolina. The platform will focus on academic excellence, cultural/etiquette training, mentor/mentee training, leadership training/development, spiritual, mental, physical Awareness, and fiscal responsibility.

“I am excited and nervous at the same time,” McInnis said. So much is riding on this because I am the 1st Mr. Black North Carolina. I am beginning a legacy for men of the future to follow and setting the example for young black men to follow today. Imagine all the pressure.”

McInnis is not the first Aggie to receive such a high title. In 2007, A&T Alum Rachel Wilson, was crowned Ms. Black NC USA, and McInnis now joins the ranks of Aggies like her. In McInnis’ eyes, it’s just another example of how powerful Aggies truly are.”I am excited to bring home another win for the Aggies,” McInnis said. “Rachel Wilson was the epitome of what a young lady should strive to become. This is what we do, ‘Assemble and take OVA.’ I know without a doubt another Aggie Victory is in the making… We are a divine group of students.”In a way, McInnis said, Aggies are bred to be leaders. He chuckled as he described what he calls a “Rich Legacy of Divine Leadership.”

“It is in the way we are bred,” he said. “Look at us we are the home of the beginning of the Civil Right’s Movement, home of the (Greensboro Four) now known as the A&T Four, Ronald McNair once roamed our campus, both Jesse Jackson Sr., and Jr., sat in our cafeteria, and let us not forget the number of Alumni who are leaders of fortune 500 companies like Gillette… Need I continue?”

As McInnis begins his Reign, he looks forward to the positive development that lies ahead, but is fully aware that he will not be able to do it alone, and gives credit where he feels it is do.”Firstly, I need GOD to help give me the vision, directions, and organization to galvanize and strike interest in my platform to others,” McInnis said. “Secondly, I need young men of good character, integrity, committed to their word, strong intellect, and young men who have a passion for helping to raise the bar and expectations for young and developing men across the state. Everything else can be taught but these core values should be innate.”

“I also want to thank the administrators, community, family & friends, and mostly importantly students who supported me in my dream to become Mr. Black North Carolina. And a special thanks to the following people; Ms. Branlyn D. Mosby, Ms. Jaime Henderson, Maurece Nichols, Onieka Johnson, Lakiesha White, William Marshall my Aggies for traveling the distance to support me on the night of the pageant. Your energy gave me the strength to continue and perform during the pageant; I will always remember your sacrifice.”

With all the attention McInnis is receiving, he is hoping that he will be able to bring the State of North Carolina another positive image of what young men are capable of doing, and hopes his reign pushes more young men to enter the competition next year. He hopes that the change can start with us here in Aggieland.

“I would love to see a male representation of the university here equal to Miss North Carolina A&T State University,” he said. “I am aware we have a Mr. Aggie and was a judge for several of them; however, the operative word is equal or equivalent to Miss A&T. Mr. Aggie’s role is down played tremendously and he is not a part of the SGA Executive Board. I look forward to in the near future seeing North Carolina A&T State University elevate as most of the black institutions in the state and other HBCU’s have through official representative elected by the students as we do Miss A&T.”

If you are interested in helping McInnis with any of his work, or would just like to speak to him, he encourages everyone to email him at [email protected]

  • Dexter Mullins