What we’ve lost since the Miss Black El Paso Pageant ended in 2018

I never imagined myself as the type of girl to compete in beauty pageants. I never really liked being in the spotlight.

However, from an early age, my mother just knew that one day I would be a contestant in the Miss Black El Paso pageant, walk across the stage, accepting my crown and sash. We argued about it for years. Finally I gave in and ran for Miss Black El Paso in 2016.
In the year of my reign, I attended many events throughout the city. The majority of events my mom and I booked ourselves.

Young Black girls would run up to me and hug me and each time I was reminded why this was so important. In a predominantly Hispanic city like El Paso there are not many Black pageant queens walking around. In these little girls’ eyes I was a hero.

El Paso baker’s whimsical creations showcased in Food Network’s Halloween Cookie Challenge

El Paso baker, Naomi Gil, did not believe it at first when the Food Network invited her to be on one of their seasonal shows. “They reached out on my business profile, and they even went to my personal profile,” Gil said. “I don’t know how they found me.”

Gil, 27, is the owner of Azúcar Morena Bakery in El Paso, a dessert catering service with a following on Instagram. Gil did not respond at first to messages inviting her to try out for the Food Network’s, Halloween Cookie Challenge. She throught it might be a hoax.